Friday, 21 May 2010

A Tonsillectomy

My littlest boy had his tonsils out on monday after years of problems, mainly with his ears.  The consultant said a tonsillectomy should sort it out as they were huge.  Apparently they have grades from 0 to 5 with 5 being touching each other.  They wrote on his surgery form grade III/IV and to be perfectly honest they had come down in size so I can only imagine how uncomfortable they must have been for him.

It is so difficult to leave your child in the anaesthaesia room. Yes I know that is probably spelt differently.  I stayed until he was asleep but came out feeling rather annoyed with the anaesthetist.  We went for a visit beforehand and everything was explained in a child friendly way.  The canula was described as a spiderman webshooter and no needles were ever mentioned for obvious reasons with a child. The hospital is predominantely adult operations so the anaesthetist is more used to talking to adults and walked in grabbed his hand and said OK now time to put the needle in.  Instant tears.  Luckily the nurse was prepared with a big book to block any sight of it.

As a literal thinking kid with aspergers my son takes most things people tell him as true.  If somebody tells you something is going to happen then why think otherwise.  We know that it doesn't always work that way but aspergers kids don't always.  Anyway the nurse said we would be there when he woke up.  We went back to the ward to wait for the phone call and when it came they had changed shifts.  The receptionist on the ward told the new nurse it was time for us to collect him and, completely in our earshot, said well they will just have to wait until I have done this.  Assuming she was treating a patient I accepted it but was feeling panicky that I wanted to see my son.  A full ten minutes later she came to us to collect him and said she was sorry but she had some paperwork to catch up on.  UNBELIEVABLE!! She then proceeded to try telling us about her holiday she had just had. I was so so angry at this stage and I could see my husbands face getting more and more annoyed. 

The nurse in the recovery room looked just as annoyed too and said she was just about to bring him back herself.  He was in floods of tears because the poor little thing had woken up with nobody he knew around him when he had been told we would be there.  All because of NHS paperwork and a nurse who obviously thought more of getting it done than collecting a patient from theatre.

Nobody ever told us how much gunk a tonsillectomy produces and that the patient swallows most of it. A lot of which comes back up.  His lips and the corners of his mouth were very sore because of the clamp they put on and his tongue was very swollen and needed steroids to bring it back down. I lost count of the number of times they asked us if he had any wobbly teeth.  Luckily they are all still there.

A night on a kids ward is a very noisy time.  Most of the kids who had ops that day had probes on their fingers to monitors oxygen levels and pulse.  They kept knocking them off when they were asleep so there was an almost constant beeping noise.  So many poorly kids.  The nurses must have to harden themselves to the crying and pain they are in. Would be nice if the doctors on call didn't shout everything they had to say during the early hours.

They gave him his mask as a keepsake and we ended up with a sick bowl too for just in case in the car on the way home. He has been wearing it as a hat.

1 comment:

Lizzie said...

Hmm, well that's an interesting summary of hospital care.... I was most concerned to hear you saying the children are in pain - they shouldn't be left in pain. Pain relief is supposed to be something that is dealt with carefully. And the anaesthatist didn't sound great! Maybe you should write to the hospital manager, giving a summary of the situation and pointing out (politely but firmly) that children are more important than paperwork!
I hope your son doesn't remember the bad bits and makes a good recovery, with no more ENT problems.