Lily had her tonsils taken out this week. It’s been a long time coming now; a year since we noticed Lily’s increased difficulty in breathing at night and a couple months later we got a referral to see a travelling Ears, Nose and Throat (ENT) doctor when he’d next be in town. It was another four months before the travelling ENT came to town and agreed that her tonsils should come out. Unfortunately he wouldn’t be able to take them out until the fall, more than six months from that appointment!
In the summer we got a call from the travelling ENT’s nurse suggesting we look for another ENT because it was likely the tonsillectomy wouldn’t happen here with lack of surgical time and more pressing surgeries needing to be done. We then went through the stressful process of seeking financial aid to see an ENT in Vancouver, 1500 km away. I wrote briefly about our trip here but the gist of it was that that doctor was more keen on Lily using a steroid nasal spray over taking her tonsils out. Needless to say, I did not agree with steroid use.
It was very fortunate that Cam had been diligent in keeping in touch with the travelling ENT’s nurse because we got a call out of the blue to let us a know an ENT in the next city has come back from being out of the country. We were able to get an appointment two days later and he agreed that Lily’s almost kissing tonsils should come out asap and would do it before he left the country again in December. Two weeks later, we were booked into surgery.
We did a number of things to prepare for the surgery, like making throat lozenges and throat syrup (recipes coming!). We bought emergen-c, spry chewing gum, real fruit popsicles and some organic chicken broth. The surgery was quick and easy but none of our preparations were helpful when Lily woke up. She’s had a very difficult time recovering. She was quite ill upon waking, vomiting many times, which seemed to scare her off of eating and drinking even more!
I was so disappointed at how much less care was given at the hospital than I would have expected. The staff, apart from one seriously cold hearted nurse, were kind enough but everyone was in such a rush to get us out. They didn’t offer food or drink to Lily; we helped ourselves to water. Heck, they didn’t even come to the bed when I was yelling for help needing something for Lily to throw up in. Not even a glance at her as they passed me a cardboard dish when I ran out for help. They didn’t seem concerned in the least that Lily was leaving throwing up, lethargic and hardly drinking fluids as they told us it’s time for her to go. They only checked on her routinely for blood pressure and left us quickly afterwards. There were two other patients in the six patient room receiving similar “care”. It was a surprise to say the least and certainly different from the care I received after my tonsillectomy 15 years ago.
I was grateful to get back to the hotel room where we had to stay for at least 24 hours. While Lily was still vomiting and refusing more than a sip or two of water here and there, we had a comfortable place for all of us to be.
We left Terrace the next day as soon as we were able. It wasn’t until we were home that Lily was able to keep anything down. Lily’s doing a lot better despite losing quite a bit of weight and refusing Tylenol. She also hasn’t spoken a word since the surgery. That’s now four days of silence and trying to interpret the occasional sign language. Her long held interest in looking up signs online has paid off, although I guess I should have been paying a bit better attention myself. She’s cheered by the pretty flowers picked out by Leif and thrilled about the incredibly thoughtful and smile provoking bouquet sent by Erin, Scott, Matthew and Brendan.