Friday, August 16, 2013

7 Takes, 2013.23 - Surgery Edition

Joining Jen at Conversion Diary

On Monday, I had a tonsillectomy. Based on my experience, here are tips for how to handle surgery with (a)  toddler(s) in the home.

Pre-surgery swelling

Post-surgery (I kind of look like a teenage boy growing a mustache in this picture).
1.  Send the toddler away.  I am fortunate to live near my in-laws. We handed Hannabert over to them on Sunday night and retrieved him from his auntie on Wednesday. He had a blast with the gunkles on Sunday to Tuesday and had an even better time wearing out the auntie over Tuesday night through Wednesday evening. It was auntie's first time watching him overnight and she told Horn, upon collection of Hannabert, she headed to Neon's to drive his visit off.  Success I say.

2. Discuss "what ifs." After having a rather traumatic experience with an epidural without having this conversation, Horn and I had a brief discussion.

3. Request a visit from a chaplain/minister/priest before surgery. The hospital where I had my surgery is 7th Day Adventist institution and the chaplain on-call was a Southern Baptist. The hospital has a school associated with it and they provide hospital chaplaincy coursework and he was working off his class tuition. We had a chance to talk to him after praying and learned that he was recently returned from a mission trip to China and that he and his wife had adopted from there.  We asked him to keep my brother and sister-in-law in his prayers as they are doing through the adoption process as well.

4. Don't schedule a job interview 3 days after surgery. Do attend Mass for the Feast of Assumption.

5. Your patience and pain will have an inverse reaction. The more pain you are in, the less patience you will have. It is hard to not be frustrated at a toddler who wants you to sing him songs and read him books when it makes you cry to swallow, especially if you haven't eaten since Sunday. Make sure you remember that the toddler isn't being annoying, he just loves you and wants to spend time with you. And love the "get well" card he made at the gunkles for you.

6. Have back-up childcare in place (or a husband who is willing to drive an additional 40 minutes to drop off the toddler the morning after your interview) so that you can rest and recover. Just because you are an adult doesn't make the pain any worse. Add to this: have a fantastic child care provider. Ours actually offered to watch Hannabert overnight so Horn wouldn't need to bring him in the morning. Need childcare in my area of Ohio? I have a lovely family for you...

7. You don't win any awards for skimping on the painkillers. You really don't. In fact, people in pain heal less quickly.

PS. We call grandparents "gunkles."