When we met with the doctor that performed the surgery on Colin's tonsil removal, he had discussed numerous times that the recovery was about a week. With this in mind, we loosely planned that Colin would be home recovering from Wednesday to Wednesday and then would try to have him return to school on Thursday, just over a week later.
During the first few days after surgery, Colin did better than we expected. We kept the pain medication going on a schedule and while he was far from himself, he didn't cry or complain too much about the pain itself. He ate and drank more than I expected but far less than was typical for him. He surprised us on day 2 with a request for slices of pizza and so we obliged; he ate both big slices! We let him dictate what/when he wanted to eat knowing that his appetite was down due to discomfort. We pushed the liquids more but he was actually pretty good about listening. Colin isn't much of a drinker to begin with and never has been, so he probably drank more during this time than he does regularly!
While he isn't a complainer at all, he did voice his discomfort during convenient times; at bedtime: "I stay here on the couch, my throat hurts". Although he knew how to use this to his benefit, he still was far from himself. He was very mopey and emotional and when he did interact with Kailey and Cody he was pretty irritable. This is more what we expected of him because he doesn't always know how to effectively communicate what he is thinking or feeling.
The peak for us was day 5 in terms of being the worst (something I remembered with myself and several people said this as well). That night he woke up in the middle of the night screaming and crying, the ONLY day he carried on (he didn't even do that the day OF surgery) and it took awhile to settle him back down and get him to sleep again. It was also the only night he needed pain medication in the middle of the night. This was due to the scabs healing and/or falling off. After that, we noticed that we were on a little upswing and things slowly started to improve from there.
As we got through the day exactly a week later, we felt that he would be ready to send him back to school yesterday even if it only meant he was there and simply getting through the day. His teachers said he had a great morning but we got a call about halfway through the day asking us to pick him up because he was so exhausted; something I had thought might happen. He was pretty emotional last night but rebounded this morning and happily got on the bus and made it the whole day. He even went to his private karate lesson after school today and did really well.
These pictures were all from tonight, the first day/night where his "Colin smile" reappeared. It makes me feel much better to see my little boy returning to himself, even though we know he's not quite 100% healed yet. We can still tell what's off with him but he's far better than where he came from! His voice still sounds funny and he's still not sleeping as well as we are hoping for (there are some sleep behaviors that we now have to work on breaking - we had let things go for so long since we knew he was really uncomfortable at night prior to surgery) but this *should* improve over the next week. We are hoping with a restful weekend, he will be mostly back to himself by the beginning of next week!