Aoife had a lingual frenectomy performed on Monday morning. It's a minor surgery that corrects having a frenulum under the tongue that is too long. She was unable to lift her tongue or stick it out - more importantly she couldn't say sounds like /n/ or /l/ or /th/.
We had to be at the hospital at 6 am on Monday and it was a little over an hour drive so I got up at 4:30 and then got Aoife up just before we left and brought her up in her pajamas. I thought that she would sleep in the car but she didn't and so when we arrived at 6 she had been up for an hour and a bit without anything to eat or drink since she was going under anesthesia. We signed in to Day Surgery and they moved us back to an exam room where they had me change her into a tiny peach colored hospital gown. She toddled around the room for about 30 minutes in her gown, diaper and socks. She was very content and didn't seem to mind being hungry and thirsty. Eventually the anesthesia team gave her a drink of something to relax her before they took her back to surgery - it didn't work right away but once it did she felt like a ragdoll in my lap. She was floppy and giggling at everything - too funny! The nurses came to take her back to surgery and they tucked her into the big rolling bed along with all of her stuffed animals. She looked so tiny in that big bed and her glassy eyes looked up at me for just a second before I gave her a kiss and they wheeled her out saying, "We'll take great care of her!" I had a pang of doubt. Was this really necessary? Was I putting her in undue danger by exposing her to the anesthesia? It was too late though - she was gone and they moved me into the recovery room that they would return her to. Brendan called as soon as I got to the recovery room and checked in. I'm sure it was hard for him to be so far away and feel out of the loop. During our conversation, the phone in the room rang. It was a nurse in the operating room telling me that they had just started the procedure. I appreciate that they were keeping me informed but I didn't appreciate the image of my little girl unconscious on an operating table that popped into my head. About 10 minutes later they wheeled the bed back to me and the anesthesiologist carried her into the room. She seemed OK until they handed her to me and then she started wailing. She started crying hysterically, thrashing around and all around trying to give herself a major head injury. It took all of my strength for about 30 minutes to keep her from hurting herself. After half an hour of hysterics she popped her thumb in her mouth and passed out on me. She woke up about 30 minutes later and was back to her old self. She was cheery and smiley which was nice to see. The nurses assured me that she wasn't in any pain because of the pain medication that was still being administered through her IV and the fact that the doctor had shot her mouth full of local painkillers. They let us go home about an hour later after she had a wet diaper. We got a prescription for Tylenol with codeine and antibiotics - both of which she refused to take after Wednesday. She figured out that she could open her mouth for the medicine and wait until I put it all in and then spit it out all over herself. NOT GOOD. Thank goodness I had chewable Tylenol in the house - she seems to love them and it's the only way she'll take medicine now!
So now it's Saturday and she's doing much better. She's off all the pain medication and she's eating normally. Actually, the eating never seemed to be affected, but now I feel OK giving her crackers and dry cereal. We've noticed a huge improvement in her speech - she's increasing her vocabulary by the hour and taking more of an interest in mimicking other people's speech. It's really good to see that this has had a positive outcome. I'm glad we went ahead with the surgery. I think she's glad too!