Saturday, July 7, 2012

Good Riddance Tonsils and Adenoids!

This past spring, Jenna underwent a small procedure to have tubes placed in her ears.  With all the attention she received, Layla decided she needed to try her hand at the surgery thing by having her tonsils and adenoids removed and, boy, did it work!  This little lady had the world at her beck and call!  All kidding aside, poor Layla was in desperate need of the surgery and, although it was a tough decision to make, we felt it was just something that had to be done.  

The process leading up to surgery day actually went pretty quick.  It was only back in February when we first learned that Layla's tonsils were enlarged.  Our pediatrician recommended that we have our go-to ENT, Dr. Jeremy, take a peek at them since we would be in his office for Jenna's ear check anyway.  At first glance, Jeremy agreed that they were large, but allowed us to wait it out a bit to see how things would develop over time.  Over the next two months, I had extensive conversations with Jeremy about Layla's behaviors regarding eating and sleeping and once we started putting two and two together, Jeremy felt it was time to go to surgery.  Leading up to the June 7th procedure, I had second, third, and fourth thoughts about the whole thing, lost copious amounts of sleep just thinking about it all, and knew I would not be 100% comfortable with the decision to move forward until it was all said and done.  It wasn't the actual surgery or anesthesia that I was worried about...I think going through Jenna's procedure just a couple months prior helped with that...I was terrified of the recovery.  I had heard and read about so many horror stories involving massive amounts of pain, life-threatening bleeding, and it being just plain torture for the kid AND the parent for two whole weeks!  At barely two years old, I wasn't sure if little Layla (or her Mommy) could handle it.  I questioned whether or not we were jumping the gun, if we should just wait until she was at least 3, if she was really in as much discomfort as we thought she was.  What if we put her through all of this and we didn't end up seeing much of a change in her behavior?  Is this all worth it?  Well, I guess we were about to find out!

Surgery Day: Out the door at 5:30am!  

Layla: "Alright, Daddy, you got me to the can we go back home?"

Layla: "Hey, I remember this place!  This is where Mommy and I came to get a cookie last week while she showed me around!  Where's my cookie?"

Layla: "Look at all these funny chairs!  I'll just hang out here while Mommy gets me all checked in."

Layla: "Now that I'm all checked in, I'm supposed to go to the 2nd floor for same-day surgery...wonder what that means?"

Waiting for pre-op...monkey see, monkey do!

Layla: "Daddy!  This place has Cisco must be one fine establishment!"

Just passing the time by crawling through all the chairs!

Layla: "Ooh, People Magazine!  My Mommy's favorite!"

Layla: "I may as well make out my grocery list while I wait.  Ice cream, popsicles, juice..."
Sounds like she knows exactly what she has in store for the next two weeks!

Layla: "My turn!!!"

Layla: "Sweet!  There's a TV in here!"

Layla: "I know I've practiced this at home, but this blood pressure cuff actually squeezes my arm!"

Layla: "We better check Monkey's blood pressure while we're here!"

Layla: "How do I sound?"

Layla: "Now that we've got that out of the way, let's move on to the important apps!"

Layla: "Personally, I thought I looked just fine in my monkey PJ's, but apparently, there is a dress code."

Layla: "Dr. Jeremy, I love you and all, but I have sneaking suspicion you are about to do something crazy to me!"

Layla was back in surgery for 40 LONG minutes!  We were told it would take about 30 minutes, but apparently, there was a little trouble placing her IV...just like her Momma!  Jeremy immediately came out to let us know that everything was completely fine and that Layla did great!

As soon as Layla woke up, I was allowed to see and hold her.  Generally, only one parent is allowed in recovery, but my dear friend, Julie, was on duty, so Trey came back as well...which was awesome because he was able to capture this sweet shot.      

Once we made it to the room she would be staying in for the night, Yo Gabba Gabba immediately started playing (on loop) on the iPad.  Layla was one happy girl!  

Shortly after, Layla had her first visitor!  This said visitor had no trouble making herself at home!

It's crazy to think that after having your tonsils removed you would be able to eat anything...apparently, you can!

Jenna: "Are you going to eat all that?"

Layla: "Yes, I am!"

No worries...Layla did share her breakfast, as well as her bed, her iPad, her iPhone, and everything else!  Such sweet sisters!

After a couple of HOURS of Yo Gabba Gabba and Elmo DVDs, we went to check out the playroom down the hall.  

Layla: "Wow!  I am one good-looking patient!"

I just love this look of concentration!  So focused!

Time for lunch...

...and then story time with Mommy's special book! (That means it has paper pages, not a board book.)

One of my sweet friends, Brittany, brought by a yummy treat for the princess.  

And, boy, did she enjoy it!

Nothing like washing down a cupcake with a little pudding!

Look who made it back for dinner!!!

Jenna: "Don't mind if I do!"

When things started to get a little hairy just hanging out in the room, we took a little stroll down the hospital hallway.

Layla: "I feel like I've been here forever!  Check my height...surely, I've grown since checking in!"

Alright, Miss Priss!  You woke up at 5:15am, underwent anesthesia, napped for only 20 minutes, IT IS TIME FOR BED!

The morning after...does this look like a child who has only slept 4.5 hours in the last 28?  
I think she is super excited because Dr. Jeremy just visited and said that she was free to go home!  Actually, what he said was that since our perfect patient chose to yank out her IV in the middle of the night, there wasn't much that could be done for her in the hospital that couldn't be done at home.  Whatever the reason...we were ready to go!!!  

Although we were thrilled to be home, I was super anxious about the upcoming two weeks.  I was told to not let the good first day in the hospital fool me...we had a long road ahead!  I knew that and we were prepared.  We had lots of yummy foods and drinks on hand, as well as fun, calm activities planned.  The following pics were taken throughout the recovery process with the iPhone, so please excuse the quality!  Also, in case you didn't already know this, eating and drinking are integral parts to recovery, so please don't be alarmed at the amount of food and drinks being offered to this child, no matter how unhealthy they may seem!

We put a mattress on the living room floor, which ended up being where Layla spent most of her recovery time watching movies (the.same.movies.over.and.over.again).  She also got breakfast in 'bed' every morning!  Cheese omelet...

...biscuits and jelly... get the picture.

 There was no shortage of yummy treats either!  This was actually her first popsicle ever!

Jello or pudding...why choose?

Layla also spent a fair amount of time in my bed watching tv and eating meals.  She thought this was so cool because Mommy and Daddy's room is usually off limits.  

 I had several bins of out-of-season clothes on the floor in my room...she would get these fleece PJ's out everyday and wear them until she started sweating bullets.  

The boots were also a fave of hers during this time.

 The lucky duck got lots of new toys to play with while we were stuck at home.  

 Every time I would give her something new she would say, "It's my birthday party!"

We certainly made the best of our time, but my favorite part was the extra snuggle time I got to have with this precious girl.  

So what did we do with Jenna during the recovery process???  Thankfully, when it wasn't a school day, Trey was able to take some time off of work to get her out of the house for a bit.  This whole thing was like summer camp for her...she loved spending extra time with her Daddy!

Breakfast at the airport followed by airplane watching!

Chick-fil-a date with Daddy!

A little Panera never hurt anyone either!

Fun at the splash pad!

She even got to have dinner in Daddy's front seat between his softball games!

At home, Jenna had no problem playing 'patient' with her sister.  She watched movies while laying on the special bed with all her various drinks... 

...hung out in Mommy's bed...

...ate pudding like it was going out of style...

...and had her fair share of ice cream as well!

Jenna: "Geez, playing 'patient' is hard work!"

Looking back at the pictures, it makes it seem like this whole process was as easy as pie.  Boy, can pictures lie!  Granted, Layla's recovery went about as well as it could possibly go, but believe me, it was FAR FROM PIE.  The hardest part, by far, was getting the child to take her meds.  Once she took them, she really did manage pretty well, but getting them down was bad enough to leave a sour taste in my mouth for a long, long time.  Of course, it didn't help that we were giving meds every 3-4 hours around the clock...during the night too!  Talk about a flashback to infancy days!  The other difficult part was getting her to eat and drink an adequate amount.  I felt like I spent most of my waking hours coming up with some kind of concoction in the kitchen, begging and pleading with her to eat/drink it, and then throwing it away when she repeatedly turned her nose up at it.  She dropped 3-4 pounds and didn't drink anywhere near the recommended amount of fluids, but managed to pull through on what little she did consume.  We had two slight bleeding incidents and a couple of bouts of nausea, but nothing too scary.       

So to answer my earlier question, was it worth it?  Without a doubt, YES!  On day 12 post surgery, Layla woke up a new child.  She was happy, hungry, and ready to face the world!  She immediately started to eat SO much better than she had in two years, not only in regard to amount, but speed and variety as well!  She no longer wakes up crying in the middle of the night, her coping skills are better, her verbal skills have increased, and she doesn't drool all day long anymore.  As Jeremy had mentioned before the surgery, her voice did get a little higher.  I kind of miss my lil' Darth Vader, but her new voice is pretty cute as well!  After the surgery, we learned that her yucky tonsils were causing complete blockage of her throat.  Can you even imagine?!?!?  I am so relieved that she is now experiencing some relief.

In reflection of all she went through to get where she is today, I am so thankful for all the people who helped us through the challenging time...those who called, texted, emailed, facebooked or visited, those who provided meals or treats, those who generously brought the girls gifts to make them feel special, those who helped watch Jenna, and those who prayed for our family.  I am especially grateful for Dr. Jeremy who called several times a day, everyday, to make sure Layla was doing okay.  He is such a wonderful doctor and an even more wonderful friend!  With that, all I have left to say is GOOD RIDDANCE, TONSILS AND ADENOIDS!



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