Thursday, September 20, 2012

Joshie's first surgery

Our dear Joshie had his first surgery on 8 August 2012. It was a minor procedure, according to the ENT surgeon, but he had to be under GA as he had to be very still. Three main things were done during the surgery; i) adenoidectomy - removal of adenoids, ii) tonsillectomy - removal of tonsils and iii) insertion of grommets (ear tubes). We were told that this is quite a common surgery among kids and it is relatively safe. However, as parents, we had our own worries and doubts as well. 

It all started with an ear infection that would not clear, even with 3 doses of antibiotics, and various cough and flu medication. I was just so tired and scared of feeding him medication. He had a URTI in late May and that was when his paed found out, through an ear check that he has an ear infection. A 7-days dose of Augmentin antibiotics still did not solve the problem, so he was given another dose a week later and told to see an ENT for a more thorough check-up. So in late June, we visited the ENT who said that his middle ear still looks opaque (it's supposed to be clear, transparent). The ENT surgeon said that it probably would clear very soon but if it didn't, he'd need surgery to clear the mucus that was trapped in the middle ear. Otherwise, this could lead to other problems, such as hearing loss. 

To cut the long story short, he caught another URTI, possibly from school, so his ear never got a chance to heal. He had frequent fevers, and his cough/runny nose just wouldn't go away. It was a constant battle for us; fighting against the infection. He lost weight, didn't sleep well and I was seriously beginning to consider surgery. So we had a discussion with the ENT, talked to friends who had gone through this and of course consulted our Mr Google. The ENT suggested adenoidectomy and tonsillectomy as well as he said that when he checked Joshie's throat, his tonsils were really large and swollen. He reckons the same with the adenoids too. So a date was booked. And here are some pictures of our Joshie on that day.

I prepped him about the surgery but only casually mentioned the post-surgery discomfort as I did not want him to go into OT crying and screaming away. Here he is in the taxi, still in his pyjamas, at 7am in the morning. He had to fast from the night before. Thank God he didn't fuss about not being able to eat/drink. He is hugging his new Angry Bird soft toy, given by Uncle Gideon who visited him and prayed for him just the night before the op. Thanks so much Gideon. 

Hubby accompanied him till about 9ish am as I had to feed Bryant and put him down for his morning nap before I left house. I felt so torn, wanting to be with my big boy but at the same time, I knew B needed me too. 

Got there early, changed into the OT gown.
Still oblivious and in a really happy mood. Seems so 'new and exciting' to him.

Looks like a big, brave boy, surrounded by all the medical equipment.

And finally he was out at 9am, earlier than I expected. Look at my poor boy. He was feeling the after effects of the GA. Of course he cried and all I could do was to soothe him and tell him that this discomfort is temporary. He didn't really feel the pain and soreness in his throat yet due to medication. He only felt it a couple of hours later.

After about an hour or so, the GA effects were nearly gone and he started fooling around. I was so happy to see his cheeky self again.

We were discharged about 3 hours after he came out of the OT. Throat started feeling really sore by then and he was cranky and crying a lot, especially during bed time. However, he recovered really quickly; he was all OK on day 5, unlike hubby who stayed in the hospital for a week after his tonsillectomy years ago. The method used now is coblation, which is gentler and not so painful.

And look at his hospital tag. I was so blur that morning that I gave hubby Bryant's birth certificate instead of Joshie's. And hubby was equally blur. Luckily they were willing to operate on him without his birth certificate.

It was the RIGHT decision to agree to the surgery. Doctor said there was a lot of mucus inside, which could not be cleared with antibiotics. Oh, and while he was under GA, they performed a food allergy test on him and the result is MALT allergy. So we have been abstaining from food/drinks containing malt and I see an improvement in his health. Hopefully he outgrows this allergy quick. Malt is present in a lot of biscuits, breads, cereals, etc....and he also has to forego his favourite barbeque pork ("char siew") as it is made using malt sugar - maltose =(

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