Friday, September 28, 2012

one year later

Exactly one year ago, Daniel had a surgical procedure to have his adenoids removed and get tubes in his ears. It's a fairly common treatment for kids like him who have had frequent and/or chronic ear infections. I bet a lot of you readers (are there a lot of you?) had this done when you were young, or have a child who had this done, or know someone with a child who had this done.

It's a pretty simple thing, and the risk of anything going wrong was really, really low. And while Daniel's surgery was successful and routine, it was still an awful day, to be totally honest. Some people just don't cope with anesthesia very well and, evidently, Daniel is one of them. (To be clear, he's not allergic or anything; he just got really, really sick.)

Once that ugly day was over and done with, though, it was amazing what a difference those tubes made. Once he was brushing his teeth and told me he could hear the water running in the sink. He didn't remember what that sounded like. And another time he woke me up in the middle of a stormy, rainy night because he didn't know what the noise was on the roof. I wonder what else he missed that year of the ear infections before he got tubes? Since then, he's had a couple of ear infections, but they weren't such a big deal as before, and could be treated with antibiotic ear drops.

Today, one year later, it was Anya's turn. The poor girl has had about 8 ear infections in the last year. Because they were frequent but not chronic (they cleared up in between and her hearing test was normal), she did not have the adenoidectomy, just the ear tubes. For that reason, and also because I've been through this once before, I was not nearly as anxious this time around.

And you know what? This time things really did go a lot more smoothly, and it was all because the procedure is so short. (Also, having your adenoids removed is rather painful, whereas ear tubes are not.) The pediatric ENTs at the children's hospital really know their stuff, I gotta tell ya. It took the doctor ten minutes to put the tubes in. They wheeled her back to the OR, and only twenty minutes later, the nurse came and got us because she had woken up. She had a sip of water, mumbled something only vaguely coherent about watching lots of TV, threw up the water, and then after an hour or so, she was wide awake and ready to go home. This afternoon you wouldn't even know she'd just had surgery earlier in the day. We made a chocolate cake, she read some books with Stuart, and then we walked over to Daniel's friend's house to pick him up from a play date.


(Sweet, blurry girl posing with a not-quite-finished mitten I'm making for her.)

So, here we are. My kids have tubes in their ears and I hope that we are forever and ever done with monthly earaches and ten days of vile medicine. Once or twice a year is plenty.

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