Tag Archives: adenoids

Brave boy

He’s fine, thank you.  The surgery went smoothly, the adenoids are out, and the child is resting on the couch, watching Lassie and eating his second bowl of ice cream.

I’m supposed to keep him in the house for a week, which is fabulous in theory, except that he looked up after his first bowl of ice cream and said, “Mommy, I want to go outside by myself.”  If he’s up for going out ten minutes after we get home, what’s he going to be like by Wednesday?

How many times can he watch Lassie?

More to the point, how many times can his sister watch Lassie?

Please send chocolate.

Pieces parts

We’re off today to get Benjamin’s adenoids out.  I’ll be back around noon, and I’ll try to post an update.  But since all of you know this isn’t really a big deal, I suspect you’re a hell of a lot less nervous than he is.

I’ve been revising the book.  Does that surprise you?  My agent dumped me, but there are plenty of small presses out there.  I can pitch the damned thing myself.  My writing group gave phenomenal advice on a section that has plagued me for years, so I should be done revising and writing the pitch next week.  IAin’t nobody gonna keep me down.

Zach is off to his grandparents today.  We can’t wait to send him.  I love the child, really I do, but he has grown increasingly impossible.  The fact is, he didn’t make a lot of friends during the school year.  He has a few, but we’ve only been able to see them sporadically this summer.  The summer has been hard for him.  He had to transition to camp, and transitions are not his strong suit.  New kids, new place, new routine.  He snapped at me this week, “People always say summer vacation is so fun.  It’s NOT fun!”

“I know kiddo.  Is school fun?”

“Yes, school is fun.  Summer vacation is not!”

This is how we know he’s my child.  I wonder sometimes whether his father really contributed any genetic material.

That’s all for now.  I’m off to take my dude in for surgery.

Mr. Charming

Since we discovered that Benjamin does not have allergies and does have chronic sinusitis plus chronic infected adenoids, he has had four sinus infections.  In as many months.  We get him off antibiotics, and within two weeks, he is miserable again.  Crying, hitting, not sleeping.  Then, we get him back on antibiotics, and twenty-four hours later, he is Mr. Charming.

I took him in to the doctor on sinus infection number three.  “I think it’s time to see the ENT about his adenoids,” she said.

“I think so, too,” I replied.

I took him in to the ENT, who looked at his CAT scan.  “I think we need to take the adenoids out,” she said.

“I think so, too,” I replied.

Now, I’m not a big fan of CAT scans and surgery and general mucking about in a four-year-old’s body.  But I’m also not a big fan of my kid single-handedly creating SuperBugs because he’s rendered all of the antibiotics ineffective.  He’s been sporadically miserable for over two years, and we’ve always tried to correct the behavior.  Turns out, he was just pissed off because he was playing host to a colony of microscopic critters.

So, Friday it is.  They’ll be giving my kid anesthesia on Friday the thirteenth.  He’ll come home sore and not be allowed out for a week.  We’re shipping his brother off to his grandparents’ house for the week because I don’t need Zach pushing Ben’s buttons all week long.

Also because Zach just generally drives me bananas.

But then, maybe, just maybe, Mr. Charming can stick around a bit.

Anyone who says differently is selling something

“I’m not sure I’d jump to taking the adenoids out,” the pediatrician told me yesterday.  “It sounds to me like chronic sinusitis.”

“Well, it’s sure chronic something,” I replied.

We haven’t seen this particular doctor before, although in the four months we’ve lived in New Jersey, we’ve seen pretty much every other member of the practice.  I like this whole practice; the pediatricians are smart, available, and reasonable.  I liked this doctor even more than the rest.

“Are you willing to get him a CAT scan to see?” he asked.

“Are you kidding?  He kicks me.  He breaks things.  He punches his sister for entertainment.  He has large dark circles under his eyes, green stuff coming out of his nose, and a bloodshot eye.  I’m willing to do whatever it takes to figure out what’s wrong.”

He looked up from where he was writing the scan order.  “I’ll write ‘STAT’ on this.”

We went in this morning to get the scan.  Benjamin was a little scared, but, as always in situations like this, he was extremely cooperative.  I can never figure out how a kid who completely ignores repeated requests to pick up his toys will lie perfectly still on a CAT scan machine just because the technician told him to.  Maybe she would be willing to come to our house and make him put away his things.

A few hours later, I got the call.  It turns out the child has severe sinusitis, swollen adenoids, and an anatomical makeup that most likely is leading to chronic infection in the sinuses under his eyes.

I guess that explains why he’s so grumpy.

We’ve always said that Benjamin is our surly child, prone to a rain cloud over his head.  The other adjectives that come to mind are wild, aggressive, and impulsive.  He’s wonderfully imaginative and affectionate, and he can be unbelievably exuberant, but he is definitely the child most likely to knit up his eyebrows, fold his arms, and grunt at us.

What kills me is that this physical problem has most likely been going on for years.  Years.  So, not only has he been in chronic discomfort punctuated by acute pain, he more often than not cannot hear well.  And we have absolutely no idea how much of his personality is due to a medical condition that he doesn’t even realize is not normal.  He thinks that life is pain.

Today, we start him on antibiotics for the acute issue, plus back on the Singulair and nose spray.  In a few weeks, we’ll go back to the pediatrician to see what our next step is on the chronic problem.  I don’t know what that will be.

But I’m really looking forward to getting to know Benjamin.

Benjamin’s ears, nose, and throat

A little over a year ago, Benjamin failed his first hearing test.  We had always thought he wasn’t listening, which was also the case.  As it turned out, he had both a hearing and a listening problem.

He had an ear infection, so the pediatrician cleared it up and then sent us to get a new hearing test, for which we could not get an appointment for two weeks, by which time he had a new ear infection.

We rinsed and repeated this process a few times till I wised up and made the appointment with the audiologist in advance, then scheduled a pediatrician appointment for the day before.

In the meantime, the pediatrician put him on Singulair, because a big part of the problem was that he was so clogged.  See, it wasn’t just his ears.  His nose had been running non-stop for over a year.  And, although I had not wanted to put him on allergy medication at the tender age of two-and-a-half, failing multiple hearing tests seemed like a big enough deal to warrant such a step.

The Singulair made a big difference.  His nose ran a lot less, and he stopped biting other children.  Both excellent outcomes.

Benjamin did pass a hearing test once, but his ears were partially clogged.  “When his ears are clear, he can hear fine,” the audiologist told me.  Right.  Got it.  But what the hell good does that do, since his ears were only clear on alternate Wednesdays when the moon was full?  Hearing is usually considered a more full-time occupation.

We went to the ENT.  “He’s not a candidate for tubes,” she told me.  “He’s probably just a stuffy kid.  Bring him back in six weeks and we’ll see if the stuffiness has cleared up.”

OK, by this point I was tired of bringing him back just for people to tell me that his only problem was that his ears and nose clogged, with absolutely no suggestion as to how to fix it.  Plus, we were about to move across the country.  We threw up our hands and let the Singulair do its job.

Except that he was on it every. single. day.

He is three years old.

We wanted to get him the hell off the medicine.

Plus, it didn’t clear him up completely.

And, he still didn’t listen.

So, I took him to the allergist two months ago to determine just what it was that he is allergic to.  They did a full panel and we found out, that’s for sure.  He is allergic to…


The kid has no allergies.  “So why the hell is he on Singulair?” I asked the allergist, except I didn’t say “hell” because I rarely if ever curse in real life.

“Look, the Singulair is working.  Just keep him on it.  You and the pediatrician can try taking him off in the dead of the summer.”  We had taken him off for a few days in the dead of the winter, and suffice it to say that didn’t go very well.

Neither my husband nor I were particularly impressed with the “leave him on the drugs” idea without a diagnosis.  Plus, I began hearing people around me throwing around a word I had never heard before.  “Adenoids.”  As in, “We thought it was allergies, but then we had her adenoids taken out, and she’s like a new child.”  That’s an outcome I could get behind.

We took him off the Singulair eleven days ago.  By the following Monday – last week – he already had copious amounts of snot running out of his nose.

“You want to get his adenoids checked?” our new pediatrician asked.  “That’s an unusual request.”  Then she looked up his nose.  “Well, that stuff’s all green.  That’s infection.  It very well could be his adenoids.”

She wrote down the number for the ENT.  “Listen, we used to send kids to the ENT, and they’d put them on this nose spray and send them back to us.  Let’s skip that step.  Here’s a prescription for the nose spray.  Make the ENT appointment for two weeks from now, so he’ll already have been on the nose spray.”  Now, that’s the kind of medical treatment I can get behind – skip the whole chasing-our-tails portion of the program.

As the week went by, Benjamin’s behavior took a turn.  Straight towards hell.  He was hitting us and kicking and pinching.  He took two hours to get to bed, doing things like screaming, laughing, and kicking the wall when we put him in the room.  He ran in front of moving armored trucks, shoved his sister behind the couch, and woke his brother up one morning by throwing the guard rail down from the top bunk.  Needless to say, he is no longer allowed to sleep on the top bunk.

“I think he’s in pain,” I told a friend.

“Why don’t you try giving him Tylenol before bed and see if it helps?” she suggested.  So, Saturday night I did.

And he went to bed without a peep.

Holy shit.  The kid had been in so much pain it had completely changed his personality.  OK, not completely, because he’s always been a maniac, but the fact is we have no idea how much he has been in chronic pain that was partially masked by the Singulair.  It’s possible that a large chunk of his Crazy comes from the medical issues.  We just don’t know, and we won’t until we see the ENT next Monday.

Today, I’ll take him to the pediatrician, in case there is an acute problem on top of the chronic one.  That he’s been in so much pain makes me worry about his tonsils.  And, next week I’ll take him to the ENT, who I hope does not try to tell me he’s just a stuffy kid.  Maybe someday soon, he’ll wake up without pain.

I think it’s too much to ask that he also learn how to listen.