Tonsillectomy Recovery

Tuesday/Surgery Day — I could not believe how well she did today! She was anxiety-free (dare I say, excited) going in to surgery. Coming out was hard for the first five or ten minutes — she was disoriented and in pain. Once the nurse got her some pain meds, she was better. Ate a popsicle and listened to us read her books during the two hours in recovery. Ate and drank water and played lots with her sister at home. Poppy thought she was doing too much, but I let her play. I was surprised, after stocking up on ice cream and pudding, that she could not have dairy for eight hours post-op and was cautioned not to have too much for a week.

Wednesday/Day 1 — I woke her twice during the night for water and meds. She did great! Spurts of playing interspersed with movie watching and Wii playing and reading.

Thursday/Day 2 — Rough start today. I did not wake her for pain meds. She did cry out in pain during the night, but I sent John. He ended up just sleeping with her the rest of the night, but I didn’t get up to give her any more pain meds or have her drink water. I went in at 8:30 to give her water and medicine, and she was cranky! She went back to bed and slept until 11and awoke running a low fever. Then she just laid around and watched a movie for a couple of hours. Once she was rehydrated and the pain meds kicked in, she was OK.

Friday/Day 3 — Again, a rough start to the day, even though I made sure I stayed on top of her pain meds during the night. She slept until 10 when I had to wake her up to go to Elizabeth’s three-year well check. She did not want to get up! And getting out to the dr. appt seemed to wear her out. We were going to do a piano lesson make up, but I canceled that as she was not up to it at all. She mostly watched TV all day, did some coloring, took a shower (finally!) I did run out and get a stool softener for her as the pain meds do cause constipation and that was a struggle today. Food staples thus far: vanilla ice cream, refried beans, mac & cheese, and rice & gravy. I need to make some more jello, though that is not a first choice. And she’s not a big popsicle fan. She prefers the ones in a tube to the ones on a stick, apparently.

Saturday/Day 4 — Much better day today! I stayed on top of her water and pain meds last night — waking twice to dose her. I gave her one more dose of hydrocodone at 9:30 (and woke her up for the day then). She’s only had Motrin since then. The problem today is secondary — as in second…you know, number two. The lack of fiber coupled with the narcotics has caused some uncomfortable constipation. I’m hoping the stool softeners I started last night plus cutting back (or eliminating) the hydrocodone will remedy that soon for her. She is uncomfortable!

Sunday/Day 5 — She’s off the hydrocodone, just on Motrin now. I took her to have her ears pierced, and she has a loose tooth. The tooth bothers her more than her throat now. Church did wear her out, though, and she fell asleep on the drive home before 7pm. I put her in bed. When we woke her at 11 for pain meds, she wanted something to eat, ate a bit, and then went back to bed. She needs lots of sleep right now to help her recovery.

Monday/Day 6– It was a good enough day that I planned to let Caroline go to school on Tuesday for a few hours. I thought I’d drop her at 9 so she’d be counted as present by the state but so she’d miss PE. Then I’d pick her up at 11:30 before lunch. She went to bed with a loose tooth, but I could not settle myself. I am normally out by 11 — if not much earlier. But at 11, I wasn’t tired. I was wired. I played on the internet and eventually got in bed with my phone with me. At 1:15, Caroline walked in my room with bloody toilet paper held up to her mouth. I gasped and asked if her tooth had fallen out or if it was bleeding or if it was her throat. She opened her mouth and blood poured out. I grabbed a wet washcloth and she ran to the toilet and spent the next fifteen minutes or so vomiting blood. I woke John and called the ENT’s office to have the on-call doc paged. It seemed like so much blood. We were told that bleeding happens to some people at 7 to 10 days, but I didn’t think it’d happen to Caroline. And I imagined a trickle of blood, like as much as a pulled tooth. Blood filled our toilet, was splattered on the rim and lid, was on the floor. I was about ready to have John just take her to the ER when the doctor called back. He said it looks worse than it is. To have her gargle with ice water and put an ice pack on her throat. We did. It stopped after a few more minutes. We went to bed with her snuggled between us. It was not a restful night.

Tuesday/Day 7 — After the bleeding episode last night, Caroline coughed up a scab this morning. She was very tired, low energy all day. She didn’t want to eat, which made her cranky and tired. She wasn’t in much pain but she wasn’t herself. Still she plans to give school a try tomorrow. We’re planning for a half day.

Wednesday/Day 8 — This is all dragging out longer than I expected, recovery-wise. Caroline didn’t feel up to going to school today, even for a little while. Her pain is not bad. She’s still not eating much, though, which seems to have affected her energy. She just has so little energy. She’ll have a burst of activity and then need to rest.

Thursday/Day 9 — Still, low energy. I took Caroline to school this morning just before 9 (not absent!) I had a dentist appointment at 10 and planned to pick her up after that — just as she was going to lunch. Her teacher called me right after my x-rays to say Caroline was tired. I went ahead and finished my appointment with minimal conversation with the hygienist and got to Caroline’s school at 11:15. She was sitting and reading after having rested her head for about ten minutes. After a good lunch, she had energy to play this afternoon. We’re trying school tomorrow with a late start again (9 am)

Friday/Day 10 — I took her to school today again at 9, but today she made it the whole day! She was eating better, had more energy. UNTIL…we sat down for dinner and before she took a bit of food, she told me her mouth tasted like blood. She said it a few times, and she then go up and got a tissue and spit into it. BLOOD! Again! I was calm and stood with her while she gargled with ice water, per doctor’s orders earlier in the week. It seemed to take a little longer to stop, but it did. We sat down for dinner, but she just ate ice cream. Then she bled again for a big. Gargle. Stop. Then again. Gargle stop. This time I called the doctor because she’d spent about 40 minutes of the past 90 minutes spitting blood. It was bedtime, and I wanted to know what to expect. At 8:30, two hours after the bleeding started, she laid down in bed for a story, told us she had a stomach-ache and then vomited up lots of clotty blood, just like earlier in the week. Resting now. Still no call back from the doctor on call.

Saturday / Day 11 — After the bleeding last night, Caroline is back on ice cream and soup. The on-call doc never called back. Not sure what that is about, but I’ll mention it at her appointment Tuesday. We just kept her on the couch all day to restrict activity. No more pain meds. We’re just watching out for bleeding.

Sunday / Day 12 — Restricted activity again. Super-soft diet still. No pain meds. Just trying to keep the bleeding away.

Monday / Day 13 — Back to school (at 9) and moving around as normal, pretty much. Still on soft diet. Pain is a zero, she says.

Tuesday / Day 14 — She had her two week follow-up this morning, and all looks good. The doctor said that her recovery (the bleeding) was as dramatic as it comes, short of going back to the hospital to have the bleeding areas cauterized. He said to feed her, so since I had not packed Caroline’s lunch, we stopped at the store and got her the junkiest lunch possible — a Lunchable and a bag of Cheetos. She said she wants an apple and carrots for her after-school snack. 🙂 She’ll return to dance this afternoon and get back to her regular school schedule in the morning. The doctor said that she’ll probably still have a little pain when she yawns or opens her mouth wide for another week or so. And she still has a little bit of rawness where new skin is growing. Now, to get back to our normal (minus the recurrent strep!)

Birthday Party Time!

Elizabeth’s birthday party is tomorrow afternoon. It’ll be a simple at-home party with three friends for the three year old. That actually translates to 17 people when you add in her immediate family, Poppy, and her aunt, uncle. and cousins, plus parents and sib of friends. But still, I expect I’ll enjoy it more than some of the big shebangs we’ve had. Live and learn.

She wanted a Super Why party with a princess cake. As much as I avoid Disney Princess stuff, she is getting a Disney Princess cake. After all, the whole premise of Super Why is “we changed the story.” And isn’t that what Disney does? Take a story in the public domain, sex up the main character, package the story their way, and market, market, market.

Back to the point. Elizabeth and her friends will decorate and color a  cardboard castle and house in Story Book Village, dress up (as their favorite character from the show, a story, or just fancy), play in the castle and houses, have a super-letter scavenger hunt, and eat cake and ice cream. The kids will get their own super capes as party favors. I made them from t-shirts and put iron-on initials on the backs.

The party is from 3 to 5. And then I plan for John and me to be out of here around 6 for our anniversary dinner and night out. Dinner. . . maybe Esther’s Follies if we aren’t too tired. Dinner and Half-Price Books if we are.

I Spy, You Spy, Let’s all play Eye Spy!

Posted by PicasaIt started out as a project for the busy bags at church — little activities to keep the little ones’ hands busy during the quiet times of the service. But, a bottle full of rice does not a quiet activity make, so I decided I’d keep a few for the Godly Play classroom and a couple at home. Elizabeth and I had some lovely conversations this morning as she explored her bottle. Just finding the little items gave me the chance to share our faith and traditions with her. (I added a few more items than originally pictured.)

What you need:
empty water bottle and lid
small items (I’ve seen these done with items all beginning with the same letter, with themes and without themes)
super glue

How to:
fill a dry, empty bottle halfway with rice
add in your items and shake
add more rice — to about 3/4 full
seal the lid on with super glue


Our items have symbolic meaning for our faith.
— The colored pom poms represent the liturgical seasons and are also symbolic.
Red — reminds us of the fire of Pentecost and the color of Jesus’s blood; it’s our feast day color!
Blue — reminds us of the waters of baptism and of Mary’s robes. It is the color of Advent.
Purple — reminds us of royalty — of Christ the King. It is the color of Lent.
White — reminds us of purity, of heaven, of God. It is the color of Christmas and Easter.

— the dove represents the Holy Spirit — God is with us. He gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit.
— the candle represents that Jesus is the Light of the World.
— the Holy Bible represents God’s Word, another gift to us.
— the googly eye reminds us that God sees us always
— the cross reminds us that Jesus loved us
— the butterfly is a new creation, just as we are new creations through Christ
— the ichthys is a symbol that we are Christians
— the heart reminds us God loves us
— the music note reminds us to make a joyful noise unto the Lord.

(will try to add pics of Elizabeth playing with the finished product later.)

Hello 2012!

Happy New Year!
I have eschewed resolutions for a while (forever?) as silly traditions. Why not just start a new habit when one feels the need? But this year, I’m in. I overindulged during the holidays, and now it is time to shape up. I overextended myself with activities, and now is the time to tone down.

This is the year of LESS
–eating less
–drinking less
–spending less
— doing less

This is the year of MORE
— exercising more
— praying more
— reading more

This is the year of NURTURING
— my relationship with God
— my relationship with my husband
— being more present with the girls
— building *real world*  friendships
— nurturing myself and my appearance

This is my last full calendar year in my thirties. I need to make sure I spend these last 18 months in my thirties actually looking like I am in my thirties (and not a tired old lady!) That’s where the eating and drinking less and exercising more come in. And where nurturing myself and my appearance come in. I can shower daily, put on a bit of makeup and decent clothes and blow dry my hair. Really, I can make the twenty minutes that takes. And the thirty minutes or hour to exercise.

I plan to be more aware of my spending. I am not extravagant by any means, but I can be more aware of where my dollars are going.

I plan to do less — as in volunteer a little less, delegate a little more, say no. Not feel as though I am the only person who would do whatever it is that needs doing. I am busy. I’ve spent the last couple of years feeling like the only gift I have to offer the world right now is time. I’m a stay-at-home-mom. I have time. But in offering that time to others, I have neglected my own children — the reason I am at home. And I have neglected myself. Hearing people say they “don’t have time” for things is my pet peeve. Of course they do, they just don’t want to use that time for whatever. I looked at how I spend my time and realized that I have this “extra” time I am offering up only because I am not spending time on myself — exercising and dressing well. I am rushing my kids to and fro, putting them off, to do other things.  This is going to be the hard one, truly.

And I want to spend less time checking in on virtual friends via facebook and more time nurturing real friendships with people. I plan to make more phone calls, write more cards, and make more visits.

I am excited that I am also making time daily with God a priority. I’ll have weekly Bible study, in addition to teaching a weekly children’s Sunday School. I started today the daily devotional, Jesus Calling. And I plan to read more spiritual books with the fiction I love. Today, I listened to One Thousand Gifts on my three-mile walk/run this morning.  I also want to keep track of the books I read this year. That’s not a resolution so much as a reminder to myself.

Right now, I’m reading Winter Garden.

Goodbye 2011

The biggies:
legally changing my last name to Bindel
driving halfway cross country on a ten day family road trip
getting a minivan
John starting work at Tango
Elizabeth weaning
Caroline losing her first tooth