Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Post-Operative Suzanna

This blog has been all about Suzanna recently, hasn't it? Well, it's going to be again because today she underwent a tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy (remember the initial announcement?). (And remember when Abigail underwent the same procedure a few years back?)

Suzanna has been requesting a tonsillectomy for a long, long time; you may recall that it was her only request for Christmas! She has been sick of (pardon the pun) the constant bouts of tonsillitis and eager to be rid of the tonsils. Each night that we tucked her in this past week, she has been counting down the number of days until her tonsils would be gone. Last night we went out for supper (at JD's Barbecue) for Suzanna's last meal with her tonsils. This morning when she got up, she said, "Say goodbye to my tonsils! This is the last time that you're going to see them!"

The surgery was in Bismarck, and Susan and Suzanna had to leave by 5:00 A.M. I had planned to go with them, but yesterday on the telephone, the admit nurse said to "pack a bag" because the doctor often asks to keep patients overnight . . . after a same-day surgery! Go figure. Well, I teach tomorrow, so I couldn't be gone overnight and instead stayed behind to work and to shuttle Abigail and Hillary to/fro school today and church this evening (Abigail's choir sang for the service). Meanwhile, here's how things went for Susan and Suzanna, according the patient herself:

We got there at 6:30 A.M., and some guy parked our car for us. [Medcenter One in Bismarck has free valet parking for patients.] We went to the front desk, and Mom filled out some paperwork. We went up to the Child and Adolescent Same-Day Surgery Center. I went to my room and got changed into my hospital jammies. I watched a little TV, and I got to play in the play area. Mom read some of Runaway Ralph to me, and then we watched a little more TV.

Then we went downstairs to the pre-op room. I got my IV. I met with the anesthesiologist, and then I went into my surgery room. I got put to sleep by the medicine through my IV. Then they did the surgery, and a half-hour later I was in the recovery room talking to the nurses. Mom came in, and we sat there for about ten minutes. Then I got to sit in a wheelchair and go up to my new room.

When I went into my new room, I got a glass of water and some Jell-O. Then I got a photo with Meddy Bear, the Medcenter One bear. Then I watched some TV, drank some Powerade, had a popsicle, watched Shrek III, and ate chicken noodle soup. After that I had macaroni and cheese, and we read some more Runaway Ralph, and I watched some more TV. We tried calling Daddy.

Then the nurse came in, gave us some information, and told us we could go home. I got dressed, went to the bathroom, and got into a wheelchair. They rolled me out front, Mom got my prescription, our car was brought up, and we went to Good Times where I got a chocolate frozen custard sundae. Then we went home, and I slept all the way home.

I left this morning excited but came home totally tired out. It's hard to talk, and it's hard to eat. But from now on instead of having all these really bad pains every month, this is just one big pain that I'm never going to have again.

She's doing surprisingly well this evening. When Abigail, Hillary, and I returned home from church, we were happy to see that Susan and Suzanna were home (the doctor didn't have her stay overnight because of her quick recovery/peppy demeanor following surgery), but we figured that we should tiptoe into the house and look for Suzanna to be huddled pathetically on the couch or something. Nope, she was up and greeted us and told us all about her day!

She stands with her shoulders touching her ears, though, and bobs her head when she swallows; so she's adjusting for the pain in her throat. She also speaks with a higher, softer voice and avoids any pronunciation that requires her to push the back of her tongue against the roof of her mouth. The result is that, when she speaks, it sounds as though the doctor removed her tonsils and implanted an upperclass New England prep school accent!

Our Easter plans depend in part on how she's feeling this weekend. Susan took tomorrow off from work to be home with Suzanna, and everybody has Friday off from school; so we're hoping that, over the long weekend, Suzanna will rest and recover. It's a good thing that hard-boiled Easter eggs are soft enough to chew and swallow easily!


  1. I remember getting my tonsils out. I was only in second grade. It was during the Halloween season so my classmates all made a "get-well booklet" out of black/orange construction paper. Each person drew a different page. My teacher brought it to me in the hospital one night. I also remember eating ice cream late at night. It was great! ;)
    Suzanna must have been quite the trooper-like her Aunt Sandy was years ago!!!(we're so alike!)

  2. My recovery is going smoothly and I am feeling much more like the old Suzanna.