Saturday, April 04, 2009

Good bye tonsils!

Last week Adam had his tonsils and adenoids removed at the suggestion of our ENT here. Phil noted that I would have never agreed to move to Hong Kong if I would have been told hospital stays for children would be part of the deal. And he is right. But now, with a couple years in Hong Kong under our belts, I feel very comfortable with the medical care here. In fact, when we were at the hospital with Adam I recognized and greeted a couple doctors there that had treated us on past occasions. We also knew a couple of the other patients. Hong Kong is a small community, particularly when you are going to one of the two hospitals recommended for expats.

Adam had his surgery at one of the recommended hospitals, Hong Kong Adventist Hospital, which is in Happy Valley on the way up the mountain to the Peak. Outside Adam’s window was a classic view of Central Hong Kong, all urban and gritty and exciting. And in true Hong Kong form, Adam’s hospital is under construction so lots of noise and reshuffling of patients through various elevators. The hallways are narrow and many times, we had to squeeze back to the wall to let a patient hooked up to oxygen go past.

Adam was very excited to go to the hospital, particularly as Royce had already had her own hospital stay. Adam bounced around the room pre-surgery and maintained this excitement until just prior to going into the operating room. Everything went fine but Adam came back to his hospital room a much subdued little boy. While a tonsillectomy is typically an out-patient procedure in the states, in Hong Kong one night hospital stay is required. Adam was also hooked up to an IV for fluids for the first afternoon.

The girls and friends visited Adam that evening and dramatically lightened the mood. We ordered food from the cafeteria and noticed that the menu was vegetarian and caffeine free (though something called vegetarian chicken nuggets was on the menu as well as vegetarian meat sauce). It was only then that we realized Adventist hospital was owned by the 7th Day Adventist Church, a Christian denomination that recognizes Saturday as the Sabbath and promotes a strict, apparently vegetarian, diet.

Adam’s recovery continued apace with plenty of ice cream and many thoughtful cards, calls and gifts. Adam’s class all wrote him cards with great sentiments like “feel 100 times better!” and “I hope your tonsils don’t grow back!” and “don’t worry too much!” At home, Adam is working on writing about small moments, just as his class is doing. (He missed one week of school). When Adam wrote about the tonsils, he wrote many pages on the lead up to the surgery and then just one page on the surgery. “It hurt. It is over.” Thank goodness!


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