Three weeks ago, Brody had surgery to have his tonsils and adenoids removed. We went to the ENT back in January when I was hugely pregnant, and he told us that Brody almost certainly had sleep apnea due to the size of his adenoids. He suggested removing them and his tonsils to improve Brody’s quality of sleep.
His attitude had been ABYSMAL for many a month, driving us absolutely insane. Every little disagreement or something not going his way turned into a full-blown meltdown, nuclear tantrum or screaming fit. Beyond the typical threenager attitude issues- we knew this was something out of the ordinary. We were to the end of our rope with him, when I talked to a friend (thanks, Jocelyn!), and she suggested it may be sleep apnea causing his attitude problems. Eureka, I think we stumbled upon something here! We’ve noticed for quite a while that Brody was not sleeping well. He snored like a full-grown man and woke up multiple times a night, even at four years-old. So we took him to the pediatrician, who referred us to an ENT, who then confirmed our suspicions.
Even though we knew it would help, we were dreading the surgery. Who wants to hand their child over to get put under and cut on?? Not me! So, we waited until after we were fairly settled after Ford’s birth, then we bit the bullet and made the appointment. Brody didn’t know a whole lot, aside from the fact he was going to a “special doctor appointment” and would breath into a mask that sounds like Darth Vader, take a nap, wake up and eat lots of ice cream. “That sounds like so much fun!,” Brody told me. Yeah. Sorry, buddy, but I don’t think so!! He did awesome on the morning of the surgery without a single tear. It wasn’t until he got wheeled down the hall without us that he turned around and cried out for us, “Mommy, Daddy!!” And then the tears came… but not from him! Man, that’s heart-wrenching to hand your baby over!
After about 30 minutes, the surgeon called us back, He said Brody’s surgery went very well, and that he had some “big ole’ adenoids.” He said that we’d see a huge difference in his sleep within the next week. Then the fun began. Brody didn’t exactly react well to the anesthesia and was in absolute hysterics coming out of it. They warned us he’d likely be inconsolable, but he even exceeded their expectations! He was livid. “PUT ME DOWN RIGHT NOW!!!” He wanted nothing more than to rub his eyes (which he wasn’t allowed to do) and run away (also, not exactly allowed). He screamed. And screamed. And screamed. <— Ouch considering the procedure he just had done. So, they ended up having to give him some morphine. Still, didn’t calm down a whole lot, but enough to drink a bit of water and get discharged with a promise from the nurses that he’d surely pass out the second we got into the car. On the way out, Brody was pretty insistent on us taking his Darth Vader mask (oxygen mask), AND that he needed a black Darth Vader mask, too. So his sweet grandpa (Poopa, as Brody calls him… they’re BFFs) went out and bought him one and delivered it to our house. Brody talked to me about Darth Vader the whole way home, even though he was still pretty mad at the world.
We got home, Brody put his new mask on, demanded Goldfish and started playing with his light saber. Um, morphine? Do your work, please. Or not. Brody didn’t sleep until he went to bed that night. We were shocked!
The first two days, he did amazingly well. I had to call the surgeon’s office and make sure he could go ahead and start on the soft food diet because that kid was over mushy food in about five seconds. He had one scoop of ice cream and one chocolate pudding before he decided he needed chicken and some real food. They said he could have it if he was tolerating it with no pain. All was good.
Until day 3 when the vomiting started. Six times this poor child threw up. Can you imagine vomiting when your throat has open wounds on it?? I felt so badly for him!! He couldn’t keep pain meds down at all. He could barely sip water, and keeping your throat moist is a big part of the healing process and pain management. I called the doctor’s office and based on Brody’s symptoms, how far out from surgery he was, etc. the doctor diagnosed Brody with an ill-timed stomach virus, on top of everything else. That’s when life pretty much started to suck for the next week.
Brody was in agony the next day. After almost a full day of no pain meds, a raw throat from throwing up and general starvation from not eating, he was pretty ticked off at everyone he came across. That was, hands-down, the worst day of parenting in our six-year career. We were having to tag-team dealing with him because he’d wear you down in a hurry. He’d scream in our faces with his dead-dog-baking-in-the-heat breath (side effect of tonsil removal… the struggle is real), and we’d want to throw up from the stink and scream back in frustration, but luckily, we made it past that wretched day. We had many a discussion about why he couldn’t have “Donald’s” french fries or chips in the days to come. He had to settle for soggy microwave fries, which he just loved. Can’t you tell?
It was slow going after that, but thankfully, after about ten days, he started to really feel better.
He’s back to regular food and normal life now, and we’re trying to fatten him up again since all of his pants are falling off from losing so much weight while he recovered. He is sleeping so much better, now. No snoring, if he wakes up, he goes right back to sleep, and I can tell he’s so much more rested now. His attitude is better, but we still have plenty of “fun” moments. I think it’s going to take a while to correct some of the in-the-trenches parenting we were doing with him (for example, after listening to screaming for five hours, sometimes you give in just to make it stop), but it’s much easier to talk to him now than previously. We’re hoping for good things to come! Thanks for all of you that prayed for him and sent encouraging messages on social media, it meant a lot to us. We’re looking forward to having our sweet, well-rested Brody back!