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C’s Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy surgery part 3 Week 1 recovery

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In this post I am going to take you through the 14 day recovery that the doctors said we would face.  I am writing each day and publishing at the end of the 1st and second  week. I am hoping this will help those who will have to go through this, and maybe it will help me not go as crazy watching my munchkin go through it.

You can see the first 2 posts here and here

THE DAY WE CAME HOME(DAY 1):
It went much better than I thought it would.  Other than the throwing up on the way C is doing pretty well.  Still really sleepy and not feeling great, but she was able to get some jello, popsicles and water down. She is getting Tylenol with Codeine every 3 hours, and it seems to be working, she hasn’t complained much about her throat, however her tummy is hurting…hunger maybe?

NIGHT 1:
C was up about every 3- 31/2 hours but was able to fall back asleep quite easily after taking her medicine and having a drink.  I was a little worried I wouldn’t hear her if she woke up because of my medication, so I have her sleeping in my bed, I think I may have woken up twice as much as her, paranoia is not my friend

DAY 2:
Happy 4th of July! C was pretty bummed that we couldn’t see fireworks, the closest ones were about 45 minutes away and I didn’t think that was a good idea since her tummy is still off. So we made fireworks using sprinkles and water:

fireworks
She did elect to get dressed so she could still wear her red white and blue outfit! C was pretty happy when her Cousin M stopped by to bring her a teddy bear and see how she was doing
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And she felt extra special when her Aunt and Uncle stopped by to see her and brought this
3If you can’t tell her favorite color is green, so she LOVED these.  I think the visits helped bring her spirits up.  She was eating pretty good today, I was amazed! She ended up eating a pudding, a gogurt, 4 popsicles, some of a milkshake, and 2 things if Jello,I had been warned she wouldn’t want to eat the first couple days, so I was pretty proud of her, then again I am Mommy, I am always proud of her.  Today she started the amoxicillin 3 times a day, along with the Tylenol with Codeine.  I think that has been her biggest problem so far, since she has been sick so often she HATES taking medicine so it is a fight to get her to take it.  I am wondering how long bribery will work, and wondering how broke I’ll be after 14 days. Cousin Jenni came over and made C a milkshake, she was super excited about it, but wasn’t able to drink a lot of it 😦

NIGHT 2:
Night was about the same as the first night, she was still up every few hours, but again fell asleep easily after meds.

DAY 3:

Today was rough! As soon as we woke up and she gave me a hug I knew it was not going to be good, She was hot, and while they said a fever was to be expected, the fever shouldn’t be above 100.5, I could tell by touch she had exceeded that.  Sure enough she was at 101.6, she was complaining about a headache and not feeling so well.  I called the doctor and spoke to a nurse who basically told me we needed to get the fever down.  The challenge is that Tylenol has never worked to bring down C’s fevers.  The nurse explained to me that C’s doctor doesn’t recommend Motrin but his partner and the doctor who was in the office at the time, does and that while normally she would stick to her doctors orders, if Motrin was the only thing that would bring the fever down she would have to tell me to use it.  I of course had to ask why my doctor didn’t recommend it, apparently at one time Motrin was thought to increase the risk of bleeding, but all of the new testing indicated that it does not, her doctor is older and therefore still uses the old school practice. The nurse did assure me that the risk of Motrin was no where near the risk of not being able to control her fever and so we started Motrin. She instructed me to give her the Motrin the next time she was suppose to have the Tylenol and give her a call to let her know if the fever went down, if it didn’t I would have to bring her in.

She had just had Tylenol so we had 3 hours before we could test it out, during that time I used cool compresses to try to break the fever, with little success, about .2 degrees. 22 minutes after giving her the Motrin her fever was down to 100.6, I called the nurse and she said it was fine and to keep giving her the Motrin.

Because I was exhausted and my brain isn’t functioning at 100%, heck maybe not even 80% I hadn’t asked how often to give it to her, so 3 hours later when her fever was starting to come back up, I had to call the doctor again, this time the office was closed so the doctor called me back and told me Motrin every 6 hours and Tylenol with Codeine 3 hours after the Motrin, in between. He must have heard the worry in my voice because he added that she would be fine and to just make sure she stayed hydrated.

Getting C to eat or drink was tough today, I did convince her to take sips of water throughout the day, because she didn’t want to have to go back to the hospital, she only ate 1/2 a jello and a popsicle, but she was still using the bathroom so I wasn’t too worried about her being dehydrated.

She seemed to be bouncing back a little by late evening.

NIGHT 3:
C was waking up every 2-3 hours, complaining of a sore throat, she ended up having a popsicle at 3:15am.

DAY 4:
C was doing much better today, she didn’t seem to be in too much throat pain, and was able to eat some luke warm cut up noodles with butter, which is a step in the right direction, she did complain that it felt like they were stuck in her throat and had to take a drink after each bite, at least she is getting fluids right? She also ate some peaches today and I think those felt good in her throat because she looked like she was enjoying them.  She asked to go out for icecream so PAPA, me and A took her, and she ordered a Sundae but only ate 2 bites and is still complaining of a tummy ache.  I have been writing down when she has tummy aches and I think it is the Codeine causing it, maybe a combination of lack of food and Codeine? I have decided to only give her the Tylenol with Codeine at night unless regular Tylenol and Motrin can not keep her pain away.  I am hoping this helps with the tummy aches.  I hate seeing her sick and wish there was something I could do to help.  She was feeling well enough this evening to take a walk in the backyard and check on our garden, and she took her first bath since the surgery.  I made it a sensory garden bath

NIGHT 4:
This was a bad bad night, we were up ALOT, C’s tummy was sick and she had horrible diarrhea(sorry baby that one day you will be old enough to be embarrassed that this is on the internet) I ended up changing sheets twice and scrubbing her and the floor.  I finally broke and gave her 1/4 of a Pepto dose and it worked wonders.  Yet somehow she still managed to be up and ready for the day at 8am

DAY 5:
Today I went to my nephews graduation party and C stayed home with my niece, since I thought it would be unfair to bring her to a park with a lake and make her sit, plus they say the sun is bad. I was gone for about 3 hours and my niece said she did great, she had a bowl of buttered pasta for lunch, which is pretty huge these days.  When I got home C was in really good spirits, she painted a bunch of pictures, played with her Lalaloopsy dolls and they had played candyland and she made me play with her again.  She rode her scooter a little and over all didn’t complain of too much pain, although it was difficult getting her to go to bed tonight, I think she has realized that she gets away with more because she is recovering

NIGHT 5:
It was much better than the last and probably our best so far, while it took C a long time to fall asleep she only woke up twice in the night with very little complaints

DAY 6:
Today C has been much more like her old self, wanting to play a lot and we even took a trip to the store, she requested pancakes for dinner, and was able to eat bologna and cheese for lunch, let’s hope she keeps improving 🙂

NIGHT 6:
C was having a lot of ear pain tonight, the doctor warned us this could happen, but that it wasn’t an ear infection.  She ended up using an ice pack and taking the Tylenol with Codeine and was still up multiple times, I feel so sorry for her.

DAY 7:
Today was a pretty good day considering I thought we would be battling ear pain, C only had to have Motrin once before bed time and that was around noon.  She ate 2 big bowls of Macaroni and Cheese, and she was playing pretty good.

Over all week one wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be, although I did feel a lot like the mother of an infant again.

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C’s Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy surgery part 2

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You can see part 1 here

When they wheeled her out for surgery I thought I was going to be super upset and end up crying, but the fact that C was all silly before going in really helped.  I felt a lot better. My niece came with me and since we hadn’t eaten all day we took this opportunity to go get some breakfast at the cafeteria.  The doctor said that we had about 45 minutes to an hour.  Once we were done eating I stopped by the gift shop to get her a balloon, flowers and stuffed animal, and ended up picking Theodore from Chipmunks, and didn’t get the flowers because the clerk was taking forever and I was so scared I would miss the doctor.

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I did well throughout the wait until about 11:05 when the doctor still hadn’t came in to talk to us, and it was well over the hour time limit.  I must admit I started panicking a little and I was worried about C, especially since I do not handle waking up in recovery well, and I wasn’t sure how she would handle it.

At 11:09 the doctor walked in to see us, which meant I only had to go crazy for 5 minutes.  He said her surgery went well, no complications and they were getting ready to bring her into recovery.  He gave me a list of instructions and said they would come in and get me when they brought her back to ambulatory.

It felt like forever from the time the doctor came to talk to us and the nurse came in to tell us she was headed to the room.  I did a lot of pacing, and worrying, and overall just really wanted to see my baby.

It was about 12:15 when they finally came in to get us and were moving C back.  We got to the room first and when they wheeled her in she looked so fragile
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She was sleeping but opened her eyes long enough to open her mouth and show me they were gone, and then went right back to sleep.

We knew before hand we would have to spend about 4 hours there before she would be sent home, so I tried to do some reading, but I was absolutely exhausted

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Over all she did great, she was able to take a few drinks, had half a popsicle and a couple bites of ice cream. There were no complications and no bleeding and she slept a lot through the stay.  She did complain some of her stomach hurting but said she didn’t feel sick.  At around 4:10 she started to complain of a sore throat and they decided to give her fentanyl in her IV before sending her home, since I still had to get home and have my dad go get her prescriptions.  That also made her loopy she sat right up, grabbed the rest of her blue popsicle ate the whole thing and put the stick right up in the nurses face and said “Look a Stiiiiiiiiiiiiiick” About 20 minutes later they removed her Iv and she was able to get dressed back into her PJ’s.

At 5pm we were discharged, I went and wheeled the car around and my niece and the nurse brought her down in a wheel chair
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We made it about 5 minutes in the car before she said she felt sick and threw up everywhere, then immediately went to sleep, it scared the crap out of me and I had to have my niece check to make sure she was still breathing, thank goodness she was!

We made it home and she went right back to bed, and that started the road to recovery!

 

C’s tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy surgery part 1

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So as most of you know C had surgery on July 3rd.  It was the first time either of my babies have had surgery and while it was what they would call a simple surgery to remove her tonsils and adenoids, I was still pretty freaked out.  I think the worst part for me before the surgery was I knew it had been my decision(along with her doctors) to have the surgery done, and I am very afraid that nothing will change after the surgery and I will have put her through it for nothing.  Overall my desire to help my child won, and I decided to go ahead with the surgery.

We had to be at the hospital at 6:30am which meant we had to leave our house at 5:45am.  I should have slept more, I wish I had slept more, but nerves kept me awake well into the morning hours. My alarm went off at 5:10am and I wanted nothing more than to hit the snooze button  and forget the whole plan. Of course I couldn’t do that so out of bed I rolled. I made sure she had everything she wanted to bring with her, number 1 on her list was her scentsy piggy, that is her favorite friend.  C stayed in her pajama’s because she didn’t want to get dressed, and really who cares, she would shortly be changing into a gown.

C was pretty nervous about the surgery and the fact that she has seen me come home in immense pain after a couple of my surgeries did not help.  I tried to explain as best I could that it would not be as bad for her as those surgeries had been for me, since it is less invasive, but I also didn’t want to make it seem like she wouldn’t be in any pain.  It was a tough line to walk but I told her that she would have some pain for a few days, that her throat would be sore and she may have a little bit of ear pain, but that the doctors would give her medicine to help her feel better.  She was very concerned with where I would be while she was having surgery and if she would be asleep.  I covered all of that for her and I think her nerves calmed down.

We arrived at the hospital at 6:25am and got her settled in a room to wait.  Because the lab had forgotten one of the blood tests they were suppose to get, they had to redraw her blood at the hospital.  We were there about 15 minutes before they came in to do this, and she was not a happy camper when she found out.  He was great with her up until the point he missed her vein and kept trying to find it, which was breaking my heart because she was screaming.  Eventually he pulled the needle out and had to switch arms, this did not go over well with the munchkin, we basically had to hold her down.  He hit on the first try in that arm and when it was over she said “Oh that one didn’t hurt”

The nurses were absolutely amazing with her, she ended up laughing a lot and bringing home a ton of stickers and a coloring book.  They even came in and gave piggy her own hospital bracelet

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The rest of the time was a lot of talking to nurses.  About 5 minutes before being taken to the holding room they came in to give her the Versa(used to calm her down so she wouldn’t be upset when she had to leave me and so she wouldn’t remember right before surgery and associate it with something bad) which they said would make her loopy, Oh boy I wasn’t counting on how loopy it made her, her pupils were so dilated that you could barely see the color in her eyes, she was giggly and wobbly and then started playing peek a boo
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The good news is she definitely wasn’t upset.

At 9:50am I gave her one last kiss and hug and they brought her into the operating room

The Story of my Mommy and the nasty C word…cancer

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My mom was my best friend, for the better portion of my  life, there were times when she made me want to run away, when I thought I hated her, and when I just wanted her to leave me alone.  Funny how things work out because now I want to run away to her, know I love her more than words could say, and wish she would bother me just one more time.  My mom was a good mom, she had her faults just like we all do, but overall I always knew my mom loved me.  She taught me how to be strong, and she gave me the wisdom to face this world in case she one day wouldn’t be there to face it with me.  I can only hope that I do that for my children too.  My mom was diagnosed with Stage 3 non small cell lung cancer in 2005.  I was living in Maryland at the time and she was living in New York.  She came to visit and gave me the news.  I remember feeling lost, and at a loss for words, and I did what you should never do when someone gives you that news, I googled. Googling was bad, it was worse than bad.  Statistics showed that most people didn’t live longer than 2 years and only 5% of people made it past 5.  My heart was breaking. My mom and I had always been close, after the birth of my son she became my absolute best friend.  We shared everything and she was my rock, what would I do without her?  Throughout her battle with cancer she taught me more than I could have imagined.  She was so brave, so strong and so concerned with everyone else.  A month after I got the news my mom went in for surgery to hopefully remove the cancer and to find out if it had spread.  If the cancer had spread they would not be able to remove it and would just sew her back up.  My father, sister and I waited for what felt like an eternity for the doctor to come give us news, and we prayed that it would be good news, but it wasn’t.  The cancer had spread and they needed to do radiation and chemo.  My mom went through bouts of radiation and chemo for years, she ended up having brain tumors and had 2 separate surgeries to remove them, she had a heart attack and again had to have surgery, but she never gave up.  She would get treatments and go to work, she worked at a school and she loved her job.  She would comfort us, when we all knew it should be her that needed comforting.  The biggest heartache for her throughout chemo was losing her hair, she would cry about it and she felt ugly, and this made me hurt so bad.  I would have done anything to give it back to her, people think that this would be trivial, but it wasn’t, Cancer is a nasty disease it takes everything from you, and you will never understand until you go in public and people stare at you like you are a monster.  I would get so angry at people, I would want to scream at them, want them to know what they were doing and how it was affecting my mom, but she would never let me.  I wanted to shave my head with her but she said she would be angry if I did that, I would sometimes put a scarf around my head so you couldn’t tell I had hair when we went out, I just wanted her to know that I was there for her.  When her hair grew back between treatments I would take her to get it done real pretty, the smile on her face worth every single penny.  The last time that I had her hair done was in 2010 roughly 4 years  after she had been diagnosed , it had finally grown out enough and she was so happy.  I was so happy for her!  About 2 months later she had a doctors appointment just to check how things were going, I will absolutely never forget that day, I was sitting in my room at her house, I had been staying there while my husband was in Iraq.  She returned from her appointment and came in crying, I asked her what was wrong and she told me thank you for having her hair done for her, and that she had to have chemo and was going to lose her hair again.  I felt so helpless, I held her and I thought about how cruel this world was, how unfair it was.  She was a good person, she always helped others, she was kind, and caring, she had faith, and yet this was happening to her, Why?  I still do not understand, I don’t think I ever will.   She went through more treatments but amazingly didn’t lose her hair, it just thinned out some.  That summer I talked her into going on a vacation to Gloucester on the beach, I am so glad I did,  it is a memory I will hold onto forever.  That was in July 4 years and 3 months after she was diagnosed with cancer.  In August I had to go back to El paso because my husband was returning from Iraq.  I was in the parking lot getting ready to finally drive home with my husband for the first time in 9 months when my phone rang.  She had another brain tumor, coupled with the cancer and the chemo wasn’t working, they had decided there was nothing left that they could do, another surgery on her brain had high chances of killing her and if not causing her to be paralyzed or in a vegetative state for the rest of her life.  She didn’t consider that an option and although I wanted to beg her to fight I understood, she had been fighting for so long, it was time to let her rest.  In October of 2010 she flew to El paso to visit me, I had asked her if her doctor cleared it and she had told me yes, I had voiced my concerns over what flying could do to her health, she didn’t care, sometimes I think I should have fought harder for her not to come, but she wanted to see her grand babies, and her daughter, and who was I to stop her.  The day that I dropped her and my dad off at the airport, I think she knew she would never see me again.  I have an image that is burned into my soul of my mother in a pink hoodie, sitting in a wheelchair in an elevator, waving and crying as the doors closed, That was the last time I ever seen my mom.  After visiting me her health steadily declined.  I would call her everyday and I would talk to her and my dad, I would ask if I should come home, and I was always told not yet.  On Thanksgiving my mom was barely talking at all, and again I asked if I should come home, again I was told not yet.  On November 26 my father called me and said I should probably be home by next week, I immediately booked tickets for December 4th.  The next morning my sister called me and she told me that they didn’t think my mom would live through the night.  Once again my heart shattered, I had no idea what to do, but as my sister put the phone to my moms ear, knowing she couldn’t talk back, I did what she would have done for me, I told her it was okay to let go, and that I would miss her,  that we would be okay, and I would be there soon.  I got off the phone and I cried until I couldn’t cry anymore, I couldn’t stop the hurt, I just didn’t know how, and when I finally had no more tears to cry, I waited, I waited for the call that would tell me of my mom’s death, the call that would let me know for sure I would never see her again, and that evening the call came.  Everyone was with her except for me, I felt so alone and so far away, but I couldn’t cry, it was like the tears just weren’t there, I felt hollow.  I talked to my family everyday and I counted the days until I could be with them, they pushed her memorial service back until I could be there.  When I came home I was greeted by Christmas lights and decorations. My mom had always loved Christmas and in the beginning of the month she had fussed at my dad to get the decorations out so she could see them, he did but she was never well enough to go out, I truly believe she knew he wouldn’t do it if she had died first and she knew her time was running out.  I’m glad she had thought of that because it made me feel happy for just a few minutes.  It was so her to make sure that we would have them even though she was going through hell.  That night I finally cried again, I took a shower and just melted to the ground and sobbed, big sobs like I had never sobbed before, for hours, I wanted to go with her, I wanted her back and I was MAD.  I was Mad that she had left me, I was Mad that she had died so young, I was just Mad at everything.  The day of the memorial I had that numb feeling again, it was a concession line of I’m sorry’s and she was a great woman, I didn’t know what to say or how I should act, but I felt like I should keep it together, after all she kept it together for 5 years and 2 1/2 months, I owed it to her to do the same for 1 day.  The hardest day for me was the day we buried her, I have never been one to feel like we are at our gravestones, so I am not sure why it bothered me so bad but I felt like I was abandoning her there.  I have heard countless times from my dad over the last couple years that I was lucky I wasn’t here when she died and that I wouldn’t have been able to handle it, the funny thing is I know I would have been able to handle it, and what he doesn’t know is how it felt to not be here.  I still feel like she was always there for me and I wasn’t there when she needed me the most,  I never got to say goodbye, not in the way I wanted to, and that had always been my biggest fear, especially since we move around so much.  I wrote my mothers Eulogy and I read it at her memorial which was packed, everyone had came.  I did it without falling apart, I helped pick out her tombstone, and I took care of my dad for a month before I had to go back home, I didn’t lose it and I didn’t give up, I did it all for the woman that showed me what it meant to have strength.  This is the Eulogy I wrote for her:

Today we not only mourn the death of my mom, but we also celebrate her life.  She was an amazing woman, A wife, a Mother, a Mema, and a Friend.  She had her faults as everyone does, we all know she could tell quite the story and could be pretty blunt, but the good heavily out-weighed the bad.  She went through so much in her life, but was still somehow the positive one in our family, The glass half full in a a crowd of half empty ones.  She truly had a good heart.  Throughout her life their were many times when our home became the home of others as well.  She would help anyone any way she could.  Looking around at the faces here today it is difficult to find one that can say she did not have a positive impact on their life.  She saw the good in people because she chose to look for it.  She believed in forgiveness even when we couldn’t understand why.  Her strength and courage were monumental.  Some could say that a little over a week ago she lost her battle with cancer.  As for me I do not look at it that way.  She fought long and hard, she stayed positive never allowing the horrific disease to bring her down mentally no matter what it did to her physically.  She rallied past the statistics and expectations.  Not once did she give up and because of that we were blessed with her in our lives for 5 1/2 years longer than the cancer intended her to be.  For those years my family is eternally grateful.  On November 27 2010 she died on her terms in her home surrounded by the people she loved and her cancer died with her…It did not win!  I know that she is at peace now in a place where she is no longer in pain watching over us, Right after she passed my niece/her granddaughter shared some words on facebook.  When Jenni was little she named each of our family members after a winnie the pooh character In my mothers final months she worried about us and how we would all cope, These words were perfect and need to be shared again today

Tigger we know you are listening and we want you to know that all of us in the 100 acre woods will be okay, We love and miss you!

Today I can only hope that the life I live is one that makes her proud, I can only hope that she knew how much she was loved.  My Mom was very afraid that my daughter who was 2 at the time wouldn’t remember her, and I refused to let that happen, so I talk about her often and I share pictures, videos and stories, My daughter knows who her mema is and while my heart is heavy knowing she will not get the joy of having her in her life, I am so grateful that my mom fought hard enough and long enough to meet my little girl and my husband.  I could never thank her enough for that.  There is never a day that goes by that she doesn’t have a place in my thoughts.  When she left this world she took a piece of my heart with her and she will always have it.  It does not get easier, and it does not get better, but you do learn to live with it one day at a time.

I also want to take sometime to tell people to let go of the little things that bother you, hold your tongue and think before you speak in anger, or hurt.  Some things can never be taken back.  I have lived with guilt since the day she died for every mean thing I had said to my mother over the years, even though I know she knew I loved her.  You remember the good memories but you also remember the bad, especially if the bad was your fault.  One day the person may not be there to show them how much you love them, so do it now and do it well.

Mommy I love you to the moon and back!
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