Monday, October 06, 2014

Tongue Tumor


Ellie has to have surgery in November for a growth under her tongue.

She’s had it since she was little but just recently it has started to bother her so she mentioned it to our dentist.

Actually, I mentioned it to our dentist in the lobby as we were heading out because Ellie completely forgot to bring it up.

Which is not usually the case with Ellie.

She likes to raise her hand and bring stuff to people’s attention.

Especially if it’s off topic.

Like about dolphins having belly buttons 
or some tidbit about ancient Sparta.

The dentist looked under Ellie’s tongue right there in the lobby and said it looked like a water sack. 

Being the mature person that I am, I asked,

“Ellie has a tongue sack??”

We all laughed. 

The dentist ignored me and asked Ellie if she noticed that it got bigger when she smelled food that she liked.

My inquisitive mind shot out,

“Like a frog?!?”

The receptionist lost it.

And then started doing a pretty darn
good impression of a frog.

In spite of me, the dentist recommended seeing an oral surgeon.

We actually know the oral surgeon. 

We used to go to church together.

I did bible study with his wife.

I love being in a small community at times like this.

Ellie and I both didn’t know what to expect walking into the appointment.

His office is in the hospital.

Which is intimidating.
But it was all good.

The doctor hadn’t seen Ellie in years (he used to teach Sunday School) and spent time catching up with her about school and her interests.

She mentioned golf and hitting two geese with one ball.

And of course, being a water snake in Little Mermaid Jr.

And she was going to use her arms in the choreography,
thank you very much.

After an examination, he determined that the growth wasn’t a tongue sack but a tongue tumor.

And he was fairly confident that it was benign.

He said he wanted to schedule a surgery to remove it and it would take 5-7 days to recover fully.

Eating and swallowing would be tough for awhile.

And singing would be next to impossible.

So he recommended scheduling it AFTER Little Mermaid Jr. 

I love that he was sensitive to what was important to Ellie.

The front desk lady tried to schedule the surgery for October 30th but Ellie looked at me and said,

“I want to eat Halloween candy!”

I explained that Halloween was a pretty big deal at our house so we got scheduled for November 6th.

Ellie and I had lunch before I took her back to school and she told me that she wouldn’t be able to gross her friends out anymore with her tongue sack.

Under the tongue tumor
There’s cereal in her teeth.

I didn’t realize she had a little “stupid human trick” 
thing going on in the middle school cafeteria.

I told her that she’d have stitches for awhile and those could be gross.

Here’s hoping…

Ellie also said that she’d have to get used to calling it a tongue tumor instead of a tongue sack.

“Maybe I’ll just go by T2"

So there’s that.

The big decision was if we would just have her under local anesthesia or full-on put her to sleep.

My first reaction was, absolutely do not put her to sleep.

My girlfriend in college had her cat put under 
to get “dipped” for fleas and never woke up.

And that’s basically the same thing, right??

Then the doctor said the surgery would last an hour.

And that Ellie would definitely want to bring ear buds to distract her from the fact that her mouth was hanging open with someone’s fingers inside it for 60 WHOLE MINUTES.

I talked to Monte about it and he reminded me that if I had it my way, I would be knocked out for a dental cleaning.

Good point.

I don’t get it my way for dental cleanings, 
just for the record.

So we decided we couldn’t ask Ellie to do something we wouldn’t be willing to do ourselves.

Monte totally agreed that he’d want to be gassed BIG TIME if he was having a tongue tumor removed.

Of course, he still has nightmares 
about the local anesthesia he had for the 

But I’m not allowed to talk about it yet.

I always ask him,

“Can we laugh about it yet?”

“Is it funny yet?"

And the answer is always something like,


Back to Ellie.

Now, she is quite nervous about the IV and needles the size of broom sticks.

Where does she get her wild imagination?!

My girlfriend who is a Child Life Specialist at the Children’s Hospital is going to come over with a Cabbage Patch doll and some medical equipment and explain exactly what is going to happen to her and when.

I’ll say it again,

I love being in a small community at times like this.

1 comment:

  1. Amen to being part of a small community. Praying for your Ellie. I have a feeling she will do just fine : )


Just Another Rat Story

Happy Summer! Our summer started with Monte and I sitting on the back patio after dinner chatting while a rat ran across our yard. This...