In the grand scheme of life, T.Puzzle is doing pretty good after his tonsillectomy. The hardest part has been getting him to take his pain meds. Somehow convincing a very opinionated 5-year-old that orally ingesting pain relievers down the very vessel that has been injured, is most often a losing battle. Yesterday, as he complained of a hurting throat, I brought him some Tylenol. We were at an instant stand-off that ultimately led to him being sent to his room. The tantrum that followed was of epic proportions. Eventually, he calmed himself enough and was able to take the medicine. About thirty minutes later he sat at the table and ate some yogurt.
“How’s your throat feeling?” I asked.
“It feels good now but it really hurts when I scream and cry,” he replied as he lapped up another spoonful of yogurt.
At the beginning of summer it was determined that T.Puzzle’s oversized tonsils needed to be removed. I certainly dreaded the impending surgery and almost completely lost my mind the night before it. This was nicely countered by Mad Dog’s calm optimism. Calm and optimistic were two emotions I found very difficult to conjure when my baby was about to go under the knife. What made the whole situation worse was T.Puzzle’s joy leading up to his procedure. He glowed in the attention we lavished on him. He was giddy because he was getting special gifts, his favorite foods and he got to sleep in a tent in our bedroom. He was so joyful on the day of surgery he leapt from his tent and exclaimed, “Yay! I can’t wait to see the doctor. This is going to be so cool!” Clearly he associates doctor visits with special time with one or both parents usually followed by lunch involving happy and a meal. The more exuberant he became, the more nauseous I felt. It was like looking at an innocent puppy knowing you are hours away from placing him in a den of ravenous lions.
T.Puzzle’s joy continued as we allowed unlimited iPad game time as we waited in the ambulatory holding area. He didn’t even flinch that it was well past noon and he was not allowed food or drink. He became immersed in his games and was only annoyed when the blood pressure cuff interfered with his gaming strategies. He was a trooper as they took him away for the procedure and gave us a carefree wave goodbye. All I kept thinking was ‘farewell, my sweet little puppy!’
When it was over, we heard him well before we could see him. To say he was angry is an understatement. When he was wheeled back to us, he was a screaming ball of fury. Limbs were flying, tears were flowing and he yelled repeatedly “I WANT TO GO HOME!” He was an innocent no longer. With each quiet murmur of comfort I offered him, he answered with a louder, angrier cry. This is the point when my head really began to hurt.
Mad Dog swooped in and said to T.Puzzle, “If you stop crying, you can play games on the iPad again.”
He calmed, he sighed and he gamed on.
Yes, I have to come to terms with the fact that I have been rendered obsolete by technology.
As long as I got my patient home in peace, I’ll take it. And, somehow, I don’t imagine an iPad will be able to administer round the clock pain meds with a loving touch for the next few days. Then again, there might be an app for that.