13 September 2012

Surgery on our boy

This was Jack's nose this morning.

This was Jack's nose this evening.

I had expected something to be different, considering what went on in there today. But I can't see anything. He had huge adenoids removed and grommets put in his ears (which never drained because the adenoids were so big, so hopefully he'll be able to hear properly now). He also had his turbinates* cauterised and broken outwards to make his nasal passage wider. Because, you see, the poor chap hasn't been able to breathe out of his nose for a long time.

Check out those petite little nostrils. I have no 
idea who he inherited those from! Fortunately
the surgeon is used to working on tiny babies.
He thought it was horrible, but he was a trooper and a real star. I stayed with him while the anaesthetist put him under with gas through a mask, which took two to three long minutes. I could smell the foul, sour gas he was breathing, and he told me afterwards it felt awful. But do you know what he did part way through the mask phase? He gave me the thumbs up sign. What a guy.

Mostly I feel grateful for modern medical care. Without it he'd just have to live with no effective nose and poor hearing. Instead we have at our disposal anaesthetic, wonderful medical staff, great equipment and great medicines. From that perspective, the 21st century is a good time to be alive.

*Turbinates, as I understand it, are little bony things inside our nose covered with flesh. They serve to humidify and warm the air we breathe in so it doesn't go down to our lungs cold and dry. In people with allergies - in Jack's case it's dustmites - they engorge, and get in the way of breathing.

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