If you found this post via the great Google world, thanks for stopping by. Just know, it’s 4 years old. It’s not my best writing. And it’s our personal experience. Everyone’s is different. Since writing this, I’ve quit my job, had another baby, become a full-time writer/mama (novel coming 2017), and put my third daughter through a tonsillectomy that flared up an underlying neurological condition. If you’re interested in any of that hop over to my home page, just my story, or read about Clinically Isolated Syndrome right here. If not, good luck with your T&A. My best advice? Expect anything.
Top Ten Tonsillectomy Facts
If you follow this blog or stalk me on facebook or know me in real life you know we’ve had some medical drama lately in the life of my six-in-three-weeks daughter, Annabelle. Here’s what I’ve learned from her recent tonsillectomy (and adenoidectomy if that’s a word) that I hope might be of help to anyone staring down giant tonsils that must come out of their kid’s throat. I’ll be praying for you. Seriously.
Believe the doctor/nurse/anesthesiologist when they tell you that your child will be furious upon waking up and realizing they have no tonsils and a giant needle in their hand. Expect the kicking, screaming, and thrashing about. There may even be some foaming at the mouth. But this is not the worst because your sweet baby still has some heavy drugs in her system and will pass back out shortly.
Understand that tylenol with codeine will put this monster to sleep but it may not turn off the pain they’re experiencing. Don’t be afraid to call and ask for something stronger. Doctors know best, but you know your child’s tolerance level best and, believe me, if they’re little, they have no tolerance.
Don’t buy a lot of food beforehand. For us it’s only an old wives’ tale that post-tonsillectomy patients want popsicles and ice cream. Belle wanted (and still doesn’t really want) either. I bought at least fifty popsicles. The good kind. They look like crayons. But so far, if she’s eaten anything with consistency, it’s been bland. Like naked noodles. And that wasn’t until day three post-op.
As a parent we strive for good nutrition for our kids. That means that when they won’t eat anything you’ll offer (and cave) to anything to get them to eat. I sympathize more than ever now with parents of picky eaters. Oh, and apparently an ounce an hour is enough fluid to keep a 42 lb kid going. So says the ER doc.
Rely on someone else. There’s no winning battles with stubborn kids who are on meds. If they’ll accept medicine from someone else (even your mother-in-law) let them do it, no matter how inadequate it might make you (the mom) feel. yeah, that might be a whole other top 10 issue.
If the recovering patient wants to try something that you would never think she would want and it’s not going to risk scratching her throat, let her try it. Annabelle has eaten both pop-tarts and crescent rolls with great enthusiasm for the past two days. She still won’t touch the ice cream and left an uneaten bowl of chocolate pudding on the table.
On day five (to seven) the scabs come off. This is tricky business. Days three and four make you think she’s making progress and the worst is over. Then she’s hysterical at 4:15 in the morning when by all accounts on the medicine bottle the Lortab has just worn off.
Send her back to school as soon as possible. We had a Wednesday surgery, so after five days, she went back to school on Monday morning. Distraction makes a kid forget they’re “supposed” to hurt.
Get a good icepack. For some reason just holding that on her throat calmed my child more than anything else. In a pinch you can always use frozen vegetables. Or in my case the old freezer pack I used to use when packing bottles.
Just hold that baby. Or rub their arms. Don’t touch their face. This might cause sudden shrieking spasms. And know that those moments are foreshadows of a future delivery room when she’s making you a grandmother and remember when that time comes, you want to be safely waiting down the hall.
Any more tips for me?
4 thoughts on “Top Ten Tonsillectomy Facts”
Truer words could not found elsewhere Lindsey! So sorry you had the bad surgery issues, but your foresight down the road to “grandma” day is true! Rachel was a real trouper during her tonsillectomy, but became a real angry young person upon coming out of surgery! But don't close that delivery room door just yet! I could not have imagined the pure joy of being able to witness my Maddox's entry into life and being able to cut his cord! Your Annebelle my grow into the strong woman her mother is!
We haven't had to do this surgery (at least not thus far), but my youngest (7 yrs old) just had oral surgery. I cannot believe how many times we let her eat macaroni and cheese during the week that she was not supposed to be taking bites out of anything. (Her surgery was on the gums above her top front teeth.) That was just about all she wanted to eat. (She also didn't really want ice cream. She had it once, I think.)
I stopped by from FMF but the title of this post caught my eye. I would add one thing: when the doctors tell you that you should try to keep your post-surgery child relatively quiet for the first week after surgery, believe them. My daughter had a “bleed” a week after her surgery because she was back to normal activity. She ended up back in the OR having emergency repair surgery. All your other points are right on target. 🙂
Thanks for sharing yours' and your child's experience. However, every child recovers differently. Some recover with in days some take weeks. Some dont respond to treatment and some do. Just do what's best for your child. Only you as a parent knows what that is.