My 2-year-old boy needs surgery and I’m nervous
I debated over this adjective.
At first I wrote I was terrified, but that was too much. That word sounded like clickbait because I'm not extremely afraid, but I am afraid. So I settled on nervous.
Here's what's up.
Our son Cooper is less than 2 and a half years old and has what seems like a horrific gag reflex which led to eating issues. When he was a baby he was diagnosed with severe acid reflux and had to go on medication. I swear he spend his first 8 months screaming in pain half his life. We barely ever slept.
He seemed to outgrow it, but when it was time for solid foods he always resisted. So much so that he was sent for more tests, given feeding therapies, had liquid supplements added, etc. So he's been to a feeding therapist, an occupational therapist, a pediatric gastroenterologist, and has had an ultrasound of his intestines and an upper GI. Still all this time later he never seemed to get beyond his gag reflex and some weeks would throw up trying to eat every single day.
Finally my wife had a light bulb go off one day while watching him eat. She started noticing on this particular day he seemed to be having a breathing issue while trying to swallow. It was very slight, but she really studied it. She texted me pointing out the one thing we never had looked at was his adenoids. His brother Atticus had enlarged adenoids and had to have surgery last December to have them removed. She wondered...what if this whole time it's his breathing that is causing the gag reflex and not the physical or psychological vestiges of the severe acid reflux? She made an appointment for him to see the same ENT that did the surgery on Atticus.
Wouldn't you know it. Not only do his adenoids have to come out his tonsils do too. The doctor took one look at them and was shocked. He said he had rarely seen tonsils so enlarged. The part that has me nervous? It's not just that he needs surgery, it's his age. The doctor said he never likes to perform this procedure on any child under 3 years old for safety's sake. But that his tonsils are in such bad shape, so huge, that they're close to cutting off his airway entirely. Indeed, one night shortly before his appointment my wife had to grab Cooper out of his crib because he was choking and turning blue. Later that same day, after choking while trying to eat, same thing. And again turning blue.
So this has us scared. I won't say scared to death. I won't say terrified. But I'm worried. The doctor basically feels it's so bad that it's more dangerous to let it go and that he needs surgery as soon as possible, but isn't fond of doing it at this age. Also, normally he would perform this in an outpatient surgical center as he did with Atticus, but this time he wants to do it right in a hospital to have all options available in case something goes wrong.
Now intellectually I know that's just being prudent. I know he's a very good doctor, and one who cares. I also know we don't have a choice; his tonsils are cutting off his airway and he needs this surgery. But man, if you've ever watched a two year old go under anesthesia and then have to walk out of that room, you know what I'm feeling. I'm just nervous.
I've been through this with my daughter's eye surgery when she was 1 year and 11 months. I've been through it with Cooper when he had to have a circumcision correction at less than a year old. I was through it in December with Atticus when he was 3 years and 3 months. So I get it. You're always nervous. This one just more so for some reason.
I think it has a lot to do with it just having been a terrible year all around. My wife lost her dad, the boys their pop-pop. My oldest son may have scoliosis as well as celiac disease and is seeing specialists for that. We continue to go through the therapies Atticus needs for his autism. Other things too. You start to get in a negative mindset. What else can go wrong kind of thing.
To end this on a bright note, intellectually I'm sure he'll be fine. And he'll be so much better for it. The feeding issues should improve. His overall health should improve. He'll be an even happier little boy. So really this is all good news that they finally figured this out. The surgery happens this coming Tuesday. It's scheduled for 7 am. My breathing is scheduled to resume by noon that day.
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