Thursday, May 11, 2006

The Ice Cream Diet Should Appeal to Him, If Nothing Else

In about a month Sean's head will be a few ounces lighter. Or however much tonsils and adenoids weigh.

Sean's pediatrician referred us to an ENT doctor after she noticed his "huge" tonsils during his 4-year-old checkup. "I'm impressed, actually," she said about the size. As you know I stop just this short of groveling when it comes to seeking plaudits for myself or my children. Yet notable tonsils somehow aren't quite what one wants to be known for.

Of course, the enlarged state of affairs wasn't the only thing prompting the referral. Sean not only snores like a man but also suffers from sleep apnea. It's more than a little disconcerting to hear him stop breathing at night. He also has a lot of fluid in both ears that is not draining; it hasn't gotten infected, fortunately, but his hearing is a little diminished.

So. The ENT swiftly recommended surgery; he told me that he prefers to treat this problem medically if at all possible, but Sean's tonsils and adenoids are so big that his airflow is being compromised (hence the apnea, the snoring, the mouth breathing, and his nasal, "thick" voice). I'm reasonably confident, now, that Sean won't be undergoing an unnecessary procedure.

I really like this doctor. He was funny and gentle, and he actually talked to Sean as much as he talked to me. One of things that I dislike about my group-practice pediatrician's office is the varying levels of bedside manners among the doctors. Some of them -- there are six doctors -- barely even say hello to Sean or Allie, whereas others are attentive and friendly. There are two doctors that I like especially, and for well visits I make sure that I schedule the appointments with one of them. For sick visits, it's just the luck of the draw.

Anyway. The procedure takes about 15 minutes in an outpatient surgery center, under general anesthesia. This is a far cry from the overnight hospital stay that I endured when I had my tonsils removed at age 3!

I've decided not to worry about this at all. Not yet, at any rate. I'm sure I will get a little more nerved out the closer the procedure nears, but for now I am being Zen Mommy about it.