Saturday, August 20, 2016

Malachi's Surgery

We experienced something new in our family a few weeks back when Malachi needed to go in for minor surgery to remove his tonsils and adenoids.  This was something we've been trying to avoid having done for the last few years and tried some more natural methods before resorting to surgery.  But after more tests and research we determined this was the best thing for him in the end, even though it was hard on his mama!

There were some additional concerns that made the procedure a little bit more risky for him than a normal situation but after many chats with the surgeon and the anesthesiologist we came up with a game plan that I felt okay about.  

He was in good spirits before surgery even if he was a little bit nervous.  I was surprised at JUST how nervous I was as his mama though. Our kids being in pain or needing an operation is scary and entrusting one of the most important pieces of my heart to a medical team was not so easy for me to do (hence why it took us 2 years to take the surgery route).  He had his brave face on all morning though and crushed the whole operating rooms heart when he uttered "I'm scared" right before they put him to sleep.  

Fortunately this was a quick operation and before long he was in recovery and back in the room with us.  He was very disoriented and wanted to go home. He calmed down once we were with him and able to snuggle with him.

And then he was a champ and was quickly on the road to recovery!  

Within an hour or so we were on our way home and I was in shock at how well this kid handled it all as I remember the surgery being much more rough when I had it done. 

We were told to expect him to be very drowsy for a couple days and not really wanting to eat or drink. We were also told between 3-5 days the pain would peak so we were prepared for the worst. 

After a short little nap he was up and moving around. We actually spent most of the first week trying to keep the kid down. He was eating like a champ later on that afternoon and never once complained about pain!  

I was really impressed with his recovery. I do possibly contribute that to a couple factors. #1: Because of his added risk factories they used a different narcotic for the surgery than they would normally use. They gave him a low dose and one that would leave his system quickly.  I think this allowed him to get through the post surgery haze quickly and in turn eat and drink a little bit quicker and be active which allowed his body to recover and heal quicker.  
#2: Because his surgery wasn't because of illness, they only had to remove most of the tonsil tissue and not all of it. Our doctor said that typically kids recover quicker and have less risk of bleeding or infection with this approach.
#3: We kept him medicated around the clock. We rotated Tylenol and Ibu every 3 hours for the first 5 days, even waking throughout the night to give him another dose. He did briefly complain of some back and neck pain (which they told us to expect) and immediately we would give him an ice pack to try and help those areas. This pain seemed to subside within the first 48 hours.  After we seemed in the clear with the first 5 days we were able to wean him off the meds completely.

All in all I think this was a very succesful and necessary surgery.  He says he can swallow food better now and he's sleeping better.  He also had excessive drool and was determined that was causing some speech problems. Immediately we have noticed the drooling has stopped, his voice sounds less gravely, and his breath is better.  He also always seemed to have a white coating on his tongue and he was thrilled to notice that his tongue no longer has that!  We are also hoping as he's had major dental work done because of bacteria that possibly that will improve as a result too!  We are very pleased with the outcome thus far and will continue to make progress as he begins speech therapy next week!