Syd’s Tonsillectomy and Surprising Diagnosis


hospital As I had mentioned last week, Syd went in for his tonsillectomy last Friday. The procedure went well and the doctor ended up taking out part of his adenoids as well.

When we initially found out that Syd would have the procedure done, I talked to his speech therapist about it and she reacted positively, saying it could very well help out with some of his speech issues. Often times when tonsils are swollen and enlarged, it can cause a whole host of speech problems including breathy or weak speech and trouble with articulation. Long story short, I ended up on the phone with the surgeon on Halloween night, while we were out trick or treating. She wanted to ask me about his speech issues and was trying to decide if adenoid removal could help. By the end of the conversation, she determined that having a look at his vocal chords during the surgery couldn’t hurt either, so she added that to the procedure list.

While at the hospital, it was no surprise that Syd asked Art to walk him into the surgery room and stay with him while they put him under anesthesia. It was also no surprise that he asked for him when he was out of surgery. It’s hard and strange for me to admit that Syd and Art have a closer relationship than I have with him, but it just is what it is. For a long time their closeness really bothered me, especially when, at times, Syd and I felt so separated. Your child is your child no matter what, but it’s hard to deny when an intense connection isn’t always there. The best sense I can make out of it is that God put us together as partners to parent these kids, because we each have different personalities and strengths to complement and mold each child the best way possible. Art’s strengths just seem to be better suited for dealing with Syd’s personality than mine.

With all that said, I do not envy Art having to be there to hold Syd’s hand as he was crying and scared in the operating room, or to pin him down when they had to reinsert the IV after it came out in the recovery room. While the nature of the surgery was pretty basic and not life-threatening, surgery, especially on your young child, is always scary and it was enough to make my strong husband cry.

In the recovery room, the surgeon finally came in and one of the first things she asked was if Syd had been a colicky baby. We looked at each other and sort of chuckled, replying with an emphatic “Yes!”, and asked why. During the surgery she did in fact look at his vocal chords with a scope and found that he had intense damage and irritation due to acid reflux, a condition that seemed to be ongoing. We had treated Syd for acid reflux when he was an infant, but took him off meds when he turned a year, figuring he had outgrown it, as most babies do.

The poor guy was in fact still suffering, and by the looks of it, pretty badly too. Our hearts sank and tears of guilt came to my eyes at the news. This new diagnosis could explain so much of the persistent ailments Syd claimed to have; from moodiness and irritability that often came and went very suddenly, to his complaints of just not feeling good, to perhaps even his extreme finickiness, often complaining after eating, that certain foods made him feel sick. His complaints and moodiness became such a constant that we eventually brushed them off as Syd just being difficult Syd. The complaints came and went and seemed so nondescript, with him never being able to accurately pinpoint how exactly he was feeling or what precisely was bothering him, we figured he was, quite honestly, faking it. Come to find out, this is quite common with reflux at this age. They don’t really understand why or how they feel crummy, they just feel crummy.

I feel like shit guys. I know I need to get over it and move forward, but this may be one of the biggest oversights I could have made. And for so long, (years!), I have let his moodiness define our relationship as mother and son.

I’m just so grateful I heard the doctor’s call when we were out trick or treating and our conversation led to this diagnosis. For once, having me phone on me at all times led to some good. God works in very cool and strong ways. When he fully recovers from his tonsillectomy we are going to start him on Prevacid and see if he gets some relief, and will go from there. I have faith that this will solve some issues for Syd.

Of course Syd’s strong and stubborn personality is just that, his personality. I’m not expecting Prevacid to suddenly make him an easy going, bendable reed, nor do I want that. But I do want, and hope that this helps him just feel better overall, and enjoy a better quality of life.

The recovery process from the tonsillectomy has been much harder than any of us expected and we’ve had some rough days and even rougher nights. While Syd still prefers Art when he’s around, I have been happily subbing in for him when he’s at work, and have enjoyed plenty of couch time with my little guy. He’s been sleeping with me too, which has been nice. His breathing at night is a bit labored and very throaty, so it’s given us both peace of mind to know one of us is with him. Today he felt really good when he woke up and was even able to give us a smile. Perhaps we’re on the home stretch. Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers. Next up, a research mission to figure out foods that will not exacerbate reflux. Good thing I’ve been pretty food obsessed lately.

And on the subject of recovery, I had such success with the colloidal silver treating my strep last week, I have also given a couple of doses to Syd. You can read here, about 8 Natural Remedies Readers Swear By on Babble.

Andrea is the founder of For The Love Of, a lifestyle blog dedicated to approachable, modern living. She writes about style, her love of DIY, and living a healthier life through wholesome, nutritious cooking. She is also a regular contributor at Babble. Get in touch: Facebook, Twitter You can find Andrea on Instagram @andreavhowe and @gwynethmademedoit

  • Kate says:

    I remember once complaining to a friend about how difficult A had been about sleeping for the last few weeks and how he seemed fine during the day but at night he was just horrid. All she had to do was say “Did you ever check his ears?” and I felt like the worst parent ever. I took him in and sure enough he’d had a HORRID ear infection that I’d let go on for weeks but it never even crossed my mind. Parenting – it’s by no means an exact science.

    And I know what you mean about parent/kid connection. My daughter would be with my husband every second of every day if she could – even as a baby she wanted me when she was hungry but otherwise – all dad all the time. It hurts a little because we’re taught that moms are supposed to be like magic and we WANT to be like that for our kids, but after having a very complicated relationship with my own dad, I’m just very glad she knows that he’s always going to be her champion. I don’t think it means they love us any less – just that we connect differently.

    XOXO. Been thinking healthy thoughts for you all!

  • Ashley says:

    Awe friend. That is hard. My heart hurts for you, because as a mama you do just blame yourself. Know you are doing an amazing job.

    My son had very delayed speech. He got his tonsils and adenoids removed at two and a half and probably around three and a half he was finally growing by leaps and bounds. He always sounded as though he had marbles in his mouth or he was under water. He is now a bright super intelligent six year old.

    You are a good mama for making these choices, and we aren’t perfect, so don’t beat yourself up!

  • Christine Leos says:

    You are a wonderful mom.

  • Oh, man…that’s so hard. But you are the CHOSEN mother for this boy…don’t forget that!!!

  • Jules says:

    Christine said what I was going to say.

  • Kat Alvarado says:

    My middle child, Chloe, went from fully potty trained to needing diapers at night again at about 3, I brushed off as kid stuff and never even mentioned it to the dr. About a year later we found out she is prone to UTI’s and they did some tests on her kidneys (which were fine thank the Lord!) and all I could think was, “If only I had paid attention then…I am a terrible mother.” I envisioned all the pain she had been in and cried buckets of tears over it. She did not. It was a small blip on the screen on her life. At almost 3 years later I have learned to listen to her words as well as watch her mannerisms, and she has learned to tell me when it hurts…as soon as it hurts. Mom guilt is the worst thing ever. As long as you learn from this, rather than letting the guilt weigh you down, then you are still an amazing mom =o).

  • KateB says:

    I know how crappy this feels. As you may recall, Charlie was allergic to milk and we didn’t figure it out until he was a year old. He was in horrible pain and didn’t sleep through the night for a year. I felt awful but he still loves me. When you know better, you do better. If you continued to ignore it, THEN you’d have something to feel bad about. Hoping for some small improvements but that Syd remains the feisty, funny boy you all love.

  • Jasi says:

    food allergies plagued our household too. i thought she was just being picky but then the diaper rash wouldn’t go away. it’s hard to know what’s symptomatic of a larger problem. hang in there.

  • Carly says:

    don’t beat yourself up Andrea…you are a WONDERFUL mom….anyone who reads can see that!
    Funny, I always worry that the boys will favor daddy because my guys are SO all BOY that I won’t be able to be “fun” for them…so far they are both mamas boys..and I hold on tight, as it all can change in the blink of an eye.
    Anyway..SO glad that Syds surgery went well and now you have a diagnosis that can have him feeling his best EVERYDAY!

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