How to Traumatize an Almost-4-Year-Old

As of yesterday morning, Boy #3 is tonsil- and adenoid-free. Poor baby had to get his tonsils and adenoids removed, AND get tubes put in his ears. His tonsils and adenoids were so swollen that he had developed horrible old-man snoring and sleep apnea, which was painful and frightening to listen to. His ears were also constantly full of fluid, and I’m hoping the tubes will help both curb his frequent use of the word, “What?!” and turn down the volume on his “inside voice” (which is only an “inside voice” if you mean “inside a stadium during a Metallica concert”).

He was such a trooper before surgery. We had explained (as best we could to an almost-4-year-old) what was going to happen, and he took the nurse’s hand and walked like a big boy to the OR with her (and Curious George, who also got his own cap and bracelet showing he, too, is allergic to Penicillin). The surgery went great, and after a half hour or so we were called back to “Recovery Phase 2.” The nurse warned us: “He’s grumpy.” So when I saw them wheel him to our little curtained-off recovery area in that big hospital bed, whimpering and his face red and blotchy from crying, my heart nearly broke in two. The nurse told us that she kept asking him if his throat was sore and all she could get out of him was, “I’ll be happy when you let me see my mommy.” Okay, my heart then broke AGAIN.

I got to hold him in the recliner for the next two hours, and when we finally left the outpatient surgery center, my shirt was stained with orange popsicle and bloody vomit. Isn’t it funny how, when you’re a mom and your kid is hurting, you could care less what you look like, smell like, or if you’re completely covered in bodily fluids?

Home at last. The place Boy #3 had been begging to go since he got out of surgery. We spent most of the day in the recliner in front of cartoons, him begging me for “real food” and me crushing his dreams by reminding him he can only have liquids. “But now I won’t have big muscles!” he said with tear-filled eyes. Wow, how many times could my heart break in ONE DAY?!

At one point I thought he was going to just kick this thing in the butt. He was up, trying to run around and be the active boy he is. But, apparently, he was still under the effects of the pain medicine, because once that wore offโ€”wow. His throat hurt, his head hurt, and his ears hurt. And his mean parents kept making it worse by forcing disgusting-tasting medicine down his throat and stinging ear drops in his ears. Sometimes, being a parent really sucks!

After finally getting him to lay down and go to sleep at 9:00 last night, I was awakened to him screaming at 1:15 a.m. He was now regretting not letting us give him his Tylenol with Codeine before he went to bed and was yelling, “Give me the medicine! Give me the medicine!”

Needless to say, I don’t think it’s going to be a real productive day for me at work today! Bring on the coffee!

When I called Husband mid-morning to see how our patient was doing, Boy #3 was asleep. Good sign! Once his pain dies down, we’ve got to keep him from doing basically anything “active” for two weeks. Hmmm….yeah….that sounds easy.

I definitely won’t be letting him climb the Apple Picker, that’s for sure!


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