Thursday, September 8, 2011

Another reason we'll be paying off medical bills for the rest of our lives

It's been a long time since my I've answered the phone and heard this on the other end:

"Hello? Is this Maxwell's mom? This is so-and-so from Primary Children's Hospital and I'm just calling to get some information about Maxwell for his surgery tomorrow."

What? You didn't know we were having surgery this week? Neither did we.

Usually, it takes 4-6 weeks to get in to see the ENTs at Primary's. When I called about the world's worst ear infection last week, they got me in in less than a week.

When I schlepped all 4 kids to the hospital for the appointment, the doctor told us that his previously placed ear tube was causing the infection, and it needed to be removed and replaced with a new, non-infected tube as soon as possible. He also suggested removing Max's adenoids because they often are inflamed and contribute to ear infections.

So I was thinking we would book a surgery date in a few weeks. Nope. Try two days. He really did mean as soon as possible.

I really hate taking my little boy in for surgery, no matter how minor. Not fun. Not even remotely. If we never, ever have to hand him over the an anesthesiologist again it will be perfectly fine with me.

Poor Max started screaming the minute they put the hospital bracelet on him, and didn't stop until way after the dose of versed kicked in. Although I have to admit that Tom and I got a chuckle out of the fact that they didn't even ask us if we wanted it, they just ordered it. I supposed him kicking at and running away from the staff probably gave them their first clue.

 The worst part? We know that he remembers. Somewhere, deep in his psyche, he remembers at least parts of the experiences he's had before. The sight of the blue hospital band triggered a fear and rage so deep that there was nothing we could do to console him. 

Luckily, ear tubes and adenoids make for an easy, relatively quick surgery. He woke up from the anesthesia yelling "No Doctors! No Doctors!" but a dose of pain meds took care of everything relatively quickly. We hung out in the hospital until we could get him to drink something, and were more than happy to be headed home.

The afternoon was up and down. Once we finally got him to eat something he started acting a little bit more normal, and was even able to charm one of my violin students into asking "Didn't he have surgery today?" And while things got really ugly when the pain meds wore off, we dosed him up quickly, and got another good laugh out of our drugged up little boy falling asleep in his bowl of cereal.

I'm glad it's done and over with. Glad not to have to wait for weeks, dreading another surgery. Thankful that we're entering cold and flu season with a fresh set of tubes and less chances of ear infections for Max. But seriously. My poor little boy. I wish he could catch a break somewhere.

Oh, and that goes for our medical bills too.

 Dear IHC: Just put this one one our tab, m'kay?


  1. Sounds like this go around had a lot less anticipation than the others, that's a relief for you, I'm sure.

    Poor Max. I think you are right that he probably has trauma triggers around medical care. I know a friend who is sensitive to that issue and could provide some support and commiseration in supporting children through medical trauma. Let me know if you'd like me to get her in touch with you.

  2. He is going to end up being the toughest young man on the block. Poor guy. And poor parents for all of the medical bills.


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