When my oldest son, George, was in kindergarten, his young teacher met with me and advised that he was “acting up” in class; she recommended that we see the school psychologist. Not happening! Our first visit was to the pediatrician.
His diagnosis was an ear infection and he referred us to the ENT specialist. After a thorough examination, the specialist informed us that George had lost 33 percent of his hearing, which more than likely played a major role in his “acting up.” Next on the agenda was tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy surgery the following week.
I used this week to stock up on all things “soft”—Jello, pudding, ice cream (now considered a no-no), oatmeal and, of course, eggs to scramble or soft-boil. I was ready for my little patient.
George’s surgery went well and we brought him home later that evening. While receiving post-operative instructions before leaving the hospital, the specialist shocked us:
“When he’s ready, let him eat anything he wants. If he asks for a pretzel, give it to him, a hard roll—anything.”
“But what about his throat? Won’t these types of food hurt?”
“Give him what he wants. He’ll know what he can or can’t eat.”
George slept through the night: Our brave little soldier. Not his mom and dad, though: We were in and out of his room many times checking on him. The next morning, he awoke with a smile and told me he was very hungry.
“What would you like to eat for breakfast, sweetie?”
“I would like orange juice, scrambled eggs, bacon and an English muffin.”
Yikes! I could deal with the scrambled eggs, but bacon and English muffin? I just couldn’t wrap my mind around that. However, the doctor had recommended we give him anything he wanted. So OK, here we go and I’ll pray for the best.
Our little guy ate everything—there wasn’t a crumb left on his plate.
“How is your throat? Does it hurt?”
“It is OK. I was so hungry!”
That afternoon, my friend, Mae, stopped by and brought George’s lunch (again, his personal request): A bologna sandwich on white, no mustard or mayo, chips and some juice. We looked on in amazement as he enjoyed each and every bite.
The doctor pronounced George “just fine” during his follow-up visit.
“When you meet with George’s teacher, suggest that she recommend a physical exam when a kid misbehaves in class. Many times, the problem can be traced to a hearing or vision problem.”
As I was writing this column, I asked George if he remembered anything about the surgery, after all this happened 50-plus years ago!
“Oh, yeah I do. I remember being wheeled into the operating room with all the overhead lights and having the mask put over my nose—the ether smelled just like oranges. Afterwards, my throat hurt just a little, but not enough where I couldn’t eat! You, Dad, Nanny and Grandpa gave me a bunch of toys—it was like an early Christmas!”
A bologna sandwich, easy on the bologna, is still George’s favorite!
Ruthann can be reached at email@example.com.