Ariq had been complaining about the pain in his throat, since he came home from school on Wednesday afternoon.. There was a little trace of white on his right tonsil, which could have been a fish bone or a scratch from something that hit it on the way into his tummy..
I tried to persuade him to see the doctor, but he was still afraid, although at the same time, he was struggling with anything going in his throat.. He finally agreed to see the doctor on Saturday..
We got an appointment for him to see an ear, nose and throat specialist (THT) at the hospital, at 2 p.m., after my appointment with the obgyn (for routine pregnancy check up).
When the doctor checked Ariq, she believed it was a fish bone. However, Ariq was very uncooperative during the treatment -he kept pushing the doctor's hands by reflex, but he also refused to have his hands held by his dad- so the doctor gave up after Ariq came into her room twice!
We decided to go to the special hospital for ear, nose and throat, where I often take Ariq and Aza to have their ears cleaned. We were hoping with the familiar place and faces, Ariq could feel more comfortable.
However, it didn't happen like we expected!
The exact same thing happened, and the doctor didn't want to push Ariq too much, afraid that it would cause a trauma for him.
At the same time, the doctor told us that Ariq's tonsils were very big, and they would be a problem in the future -if they hadn't yet-. We explained to the doctor that Ariq very often suffered cough and fever for every little thing, from getting unexpected rain, eating snacks, etc.
The doctor suggested to take Ariq's tonsils, which would mean, saving Ariq's the problem in the future, and the fish bone will be taken out too.. The operation would be very short and quite safe.. Ariq would only need to stay one night at the hospital.
So, we agreed to take Ariq back to the hospital on Sunday morning to be observed before the operation on Sunday afternoon. Throughout the observation, Ariq looked well for the operation.
He put up quite a fight when the nurses were taking his blood sample, but apart from that, he was behaving quite well.. :-)
An unexpected thing happened when the anesthetic doctor came into Ariq's room to introduce himself before the operation. He checked Ariq's throat and spoke to Ariq in a friendly manner. Then, he asked everyone in the room -especially my husband and myself- if we had anything we would like to discuss about the operation.
We tried to collect our thoughts, but nothing specific came to our minds.. but suddenly, Ariq raised his hand,
"I have a question!" He said to the anesthetic doctor.
"Yes, what is it?" The doctor replied eagerly.
"I don't want to be anesthesised with a needle. I want to inhale." Confidently he spoke.
"Sure! OK! You got it! I'll get the 'balloon' ready!" The doctor raised two thumbs up to Ariq and then shook Ariq's hand to 'close the deal'.
Well, Ariq knew that he had a choice of anesthesising method because he asked me about my tonsil operation years back (I was about 5.5 years old then). I explained to him that the nurses put a piece of cloth over my mouth and nose and put some drips of liquid, which caused me to feel sleepy when I inhaled it.
Still, all of us in that room were surprised to see how he confidently asked the doctor about it! My mother-in-law told him how brave, he was and how proud she was with him. Her compliments definitely made him feel very proud of himself and made him less afraid of the thought of the operation.
A little worry came to cross our minds of what might happen once he had to walk into the operation room. I was really worried -clearly remembering that I TRIED TO RUN BACK TO MY ROOM AND CURLING UP ON THE AISLE FLOOR trying not to be operated- when I was going through my operation. Our worry disappeared, as Ariq confidently walked himself into the operation room and sat himself on the operation bed -well, he hesitated to, a little, on the side of the bed, but no struggle at all-
The next impressive moment was when he had started inhaling the anesthetic fume, and he realised that it smelled bad..
He was surprised that he had to inhale from a mask, instead of a piece of cloth. He turned to me and asked, "Mum, you said that I had a third choice!"
Ugh! I knew I had to give him the 'believable' answer according to his understanding.. So, in a split second -as the doctors and nurses looked at me- I gave my answer, "That was a long time ago, Ariq.. the piece of cloth and drops of liquid has been banned by the United Nations because it is not good for children.. it causes rashes around children's mouth and nose due to the direct contact with soft skin. There are only 2 options now, needle or mask."
"Are you sure?" Ariq asked me.
I took a deep breath and answered, "Of course I'm sure. Let's search in google after your operation."
He still refused to be anesthesised while laying down (he wanted to inhale while sitting up). However, after a few more sniffs, he finally lost most of his energy, and it wasn't so hard for 6 adults to put him in laying down position, as he was drifting off..
He kept saying, "I don't want to lay down.. I don't want to lay down.." But after a few seconds, he was already completely down.. and the doctor asked me to wait in Ariq's room.
Fifteen minutes later, the doctor showed up, informing us that the operation had been successfully done and Ariq could go home the next morning. We were relieved with this news..
The more relieving news brought by the doctor was that by having the operation, it was clear that Ariq's tonsils were actually in very bad condition, and the fish bone had nothing to do with it except giving us a way to have them removed!
The abscess was inside the tonsils, and it was not visible to the outside because the swollen tonsils looked just like big tonsils.. if the fish bone never got stuck on it, the abscess could have become worse until it was too late.. That was why every time Ariq had a cough, and we took him to a doctor, the doctor always said that it was a bad sore throat..
Ah, some things in life just happen unexpectedly.. but for a very important reason.. :-)
Ariq is recovering now.. he hates soft food.. but he must put up with it for a couple more days.. he is also still drowsy from the drugs, although since yesterday, he has asked me to reduce the dose of the painkiller from 3 times a day to twice a day..
He has asked me to come with him to school tomorrow, because he is already missing his teachers and friends.. He said that he might not last the whole day at school, but at least he gets to meet everyone..
Really.. watching an active kid like Ariq being stranded in bed like this makes me feel sad.. but I also know that even the strongest person needs to have a rest sometimes.. :-)
I am now hoping that after this operation, Ariq will start having a stronger body and healthier life.. :-)