Wednesday, February 20, 2013

ENT Appointment, Part 3: Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy Scheduled

After the ENT finished with Nolan, she moved onto Matt. By this time, we were all exhausted (and hungry): the office was running 2 hours behind schedule, so it was now 1:20 pm and our original appointment time was 10:45 am. No lunch = grumpy boys.

I gave the ENT Matt's sleep study results, which we had ordered through the pediatrician. As a helpful hint to other families, if you suspect sleep problems and are booking an ENT appointment, make sure to get a sleep study run first. It will save a lot of time and an appointment (and copay). If we hadn't had this run, this appointment would have been a consult, a polysomnogram would have been ordered, and then we would have had to return in a month or two to get the results. Since we already had the sleep study results in hand, we saved a $25 copay and about 2 months worth of time.

Matt's sleep architecture is abysmal (I wrote an article about sleep architecture - you can find it here). He has no stage 4 sleep and only about half of the REM sleep he should have. This explains a lot of his behavior and his complete inability to memorize facts (REM is required for memory formation). He desaturates to the low 80% level, which causes him to wake frequently. He also has a lot of periodic leg movements (so does Nolan).

She reviewed the results and was not very concerned about the central apneas and the heart rhythm issues. She sees both of these problems in children who have long-standing, untreated apnea. Matt is a mouth breather, so the problem is likely due to tonsils and adenoids. Since both of our boys have/had central apnea, there is also a chance that our kids just have central apnea when they're young - it could be a genetic thing. It is more likely that the central apnea is a direct result of long-standing obstructive apnea.

Matt is going to have a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy on March 21, just a few days before Easter Break. His ENT is going to do a bronchoscopy and sleep laryngoscopy just before the surgery, because she wants to make sure he has no other airway anomalies. It would be unlikely, since he doesn't have the reflux or other health issues that Nolan has, but it is better to verify that he doesn't have any airway malacias.

Matt's surgery will be at an ambulatory surgery center, and he'll be released about an hour after surgery. The "surgery" part will be the easiest portion of his procedure: the recovery will be the hardest. Tonsillectomies are horrendous. We've been through 2 of them (Nolan had his tonsils and adenoids removed when he was 2 years old, and he had his lingual tonsils shaved at the time of his last supraglottoplasty).

I'm worried about getting Matt to take the Tylenol with Codeine (he's awful about taking medication of any kind). I'm worried about keeping him hydrated. I am going to blatantly bribe my child provide positive incentives to get him to drink: I have a "reward" bag started. Matt will have a follow-up appointment on June 3 to see how he is doing post-surgery. He'll probably need another sleep study to verify his apnea is gone (and so will Nolan, so we'll probably do another 2-for-1 sleep study).

Our family will have two surgeries in a back-to-back manner. Nolan's will be harder for the actual surgery - staying inpatient is always trying. His recovery will be easier to manage because we have the g-tube and can give him meds, food, and hydration via that route while he is recovering. Matt's surgery day will be easier because he will be home that same evening, but his recovery will be much more difficult since we need him to cooperate to drink and take his medication.

One thing is sure: I am looking forward to the end of March, when everyone will be recovered and on the road to better health!


Kyla said...

I hope Matt does okay with the recovery. I call bribes "compliance incentives"....WHATEVER works! ;)

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Good gracious you're going to have your plate full. I wish we were geographically closer - wish I could help in some way. But we CAN pray, and we will - for both your boys.

I had my own tonsils out as an adult, in 2008... watch out for dehydration. Whatever he'll drink is GOOD. I know everyone thinks about cold things, like ice cream (which was great!) but chicken broth sure slid down in a nice, comforting way too. (If he likes it...)


Herding Grasshoppers said...

PS It's not a bribe if YOu initiate it ;D

Anonymous said...

My goodness -- I second what Julie said...everything actually. I have always found hot/warm liquids more comforting than cold.

And I will pray for both your boths and their speedy recoveries! I wish there was some other way to offer support. Good luck!!!!

dlefler said...

Thanks, everyone. We are going to be very busy over the next few months. I am hopeful for fast recoveries for both Nolan and Matt.

We really appreciate the prayers. I have Nolan's surgery time (or registration time, which is generally 2 hours before surgery). We have to register at 6 am on Tuesday, so surgery should be at 8 am for Nolan on Tuesday Morning.