Thinking & Feeling

“The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.” Horace Walpole

Thursday, 29 July 2004

My baby needs surgery...

Ok the topic was a bit dramatic, but as we generally stay away from the medical profession as a rule and stay very healthy on the whole anyway, my children haven't seen very much of doctors in their lives. So having to send one for surgery is a bit of a shock to me.

Quinn has had antibiotics once (which I don't think he even needed), and Griffin has admittedly had them a whole 3 times, always for bacterial tonsillitis. Our family doctor, who we see once or twice per year at most (I hope she doesn't go out of business because of our lack of support!) told us when Griffin was still quite little that he has 'kissing tonsils' which we'd need to keep an eye on. I didn't really know what that meant, but after some reading have found that it refers to tonsils which touch in the middle, normally because they are enlarged.

I have recently noticed that his tonsils look HUGE, they are big fat spongy red things that are really obvious in his throat, and they are like that all the time. That in itself wouldn't really bother me, but we have also noticed that since he has been close to a year old he has suffered from sleep apnoea. While asleep he breathes in a laboured deep husky way. Slowly his breathing gets slower and shallower and then stops altogether for a good few seconds (feels like ages!). He'll they GASP and take in a big deep breath, and then start the cycle over again. This causes him to sleep very restlessly, because he actually has to partially wake up with each gasp. We
now let him sleep propped up on 2 thick pillows, which helps to keep his airways open, but we still don't think he gets enough restful sleep though because he can sleep for a 3-5 hour stretch in the day time.

Apparently is severe enough this can cause restlessness, ADD symptoms, learning disability (due to impaired concentration from tiredness), failure to thrive, and general ill health. You need to get enough deep sleep to really function properly. I remember how I felt when I wasn't getting any good deep sleep stretches with new borns, you are like a zombie eventually...

So all of this has been adding up, and I have started to suspect we were going to have to take some action. We finally took him to an ENT specialist yesterday. Who pronounced that his tonsils are indeed 'very big' and 'not normal'. We had an adenoid x-ray taken and his adenoids are also way bigger than normal, and are further constricting his airways. It was also found that he has fluid on both ears, in fact the doctors thinks he must be battling to hear clearly at the moment. He thinks the ear problem is a reaction to the excessive swelling and infection on the tonsils and adenoids.

So he has recommended we do 'T's & A's' meaning a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy, as well as draining the ears. He doesn't want to put grommets in, because he thinks once the ears are drained and the T's & A's done, his ears will settle and stay clear.

So I have to take my baby for the op next Friday. I do think he needs it, and I am sure it will help in the long run, but I know it's not an easy op, and it's really painful and takes quite a while to recover from. I wish we didn't have to send him at all. At least the doctor is lovely, and has a great manner with children. Griff really liked him. He has also said I can be with him right into the operation theatre, and I will only need to leave once they have sedated him.

I'll let you know how it turns out.

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