Surgery

by Heidi

Graceanna will be having her adenoids and tonsils removed.  She will also have tubes in her ears.
Her surgery has been moved up to Friday at 11:00

For many of you, hearing of her surgery will be new information for you.  In some ways this has occurred quickly, but in other ways we’ve been heading down this road since her birth.  If you are interested in all the details, please keep reading.  Otherwise, just check back tomorrow for an update.  I expect that this procedure will go fine and we will only be in the hospital one night.   Hopefully, she will be excited to drink that off-limits liquid gold, (I blogged about that here) so we can go home the next day.   The plan is for Gunnar to be with my parents during the surgery.  Then, mid afternoon Friday and all day Saturday I have him farmed out to friends. 

So, what lead us to this point:

Constant Runny Nose:  Graceanna has had a runny nose since she was born.  I remember the wonderful foster mom that kept her during her first 10 days of life telling me she was afraid Graceanna had a cold because she sounded gurgly and had lots of drainage.  I have always thought Graceanna had a deviated septum (I don’t really know what that is!) or something that was keeping her sinuses stuffy.  There have been many times that, because her mucus was so thick, she has vomited while trying to cough and clear her throat. 

Too Much Sleep:  As a newborn, she slept all day and every night.  In some ways, that hasn’t changed much.  Her normal sleep time is from 7 pm until 8 or 9 am.  Plus a 2-4 hour nap in the afternoon.  And, for at least the last two weeks she’s been sleeping until 10:00 am.  So, we see that she is not getting enough oxygen, she’s also experiencing apnea, and she’s just working hard to breathe. 

Darn Skinny:  She’s still on the healthy growth chart, but I keep feeling like her little arms are getting skinnier and she’s so light to carry.  This is indicative of so many calories going to support her difficult breathing.

Fluid Behind Her Ear Drums:  Graceanna has never had an ear infection, but our doctor found that she does have a lot of fluid behind her ear drum.  He said this is completely expected because her adenoids are blocking the eustachian tube from draining down the throat as it should.  She definitely can hear us talking to her and other normal noises around the house.  But, I have noticed that I can open the door to her room and walk over to her crib without her hearing me.  Of course, Steve and I are really excited about getting this done to avoid any potential delay in her speech development.

Difficulty Breathing:  Since about September, she has had even more difficulty breathing at night.  During the day, she just breathes through her mouth, but at night she only breathes through her nose.  There’s just not enough space in her airway to pull in enough air.  Sometimes the air makes a whistling sound, like a tea-pot, as she’s inhaling.  Most of the time, she can’t get enough air to really snore, but we don’t know how to describe it other than to say it’s loud.  So, we keep our ear to the monitor all night.  This last week, we’ve been alarmed to find how she’s struggling even more.  Her ribs are protruding as her ab muscles work to draw the air in through a mostly closed airway.  It’s pretty scary.

This fall, I was putting all these pieces together and began realizing she probably had a problem with her adenoids and tonsils.  In November and December we started getting names of ENTs.  By mid December we starting to become quite a bit more worried about her breathing.  On December 30th we saw an ENT, a friend that we serve with at our church.  I had talked with him several times before our appointment, so by then, I knew she’d be having surgery.  He did look at her tonsils and said, “Wow.  Those are smokin’!”  He also said something about them probably touching.  The news about the fluid behind her ear drums was new, but it makes sense.

We are a little bit anxious about listening for her breathing one more night.  But, we are so excited they decided to move her surgery to tomorrow.  (It was originally scheduled for next week.)  I will post an update on my blog when she gets out of surgery.

For kicks, I’m posting a picture of Graceanna’s, “hurry!  we have to go!” hair style.  It’s kind of wild in the back but add a little product and those ringlets will be bouncy once again!  You may see this look again soon if I post pics from the hospital.  Actually, you will probably see this look a lot because I love it!

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