It’s ten minutes after ten and the glow from the lights in the hallway brighten up the dimly lite room. Gabe has finally fallen asleep after beginning today with his surgery which involved having his tonsils and adenoids removed. I am so proud of our little man for doing so well and the next few days are going to be tough, beginning with tonight in the hospital. The doctor wanted to keep Gabe overnight in the hospital as a precaution to ensure he gets enough fluids, as swallowing can be a difficult part of the recovery. Earlier today when we arrived at the hospital, Kristie and baby Maggie filled out the registration paperwork while Gabe, Lottie, and I repeatedly climbed the stairs to the waiting room. Once of all Gabe's check-ins were complete and we had talked with the doctors about the operation, we waited until it was Gabe's turn to go back to the operating room. I’ll never forget how bright the hallway seemed was as I carried my little man to the operating room, the doctors had ensured us many times that Gabe would be perfectly fine, but Kristie and I were still nervous. There's no such thing as a minor surgery when it's your own kids, right? Kristie started to cry as I handed Gabe to the nurse as she took him into the operating room. Lottie started to cry because a nurse handed her an ipad ten minutes earlier (which she never gets to play with) and then took it away. The wait felt so long, but the procedure only lasted about an hour and we met Gabe in the recovery room.
It was busy with various nurses and doctors and the little section we had for Gabe was cordoned off by the standard hospital hanging sheets. There was just enough room for all of us (Mom, Dad, and the stroller with Lottie and Maggie) to stand for a few minutes talking to the doctor about the operation before the nurses told us that no children could remain in the recovery area. Kristie was not happy about this and wanted to stay with Gabe, but being the expert mother she is and can manage the girls better than I, Kristie took the Lottie and Maggie out front to the waiting room. Just as Kristie was getting ready to take Lottie and Maggie out front, Gabe was beginning to wake up and was not happy, the nurses crowded around Gabe as he began to wake up and roll around. Gabe was hooked up to various machines and monitors as he roared awake, rolled over, and a series of alarms went off as Gabe unhooked himself from the monitors. There were four or five nurses standing around, but only one was working the problem of helping Dad unwrap Gabe from his tangled mess. Gabe and I stayed in the recovery room for five hours, waiting for an open bed in the overnight recovery rooms. Finally, we were notified that a bed was available in a shared room and Gabe and I, along with two nurses, made our way upstairs.
As I am finishing writing this it has been twelve days since Gabe and I stayed overnight in the hospital and I am excited to announce that Gabe has recovered! For those wondering, or whose children might have this surgery in the future, the most difficult part of the recovery was getting Gabe to drink and I am glad we stayed that first night in the hospital. Once we got home, we used a variety of methods to get him to take sips of liquids. The method that worked the best was pausing his favorite movie, until he would take one drink. I would repeat this pausing and drinking process for hours until Kristie and I felt comfortable that he had enough fluids and then we put him to bed. This pausing the movie approach worked the best in the evening of each day. In the mornings Gabe would not drink anything and we had to wrestle him to get him to take his medications. Each day there was a noticeable improvement and by day ten he seemed to be mostly recovered. Patience and persistent were key to getting Gabe to drink and remain hydrated throughout his recovery and Kristie and I are elated that his recovery is almost complete. Now all we have to worry about is his first day of school…this Monday…
If you have questions about more specifics regarding a child with Down syndrome and having tonsils and adenoids removed, please feel free to contact us on our Facebook page here.
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