Sunday, March 13, 2016

A Little Girl's Journey to Surgery: Tonsillectomy

Hello Everyone! 

We are on DAY 3: Post Surgery and every day it is proving to be a better day.  She did experienced a 100.1 fever last night but low grade fever is to be expected for a few days after surgery.  It took us approximately nine months to get where we are.  

When Ms. Bree became ill for the very first time, we were the under the impression it was a cold or maybe that she had spent too much time outside in the sun.  She was enjoying Summer Camp to the fullest, going to the pool, doing all kind of activities the Summer Camp offers.  The fever went away within two days. 

The second time she fell ill to the fevers, we became concern as the fever were only getting higher and higher. Unfortunately, her Dr. was off and we had to see the only doctor available for a sick child's appointment.  Since her "strep" test came back negative, we were sent home without antibiotics or any other type of medication. The only instructions given to us were to "let her ride it out" and "to just make her as comfortable as possible".  

August 5th, 2015

While most of the children were getting ready for their first day of school.  We spent the next few days trying to keep her fevers low and keep her body from dehydrating.  Ms. Bree missed her first two days of school.

Ms Bree never experienced any congestion, sore throat, or ear ache.  Which are the common symptoms of a cold and/or flu.  However, she would complain of a tummy ache.    

August 10th, 2015

Ms. Bree's fevers would last approximately three to four days and they would range from 101.1 to 104.3.  The fevers would go away just as quickly as they would arrive.  Ms. Bree started school Monday August 10th, 2016.

October 9th, 2015

The next time when the fevers returned, Ms. Bree was doing her best to perform in the Church's Choir. She was okay while she was backstage.  As soon as it was time for the children to take the stage, Ms. Bree was brought to me to the sanctuary by her Choir teacher because her temperature was extremely high. 

We hardly made it out the sanctuary before she vomited in the near by trash can.  Thank you to Pastor Waltz who helped me then! 

November 8th, 2015 

Her fever returned again right before Thanksgiving.  This time her throat was a bit red and her pediatrician prescribed her antibiotics.  At this point we were informed that if she remained healthy during her Christmas vacation, that would mean there was something or someone in school making her sick.  But that if her fevers returned in December (as this was a monthly occurrence), we would have to look into seeing Dr. Oliver again for a possible Tonsillectomy. 

"Dr. Oliver again" you may ask? Well, When our little button nose girl was shy of turning two years old, she became ill with the flu, which later became "pneumonia".  While our son responded well to the antibiotics and nebulizer treatments, Ms. Bree's condition deteriorated.  

She was hospitalized for almost a week.  The surgery to implant the ear tubes and her adenoidectomy was scheduled soon thereafter.

January 7th, 2016

On January 7th, 2016, her fevers came back like a clock work.  At this point I thought to myself, "my boss is really going to think I'm just making this up in order to have long weekends".  But thank the Lord he never complained of my absence and understood that I had no control over this situation. 

On January 7th, we were referred back to Dr. Oliver in order to schedule her Tonsillectomy right away.  

My husband met with Dr. Oliver on January 26th, 2016 at which time the surgery was scheduled March 10th, 2016.

Thankfully, her fevers allowed her to be well during her birthday.

February 6, 2016

While she had an amazing time during her birthday celebration with all her close friends, little did we know that her fevers were getting ready to strike again. 

Since her birthday was on a Monday, I had planned to bring cupcakes to her class, but those plans were easily shattered when her temperature was above 101.

February 8th, 2016

Yet again, Ms. Bree was missing school and my stress level was also increasing by the second.  As my husband was getting ready to have major back surgery, I felt helpless and hopeless.  My lovely neighbor helped during these three days with Ms. Bree while I took my husband to the hospital for surgery.  

Seeing me overwhelmed, my husband pushed himself to do things in order to help me.  After all, we still had our son to worry about.  Little Billy was still attending school, he still had homework to do and things to study.  

After a few chaotic days, she went back to normal, like she always did.  Fevers went away by Thursday and was able to return to school that Friday.  

Everything seems fine and as the time for her surgery was getting closer and closer.  I made plans for our kids to have a "playdate" the weekend before her surgery.  I knew for a fact that after the surgery she wouldn't be able to socialize and play a lot.  

We spent our Sunday playing ball and jumping on the trampoline.  Again, little did we know that her fevers were getting ready to strike her little body, and this time, they were looking for retribution!

Sunday, March 6th, 2016

After playing ball, jumping on the trampoline, we came home to have a nice group dinner.  She had a good meal.  All of the sudden, she became cold and tired.  When I took her temperature it was 102.3, by the next morning it was 103.4. 

With her fevers present so close to her surgery date I had no other choice but to contact Dr Oliver right away.  Because we knew that most likely her fevers would last from three to four days. We expected for the surgery to be cancelled. 

Fortunately, Ms. Bree's breathing passages never became blocked, we were able to get antibiotics to help bring the fever down.  Thankfully the fevers began to lower down within 24 hours and by Tuesday noon, she was fever free!! 

Performed by Dr. OLIVER
Candler Hospital, Savannah, GA

We arrived at Candler Hospital- Day Surgery at 6:00 a.m. and this lovely lady greeted us with open arms.

I was secretly hoping she was there since she was also there during Ms. Bree's first surgery almost five years ago.  She gave Ms. Bree a little tiny blue bag with a small teddy bear and some really fashionable sunglasses and lots of stickers. 

All the nurses were pleasant, kind and understanding.  Ms. Bree did lose some weight, she is now 42.2 pounds.  

An hour after our arrival and two brief meetings with the anesthesiologist and Dr. Oliver, Ms. Bree was all ready to go into the OR.  Nurse Naomi D. Sitton and Nurse Katelyn Hilliard took good care of her once she crossed that much hated "red line".  I'm sure some of you know what red line I'm talking about. Yep, that red line that tells us "authorized personnel only".  

As we reached the red line,  my husband looked at the doctor and said, "you know I can scrub up and help.  I didn't go to Medical school but I did stay at Holiday Inn last night.         

Yes, he did... well, no he didn't stayed at the Holiday Inn, but he did offer... hahaaaa

Exactly one hour later, Dr. Oliver came to the "waiting area" to inform us that everything had gone well.  Her tonsil in fact were in a state of mush, it was clear that the tonsil were no longer in good condition and had stopped doing their job a long time ago and were the host of the constant infection.

Here is a little information about Tonsils: 
The tonsils are a pair of lymph organs that sit in the back of the mouth. While these structures do play a minor role in the immune system, their removal does not impact a patient’s ability to heal or fight infection. The tonsils typically grow throughout early childhood reaching their peak size at around ages 9 to 11. After this they tend to involutes somewhat, although the occasional teenager or adult will still have enlarged tonsils.
The most common reason that tonsillectomy is performed in the United States is for sleep apnea. This is when tonsils get large enough that they cause blockage of the upper airway and cause snoring and disruptions in breathing or actually cause someone to stop breathing occasionally. In time, sleep apnea can in time lead to cardiopulmonary problems, neurologic disorders and failure to thrive (or problems growing). Apnea more immediately can cause behavior problems at school and make the child appear either hyperactive or chronically fatigued and can also be the cause for continued or reappearance of bed wetting.
Other reasons to have your tonsils removed include recurrent tonsillar abscesses, tonsillitis leading to febrile seizures, multiple recurrent infections, persistent and frequent bad breath from chronic tonsillitis, chronic tonsil stones or debris or a suspected tonsillar tumor.

Ms. Bree's symptoms included her high fevers, tonsils were constantly enlarged, snoring regardless as to her sleeping position.

Once Dr. Oliver walked me to the "First Recovering Area", the site that greeted me will forever be burned in my brain.  Bree seemed disoriented while she cried loudly.  Unfortunately, her loud cries after surgery only made her have coughing spells which only intensified her pain.  

At the order of the Dr. and nurse, I jumped in bed with her to try to calm her down but to no avail.  She was inconsolable, even her favorite lullaby wouldn't calm her.  I tried sitting up and rocking her while singing, I tried for her to focus on me, on my voice but nothing seemed to work.  

Ms. Bree kept begging me to take her home, she was able to grab and throw at me the ice pack which was placed on her throat for soothing purposes, the ice pack open and spilled hundreds of tiny pieces of crushed ice into my shirt down to my lady bits.  

After trying all the "relaxing" exercises that we have done a million times, she remained comfortless.  Once I was able to place the orange popsicle in her mouth, she was able to calm down long enough to take her pain medication.  After a few short minutes, Ms. Bree fell asleep. 

We were then sent upstairs to the Children's Ward for recovery and were told we had to stay there for at least four hours to make sure there was no more bleeding after the episode in the recovery room.  Her vitals were checked every fifteen minutes.

During our first two hours in the children's ward, our princess slept, my only concern was... she continued to snore! I tried moving her to different sleeping positions until I finally got her to stop snoring.  YES.. when I closed my eyes, I heard snoring again... this time it was a big bear snoring.... hahahaaa. 

Daddy was even more exhausted that I was but nothing stopped him from been there for his little princess.  After working a full day shift followed by a night shift, Daddy was there for her.  The image of devotion is right there ladies and gentlemen! 

Sweet Pea kept my sweet pea company through the entire time.  She even went into the OR with her! 

We finally made it home that evening and we were glad to see our baby home.  The first 24 hours were rough, she slept for 90 minutes at a time and would constantly refuse to take her narcotics for the pain.  We were given special "numbing" lollipops, pain medication as well as dissolvable pills for the nausea.  Thankfully she never experienced nausea, just the old plain pain... 

Today, she is only taking the pain medication as needed, instead of the prescribed 5mls, she is only getting 2.5mls.  She seems more inclined to eat and drink more.  Ms. Bree is also a bit more playful although she is still afraid to use her voice.  She has opted for writing notes. 

We pray that this is the end of this journey!!