Monday, May 15, 2017

Holt's Tonsil Surgery

If you have been following the blog, I mentioned a few months ago that Holt has been having night terrors ever since Evie was born (yes, for a whole year now). At first we just thought it was the transition to having a new sibling, but it kept going and kept going. And then he started snoring really bad around Thanksgiving. Finally in February at his 2.5 year checkup, we mentioned it to the pediatrician. He said a lot of times, night terrors can be caused by sleep apnea (where you quit breathing for little moments at a time while sleeping, reducing oxygen to the brain). Sleep apnea can be caused by large tonsils and adenoids. After examining Holt's throat, he said on a scale of 1-4, Holt's were a 3. We tried some steroid nose spray for a month and when that didn't change anything, he referred us to an ENT, Dr. Stinson at Cooper Clinic here in Fort Smith.

We met with her on April 12 and after one look she said, "yeah, those are rather large. he definitely needs surgery." SO, last Friday, May 5th, we checked into Outpatient Surgery Center at Mercy Hospital for Holt to undergo his first ever surgery.

--6:30AM: check-in
*the kids played and watched stuff on the iPad. Holt couldn't have anything to eat or drink since midnight, so we tried to limit Evie's eating breakfast until after he was back in pre-op. Mom, Dad, and Gran were with us to help with Evie and offer love and support. And coffee.
--7:30AM: head back to pre-op
*Daniel and I took Holt back where they weighed him and measured his height (31.8 pounds and 37.5 in tall). Then we changed him into the hospital gown and the anesthesiologist came by. He introduced himself and gave Holt a TY beanie baby bunny to hold onto. The nurse came back in and checked Holt's vitals and gave him a dose of Versed to help him relax and start getting a little loopy. It was hilarious once it started kicking in! Our pastor, Russ, came in to see Holt and he let him play with his FitBit watch--which entertained him for the next 30 minutes until time for the surgery. In his loopy state, Holt kept asking "what time it is?"
--8:30AM: Dr. Stinson came by and explained the procedure and what to expect afterwards again. Then she asked Holt if he wanted her to carry him or if he wanted to ride the "choo choo train" (hospital bed). Much to my surprise he chose to be wheeled back in the bed and the whole way he and Dr. Stinson said "choo choo!!" Y'all. She is the best. That was when I teared up. But thankfully, the meds kicked in and I don't think Holt even noticed I wasn't going with him.
--9:30AM: I start getting nervous because what only should've taken 20-30 minutes was taking over an hour. FINALLY Dr. Stinson came out to the waiting room to talk with us. She said they had trouble intubating him because of how large his tonsils were and it took him a little while to breathe off the anesthesia. She also told us his adenoids were just as large as his tonsils and she was 100% confident that he needed this surgery. It could have been bad if we had waited. She said everything went very well and that shortly we could go back and see him.
--10AM: They called our name to head back to post-op. He was hysterical, bothered by the IV in his foot and asking for "mama" which is to be expected coming out of anesthesia. I grabbed him and cuddled with him, telling him how proud I was. He asked for daddy and RoRo and as soon as my dad got back there he fell asleep on my chest. He hasn't done that since he was a baby--my heart was mush. We had to wait until 10:30AM to be dismissed. About 10:20AM the nurse came to take out his IV, gave us the discharge papers, and explained all the home recovery info we needed to know. We put his PJ's back on and carried him out to the car. He was literally the only child not screaming and crying leaving the hospital.
--10:45AM: We made it back home (so nice to only live 3 minutes from the hospital now!). He asked for a popsicle outside with RoRo.

Throughout the rest of that day he was very tired. We rotated his meds every 3 hours and he slept a lot. I had to check on him several times to make sure he was breathing because for the first time in a year, he wasn't snoring or making noise while sleeping! That night, he slept 10 hours before waking and needing medicine again. He did really good eating popsicles and applesauce and drinking fluids for the most part.

Things didn't get super hard until Sunday night, into Monday and then Tuesday. He did not want to drink at all and he was starting to get severely dehydrated. I came very close to taking him to the ER for fluids because no matter what we tried, he wasn't drinking enough. The highest his fever got was 103.5, but it hovered around 101-101.5 for several days. I am SO SO SO thankful my mom came to help! I probably could've done it by myself but I would've been absolutely miserable. I had to tough love him several times and often it would take 2 hours for him to drink 3 oz of fluid. It got to the point I didnt' let him do anything until he drank. It was awful.

Finally, Wednesday was the turning point. He started acting more himself and actually asked for a drink. He consistently drank water, gatorade, milk, and PediaSure chocolate shakes and actually had an appetite. He woke up hungry for breakfast and then had a big lunch too. My mom had to head home early Wednesday morning so I am very grateful things started turning around.

I am very, very thankful we had this surgery done. And I am very, very thankful God provided the finances to pay for it and that we had so many people lifting us up in prayer and checking on us to see how we were doing. It's never easy to make decisions like that when it concerns your child, but it helps when you know it's the best thing for them. Hopefully this will help his night terrors go away completely and he will start sleeping better from here on out. He has basically been exhausted 24/7 for the last year because even though he slept a lot, his quality of sleep was terrible. Thankful for modern medicine and a relatively quick recovery!

Photo Documentation:

Right before they gave him the Versed medicine--he loved Russ' watch!

Meds were kicking in pretty good at this point. 

He kept asking "what time it is?" 

Our super sweet nurse, Kathy, prepping him to go back

riding the "choo choo train" to the OR

Evie was loving her newfound freedom of walking in the waiting room

part of our support team!

back home with popsicles

feeling good enough to color with RoRo

About 5 days post-op. Finally drinking more fluids

He was so proud and wanted to show daddy he was drinking juice

Now that we are 10 days post-op, Holt is finally back to himself and drinking his normal amount of fluid. He does still have some pain--sometimes he tells me his ear hurts, but that's just residual pain shooting up to his ears--but he really only needs tylenol or ibuprofen once or twice a day. It was tough, surgery usually is, but I am extremely grateful to our pediatrician for taking our concerns seriously and referring us to Dr. Stinson. I have no doubt things could've gotten pretty bad in the near future had we not taken action now. Thankful to have my healthy boy back! 

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