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Monday, October 19, 2009

It's a wonder she doesn't sound like Marge Simpson

A friend’s grandson had his tonsils and adenoids removed a last week and Grandma was very worried about the little guy going under the knife. Of course she was.

Me, being the tonsillectomy veteran that I am, told her ‘Bah! Don’t worry!’ Which she still did but she later reported that everything went ‘just fine - just like you said it would’.

As if I am an expert. I talk a good game because fifteen years is a lot of time to sort of smooth over my memory of Alpha’s surgery. I mean it really did go well but probably could have been better – if she had had a different mother.

Alpha had tonsils the size of Tootsie Pops almost from the time she was born – inherited from her father’s side, as most of the troublesome traits tend to be. By the time she was 5 they were so big that that little thingy that hangs at the back of your throat? Yeah, uvula or whatever. It had creases in the front and (I assume) back from being squished between the Tootsie tonsils. She also had nasty ear infections and snored like her grandmother (dad’s side again). Once she began dabbling in sleep apnea, her pediatrician called time out – as in TIME to take the tonsils OUT!

Aack! Cut up my baby? No, not my gentle little happy giant.

I’ll skip over all my neurotic second guessing and second opinioning and second third drinking and get to the actual surgery, which I did have the good sense to set up at the finest children’s hospital around (Okay, that’s where my health insurance sent me but I really would have picked it myself!) and a tonsillectomy was scheduled for June in hopes of working around ear infection season despite my definitely dragging heels.

I mean, it feels so wrong - handing over a strapping, healthy child to be surgically modified. By a knife! I know, I know, this probably edging into the great circumcision debate but really, you can live without a penis. I’m talking about my daughter’s throat! A necessary conduit for life! Besides, I have no opinion in the foreskin discussion. That is my reward for carefully harvesting only my husband’s X chromosomes.

Anyway, we showed up at the hospital at 8am and took Alpha through all the pre-surgical rigmarole, which included cute jammies and slippers and pink pony band-aids over the needle sticks that those tricky pediatric nurses seemed to pull off without even being noticed.

At 10 am sharp she walked bravely down the hall holding hands with the anesthesiologist. Gelp!

To avoid the uncool appearance of nervous, pacing parentness, Homer and I wandered down to grab a pop in the cafeteria and were still arguing about who was going to pay the tab when my cell phone rang - the doctor was looking for us. After only 20 minutes??? Oh no, they had lost her! And I didn’t mean misplaced. I had visions of her little throat bleeding uncontrollably after the evil doctor carelessly plucked out her tonsils - probably using some old rusty nail clipper and ragged tongue depressor.

We rushed back and met the surgeon who recapped the surgery as a smooth and simple tonsil- and adenoidectomy. He hadn’t known how dreadful her adenoids were until he got a peek behind the tonsils. Wow, two ectomies for the price of one co-pay. Christmas in June!

And now Alpha was ours to tend in recovery. As promised the recovery room had a Disney movie playing and offered popsicles and drinks. It was a dim, quiet room and quite peaceful in spite of the six or so other ectomy patients with loving parents hovering near.

Poor Alpha! So brave, but Mommy's here for you.

I leaned in toward Alpha and asked her what she would like. A drink? A popsicle? Her lips moved but I couldn’t hear what she was saying (keep in mind this was back when my hearing was 20/20). So I leaned in closer and asked again. She squeaked out a little something through her freshly butchered throat but, darn it, I just couldn’t make it out. So I asked once more.

And she yelled ‘Please MOVE!

I was blocking the movie.

And I made her yell.

All the parents turned and shot me those looks that said ‘What a rotten mother! To make your child yell in her condition!’ Or so I imagined. I felt this big so I sat down and shut up and faster than you could say happily ever after, the movie was over and we were on our way home. Not one tear had been shed. In spite of me.

After two hours Alpha had had enough of bed rest and asked to jump on the trampoline. Even I could see that might be a poor choice so I spent the next two days holding her down and demanding that she act sick. I was warned that the third post-surgical day could be the worst. And it was. By then it was like trying to hang on to a dozen stringless balloons in a hurricane. Therefore, on the 4th day I caved and let her go back to summer camp. She never looked back and I have chosen to file the experience in my head under the ‘delusions of good parenting’ category, thankyouverymuch.


OHN said...

Two ectomies for the price of one copay....SCORE!

Oh...and it is a well known fact, and I am sure it is written somewhere, that all large ears, ginormous heads, or anything disproportionate in size, comes from the fathers side.

A Mom on Spin said...

As predicted, I'm with you on the Homer-passing-on-the-bad-genes thing AND the no-comment-on-the-penis-losing thing. . .

Sherrie said...

Wow, so much like my son's story, which I won't type out here :P, but I am in agreeance with the menthings passing down all the yucky genes! Have missed peeking in on you, but glad to see you're just as great of an entertainer as you ever were!


Debbie said...

I have that same category I file things under! I don't know about yours but mine is completely full:)

Jeanne said...

A dozen stringless balloons in a hurricaine -- hah!

My daughter went under the knife when she was 2 and 1/2, and was back to normal later that day. Fortunately or unfortunately, as a teenage mother I was too stupid to try to hold her down when she seemed to be feeling okay.

She survived, though, so I get to count it as a success.

The Lady in Pearls said...

Ok, let's see if blogger likes me today. It wouldn't let me comment yesterday......

My sisters both had double "ectomies" - even though I was the one that always had strep throat. I had a feeling my mother loved them just a little bit more. Why else would she save the "good" popsicles - green and orange - for them and give me the purple? I mean I know their throats were all sore from having surgery.....but still....

PS I just caught Kat's comment about my "purchased" mum. The nerve of that woman. She knows I'm not allowed to touch a hot glue gun after the last incident I had. And still, she just flaunts that big ole homemade creation on her blog! I bet she scrapbooks when no one is looking!

Domestic Goddess said...

Thank GOD none of the heathens have required surgery. Yet. Tazzie has had tonsillitis at least once so far. He gets this weird fever that pops up outta nowhere gig...and by the time you get him to the Drs he's pinging off the walls and you're wrestling with him to try and get him to stay still while swearing to the Dr that at 2am he was dying...I think my Dr thinks I have Munchhausen's by proxy. *sigh*

Anyhow, the ONE time we got in to the Dr with the fever still in effect (well..*I* had the appt, it just so happened he popped a fever on our way out the door. Literally) it was tonsillitis.

So I don't trust that kid. He's going to break my not-having-a-kid-go-through-surgery streak.

And a small whine cause I still don't show up on your side bar. How can I keep blogging? Why? *wah*

thesleepdeprivedmomma said...

Much better than my tonsillectomy story, but I was fifteen and they did laser surgery on my vocal cords too, so . . .

I'll have to blog about it sometime.
When I have time.
I feel like the white rabbit lately.
Now where was that watch . . .