09 November 2009

Say a prayer and cross your fingers (whichever you prefer to do)

Tomorrow at 6:30am we are taking Ben over to Kaiser to get his tonsils and adenoids taken out. I'm excited. I'm nervous. I'm hopeful, mostly. It's no secret that Ben is a small kid. Joel and I often say it feels like we're going to brake him when we pick him up. He's so skinny. Sooooo skinny. We've always attributed it to the many health problems he had (see many of the posts back in 2008). He had reflux really badly and had chronic upper respiratory infections. The pediatrician told me it would take awhile for him to catch up in size since he was stunted in his growth for so long. Knowing that, I was piecing some bits of information together about Ben. Often times, when he's asleep at night, I can hear him snoring all the way from his room, with the door closed, to our family room. Also, he does that stop breathing for 7-10 seconds at a time then takes a big gasp and falls back asleep. That, along with his low weight, always enlarged lymph nodes (see pictures below), and being a chronic mouth breather made me ask the pediatrician for a referral to an ENT.

When I went in to meet with the ENT the first thing she did was ask me how long his lymph nodes have looked like that. When I said 6 months she responded with, "why are just in here now?" I went on to talk about the other issues; his history, a voice recording of him sleeping, and her visual assessment of Ben quickly led to the conclusion that he needs his tonsils and adenoids removed. She said it *should* help with many of his health issues. Kids who need their tonsils and adenoids removed often has chronic upper respiratory infections because their tonsils and adenoids are simply a house for bacteria to hang out in. Therefore, his lymph nodes are always swollen in a meek attempt to fight the ever present bacteria in his mouth. Kids who need them removed are often mouth breathers because his adenoids (which sit behind the nostrils in the nasal passage) are enlarged and make it difficult to breath through the nose. Also, kids who need them out have sleep apnea and have problems gaining weight and growing normally because the Human Growth Hormone is released during deep sleep. Ben never gets to deep sleep because he body is consistently waking him up to breath.

So, I'm excited that this one, semi simple procedure, has the potential to really help Ben. Maybe he won't be sick as much. Maybe he'll finally grow and gain some weight. Maybe he'll get quality sleep at night. Maybe his lymph nodes will finally go down in size. Maybe...

However, it is a procedure that requires anesthesia and that makes me nervous. He's had it before and did "fine" with it so I know he doesn't have a reaction to it. But still, some one is in charge of making sure my son wakes up from a very very deep sleep so to speak. That is scary. Also, he is going to be in some pain. It's going to be one serious sore throat. So, say a prayer or cross your fingers for Ben tomorrow. I'll give an update after all is done.

Not sure if you can tell~ it seems so obvious to me~ but on either side of his larynx are huge bulges. Those are his swollen lymph nodes.

Another view~ the bulge right below his ear lobe.

And just because Ben specifically asked me to take a picture of him and Gabriel. Too cute these boys!


  1. Marcus had his out at the same age. (It changed his voice. He sounded a lot like Kermit the Frog.) He would gag himself when he cried or got over excited because they were larger than normal and that would make them even larger. He would even gag if his food was too big. The procedure went quickly and they made it fun. He was groggy, but that was fine. The hard part was getting him to take the pain killer afterwards. We literally had to force it on him a few times. Marcus never had a growth problem (obviously), but he was always sick before he got them out. He had walking pneumonia and other fun ER visits. Now he rarely even catches a cold. I sure hope it helps your Ben.

  2. it's going to go great! i can't wait for sweet, happy little ben to be even happier. :)

  3. That poor kid!! I can't believe his lymph nodes were that swollen, chronically, and the pediatrician didn't think to refer you to an ENT before.

    I remember having my lymph nodes swollen that huge, at least, when I had mono in high school. It is so uncomfortable! I really hope Ben starts feeling better SOON.

  4. Good luck to you guys. We will pray for Ben. I'm so glad you were able to put all the pieces together and figure out what he needed. You are such a great mother. I hope all goes well tomorrow. give Ben a hug from us.

  5. Yes, I can see his lymph nodes are enlarged from your pictures. I sure hope his procedure goes well too. I'll pray for him. Do let us know how it goes!

  6. We are thinking of you guys! I have a girlfriend whose girls all had to go through that, and they all did wonderfully. It made a huge difference for each of them. Keep us posted!

  7. Yes, Clouds - everything is fine. Ben is doing great! (sorry for the late reply)