and just like that, f's surgery has come and gone and all is (knock on wood) well again. it all happened really fast. tuesday afternoon at 2pm was her (2nd) appointment with the ear/nose/throat specialist at children's hospital - j picked her up from school early and took her, since i had to be on the air until 3. and at 2:30 the hotline rang and it was j, calling from the scheduling desk, saying "they want to do the surgery and there's an opening tomorrow morning at 11:30 and otherwise they can't get her in until november and i can get the day off can you?" and wow, it seemed really rushed. we took the appointment for wednesday morning, but i made him promise to relate every single last detail about the appointment to me when we got home, and that we could cancel if it didn't feel right. he promised.
so tuesday night he told me everything the doctor said, which basically echoed what the pediatrician has now said at the last two appointments and what the other ENT doc said at our first visit to children's last month: she needs tubes in and adenoids out to really stop these awful, chronic ear infections. maybe it's because we'd already been through ear tube surgery once, but it just felt ok - i didn't really hesitate. and maybe i have too much blind faith in western medicine, which really i don't, but i know the tubes were miracle workers last time we had them put in and her recovery lasted about two hours before she was back to her old self. so we got out the paperwork and looked it over, fed her one last big meal, and to bed she went.
and really, the hardest thing about surgery day yesterday was the not eating part. the surgery was at 11:30, so she could have popsicles, jello, and juice before 8:30am, and after that - nothing else, not even water. i think the hunger combined with the weirdness of the day in general was making her a little buggy - she was a little grumpy in the waiting room, that's for sure. it may have had something to do with trundling around to three different desks to check in and then sitting in a room full of noisy, fussy kids for an hour or more. j and i were trying to cut her some slack in the behavior department. finally around 11:45 they led us into the little private waiting room, where we talked to the kindest surgeon, dr. kearns (sp?) and anesthesiologist (dr. nieman i think?), and f said "bye guys!" and walked back to surgery with nurse nancy like it was no big deal.
and it was over so quickly. j and i had brought books so we just went back to the waiting room and after 20 minutes - it was that quick! - we got called in to another room and the surgeon came in and said it all went great. they removed her adenoids, because apparently they can push up against the eustachian tubes and prevent drainage, and the recovery is nothing like tonsils - he said she may have a little sore throat that night, but that could be from the intubating tube too. the only bummer is that he could only put a tube in her left ear, because the hole from when her right ear drum perforated in july (during the first infection after the last tubes fell out) still has not closed and it's too big for a tube. so that one has nature's drain, for now, and she'll still have to rock the fetching ear "putty buddy" plugs and neoprene headband combo whenever she swims. we can handle that. and back out to the waiting room we went.
after seeing the surgeon, it was another 45 minutes before they called us back to the recovery room. when we walked in, my heart sank. it was full of tiny kids on tiny hospital beds, most surrounded by family, and most of them were just wailing. but the nurse led us around the corner and there was our sweet beeb, sitting up, happily eating a purple popsicle, watching "lady and the tramp" on the hospital tv. she smiled at us and looked at me with unfocused eyes and asked, "mama, where's my surgery?" and after they took out her i.v. i wrapped her up in a blanket and held her in my arms, and that was just about the best thing i could even imagine then and there. she was still drowsy and a little out of it from the general anesthesia, but she was peaceful. they checked us out after taking her vitals one last time and giving us the run down about what to look out for, and we were outta there. and by 4pm yesterday afternoon, she was jumping on the couch again, singing us songs and laughing it up. it really was that quick. the doctors and nurses at children's were, to a person, kind, warm, and reassuring. they were great. i just hope we don't have to see any of them ever again. at least not in that setting. at the beach would be ok.