My son’s adenoid and tonsillectomy
Nothing quite compares to the feeling of controlled, loss of control you experience with surgery. Arrival and pre-op procedures are orderly, the hospital staff is calm and professional and inside you are crumbling. What’s worse is the added feeling of betrayal, when that surgery is for your small, frightened child who has actually been looking forward to this day for the promise of toys. And you are the one marching him into the operating room and lifting him onto the operating table and holding his hand as the anesthesiologist carefully puts him to sleep and then your job is done.
Now you wait. And ignore the reading material you brought as you stare at the monitor waiting for your patient ID code to turn from fuchsia to blue, indicating the surgery is finish. Almost an hour goes by.
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The doctor met us in the waiting room to let us know that my son’s adenoid and tonsillectomy was successful. I felt significant relief. He told us that his adenoids were especially enlarged and pus filled. I went into the recovery area to be with him as he woke up. I was glad he didn’t thrash as many small children do after anesthesia. He wanted me to hold him so I got in the gurney too and he dozed. Then we got a ride to and he stayed for a few groggy hours in the pediatric ward on IV fluids recovering. For the last hour I was alone with him while he mostly slept and I was mostly as peace with my hand on his. After a short walk, attached to the IV pole, down the hall he was deemed ready to go (no more stay-overs for tonsillectomies). Then the super nice nurse helped us to the car with my son in a small wheel chair and he gave us a throw-up bag and a towel for just in case.
It has been hard going at home, especially trying to get him to drink and eat a little something. He stopped talking altogether towards the evening on that first day. He cried in pain during the night, threw up the antibiotics the next morning, and had an on and off slight fever. But by this afternoon of day two he was starting to talk a lot more (even though he sounds like a mouse talking into a tin can) and feel a bit better. A feeling enhanced by lots of great toys from Grandma to play with!
His favorite is the Imaginext Dragon World Fortress. And it makes me so happy to see him share with his best friend and older sister! I love watching them play together.
The back story…
My son has had a stuffy nose for more than a year. I asked our pediatrician about it at his 4 year visit. He said it was probably his adenoids and gave us a referral to see an ear, nose, and throat specialist; the same specialist who performed his son’s adenoidectomy. Knowing the visit would likely result in a recommendation for surgery, I put it off. A few months and 4 strep infections later, I made the appointment. He has had a few other related issues including ear infections, excess saliva, and affected speech.
Here is a diagram I found which shows the location of the adenoids in relation to the tonsils (click on image for source).
I hope he spends less time being sick. I really hope he doesn’t have recurring nightmares related to the experience like my husband and I do from our’s. I am also hoping his speech will improve. The doctor said it is like a switch for some and for others speech therapy is necessary. We are waiting for a call from our district’s early ed to see if he qualifies for services.
I have so much to be thankful for. I feel like we did the right thing but it was a very, very hard day!
- For more on Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy visit Medicine Net.
- Also I found this after-care guide with a detailed list of soft foods to try (although our doctor did say to avoid dairy).
- And here is a great article on the guidelines for and the debate over whether or not to remove tonsils.
Has your child had surgery? Was it more traumatic for you or your child? Please share.