This winter was particularly brutal on Molly.
There were a number of ear infections which had caused a perforated ear drum. This meant the pressure had built up in her ear and in order to drain the fluid her ear drum popped, created a hole in the ear canal and the most dreadful, yellow, mucus (often called glue) would drain from her ear. The actual perforation was not painful and no doubt caused her significant release but she would have been in pain beforehand. However, the ear never really drained of fluid from the previous infection so she was prone to another one happening fairly soon.
This year we started to get an idea it was happening when she just couldn’t hear us. When she kept saying “huh” or “what” we would realise that her ears were playing up.
Then with the build up of fluid in her ear, it would then cause additional fluid through her nose which then caused a cold or a chest infection. We pretty much spent the entire winter batting with one thing or another and the worst thing was we were so used to it, that we became immune to her sniffling or coughing and then people would comment and were like WE KNOW. Don’t you love people who are captain obvious, yes we know our daughter has a cough, we are aware of it but it has become our common thing.
After the third one in as many weeks, another bout of antibiotics and ear drops the doctor referred us to an Ear, Throat and Nose specialist. Firstly we had to get a hearing test done to establish whether she had any hearing loss. I thought that she probably had but was surprised it was in both ears (it was usually her right ear that caused the problems) and it was mild to medium. That really worried me as I immediately thought she would go deaf.
Then we had the meeting with the doctor. As it turns out the week before we met him she had croup so she was still battling a ridiculous cough. I expected him to recommend grommets. What I didn’t expect was how quickly he could diagnose her just by looking at her.
- does she ever breathe through her nose? I wasn’t sure and then realised that no, she never did
- does she snore at night? Not necessarily but she does heavy breathe
- does she drool? OMG yes
- does she have a blocked stuffy nose? all.the.time
- has she had many ear infections? yep.
He not only suggested grommets, but he also suggested removing her adenoids as he felt that was the main issue. That she had enlarged adenoids. We should have clicked as chippie had his removed at exactly the same age. We decided to proceed with the surgery and that happened on Wednesday.
I need to stress at this point, my daughter will not be winning any awards for patient of the year. In fact she was a total terror and the whole ordeal was pretty traumatic. I am waiting at some point for my lovely normal daughter to return. I have been told it could be around 3.5 so for the next few months we are sitting pretty.
She also had a chest infection. However as I stated above, it was just our normal life at the moment so we didn’t think too much of it but it was pretty bad to the point they had to swap her breathing tube over when she was under anesthetic.
We arrived at 6.30am to admissions and given Molly’s age we were the first to go through.
She lost the plot when they went to put her name tag on her ankle. Resulting in a total melt down, she ran off into the waiting area, laid down on the floor screaming “it’s yucky, it’s yucky, it hurts” she actually thought she couldn’t walk with the tag on her ankle. After 15 minutes of soothing, negotiating and one episode of the little princess we were able to put it on and go through to the next stage. Meanwhile if you weren’t awake for your surgery YOU WERE NOW.
She refused to let them put the clicker on her finger to take her temp / oxygen levels. Flat out refused. Dealt with the magic wand temperature gauge.
Did not crack a single smile for one medical professional. They all received the most horrific scowl ever seen. She didn’t talk to them or acknowledge them and all but gave them the middle finger. She was scared, tired and hungry.
She did let me change her out of her night nappy into her knickers. At least that was easy.
Wouldn’t lay down on the bed unless I was with her.
Wouldn’t let them wheel her in to waiting area.
Now. This was the most traumatic part which was going into theater. Only one of us could go and we said I would be better at dealing with her melt down. And oh my, what a melt down it was. It took the anesthetist, nurse and myself to hold her down. She was kicking and screaming and refused to let us put the mask on her face. She had the strength of 100 men. She was kicking and screaming until the bitter end until she fell asleep. It was when her tiny little body was on the bed that I allowed myself to cry as I had been so bloody worried and scared but she was such a tiny terror that I hadn’t time to actually think about the procedure. I ran out looking for my husband to have a little cry.
Then we had to wait until we were allowed to go into recovery.
Cue, the next stage of hell.
She had a needle in her hand just in case. Which she was petrified of. They needed to monitor her oxygen and she hated the clip on her toe. She was like a wild animal.
But worse, because of the missed chest infection her oxygen levels were really low. She was wan, pale and not looking good. We had to get the levels way up before she was allowed to go back into the patients area and have anything to eat. She just wanted to sleep but we had to keep her awake to get her breathing well. The surgery itself went very well and was a success but the recovery was bad.
She still hated everyone.
The nurse tried to reason with her (yeah, that has me stumped. I mean she is three ;)) and she yelled in her face “stop talking to me”. I mean in hindsight it was funny but mortifying at the time.
Most of all I could see she was scared and all she wanted was her mum and dad and to sleep and for the love of god she wanted that darn apple juice she was promised. They gave in and let her have a lemonade icy pole but in the end we had to give her a nebulizer and only after that did her oxygen levels improved and then they let her sleep with me.
After five hours she was allowed to eat so it had been a good 18 hours since food and she was ravenous (a good sign) and after another 30 minutes I was able to get her oxygen levels so we could go home.
She immediately fell asleep in the car and that was traumatic driving home on my own (Chippie had gone to work) I kept checking to see she was breathing and kept yelling MOLLY to wake her up. Then she slept at home for 3.5 hours and woke up a better person, after her weetbix.
The next day it was like she had never had surgery. She was running around, laughing and back to her cheeky self. Her hearing has improved dramatically and a week of antibiotics has meant that her chest infection has cleared and her raspy breathing is significantly improved.
It will take a few weeks for the drool and snot to stop.
It was a big week. It is not something I would ever willing do. It made me have a fresh level of appreciation for parents that deal with hospital visits all the time.
I would have preferred the poster child looking sick on the bed but charming the pants off the medical professionals but that wasn’t too be.
I think I just need to accept that my child is not the smile at everyone and run and hug them. She is introverted that way and takes a while to warm up to people, she observes and then considers. You need to be in her A team to get easy affection.
Now we are looking forward to a blessedly sick free period and an improvement in all areas of her life. And possibly. If not too much to ask an improvement in her bad attitude. Threenagers!