Mikayla’s Tonsilectomy And Adenoidectomy – What To Expect

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Sunday – The Day Before…

We just got back from a wonderful walk in Tokai Forest, but instead of feeling calm and relaxed I have such a nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach. My little darling angel will be going in to Constantia Medi-Clinic tomorrow morning to have her Tonsils and Adenoids removed.

I know it is a very standard procedure, I know that the chances of anything going wrong is next to nothing and I trust our ENT specialist (Dr. Liebenberg)  to do an outstanding job, but this is my little girl. I could not even cope with taking her for her vaccinations when she was a baby, Cole had to take her in because I cried every time she did! I just cannot stand the thought of that tiny little body being in pain. I remember having my tonsils removed when I was very little – and it was damn sore! I have prepared as much as I possibly could – I’ve stocked up on jelly, custard, ice cream, chocolate mouse and all of her favourite puree’d fruit and veggies (juicy bags in toddler terms). We’ve moved a television and a DVD player into her room and got her a new pet (Tinkerbell the Rat – but that’s a post for another time). My plan is to bring her home from hospital, build her a pillow nest/fort and watch every single Barbie/Disney Princess movie ever made.

I think what is more nerve wrecking is the fact that I don’t really know what to expect. The purpose of this post is to take other parents doing this for the first time through the journey with us, maybe it will help someone in some way. I will be documenting the day of Mikayla’s surgery as well as the recovery process. As with anything I write here, this does NOT substitute medical advice given to you by your child’s health care provider.  If you have any questions, please contact your child’s doctor.

Day 1, Monday – The Day Of The Surgery

I am a little worried about the no eating thing, Mikayla loves her breakfast! With this kind of procedure they are not allowed to eat anything for six hours prior to the surgery, but can have sips of water or apple juice up to two hours prior.

We arrived at the hospital at 6:30 am and completed Mikayla’s admission, a porter took us up to the day ward and she was shown to her bed. She was given a cute little gown to put on and to my absolute horror I had forgotten to put panties on Mikayla that morning. Pregnancy brain, it is real. Cole had to rush home and get her some as the gown had an opening at the back… I will accept that Worst Mom In The World Award now, thank you.

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I brought her Leapster to keep her busy, but she did not want it. I wish I took crayons and a colouring book! Luckily I had a pen and extra notebook with me and she was quite happy drawing for a couple of minutes.

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The anaesthesist, Dr. White, came around to explain the process and told us that one of us would have to go into theatre with her to hold her when they administer the anaesthetic. We would not be in the theatre during the actual surgery though. He looks like a skinny George Tucker in season 1 of Heart of Dixie. He is kind and reassuring, and too handsome to be an anaesthesist in real life. He warns us that the gas has a sweet smell and that not all kids like it. Asthmatic kids tend to handle the mask better as they are already used to spacers, nebulisers etc. Lucky Mikayla. 

We have been here for about an hour and she is “starving”. Not fun knowing your little one is hungry and you cannot give them any food. She is also grumpy because she does not like the nurse, she is too friendly and uses baby talk (something that does not go down well with this little one). They checked her weight, her height, her blood pressure and body temperature… well I had to do it by pretending to be Doc McStuffins. She is sharing the ward with three other kids, they have been lined up according to age and they will be starting with the youngest ones first.

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At about 9:05 am it was finally our turn (a very long wait for a hungry, bored toddler!) and they took us through to pre-op. Cole was going to take her in, but in the end I had to be with her. We switched places at the last minute and at 9:30 am I carried her to the theatre. I am not sure what I was expecting, but I was not at all prepared for the theatre room… the smallest little bed surrounded by so many tubes and machines everywhere. There were stains on the floor and the room was freezing cold. She was so scared, I kept telling her that she was very brave, that I loved her and I was right there. I sat down on the chair, wrapped her tightly in a blanket they gave me and held her to my chest. Dr. White placed the mask on her face and asked her to “blow up the balloon”.  She did so well, but it scared the crap out of me when the anaesthetic started taking effect. Her chest was making this odd growling noise and she went completely limp, off to a deep and peaceful sleep. It probably mostly scared me because I have NEVER seen my daughter that still, not even when sleeping. I layed her down on the theatre bed, gave her a kiss on the head and burst into tears. Pregnancy hormones… or just being a mom, i don’t know.  Dr. White assured me that everything was fine and Dr. Liebenberg escorted me out of the theatre. He looks like he belongs in an episode of Greys Anatomy or E.R. He gave me a tissue and assured me that he will look after my little girl. I went back to the day room and waited…

At 10:00 am we were back at pre-op, the operation was over and we were assured she was just fine. She was in the recovery room and they had to wait for her to start waking up before they would bring her to us. I could not help but tear up at the thought of how much pain she might be in, or how confused she would be if we were not the first people she would see when she wakes up. At 10:20 am they wheeled her out of the recovery room, she was still sleeping and had a drip in her hand… she looked sad. It broke my heart, but I was so relieved!

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She started waking up for brief moments about half an hour later, crying and complaining of pain. She was hysterical and I needed to sing her song for her to calm down. I sang for what felt like an eternity. When she finally woke up properly she had some apple juice and tried to play a game on Cole’s Iphone. Dr. Liebenberg came around to explain her medication and got interrupted by “excuse me, hi, excuse me… My mommy gives me my new medicine every day”– it was hilarious, but you had to be there. At about 13:40 pm she was eating loads of ice cream and some jelly, she was doing so much better! We took her home at about 13:00 pm, she had a really good appetite. I was shocked, she really ate a lot, she even had a sandwich. She had some pain, but the Myprodol seemed to ease it.

Day 2, Tuesday – The Next Day…

She slept terribly last night and she was very sore when she woke up. Her mood was fine all day and so was her appetite, but she was very constipated. This is quite gross, but she had this terrible smell surrounding her. It could possibly be from all the blood she swallowed during the surgery. So many farts. Gross.

Day 3, Wednesday…

No-one slept last night… she was crying all night and had crazy dreams about tea and people stealing her marshmallows. She woke up in the morning crying from the pain. She did not eat that well on this day, but the constipation seemed to have passed.

Day 4, Thursday…

What is sleep?
She woke up hysterical and had an asthma attack. She was very clingy the rest of the day and complained that she was not feeling well. She spent the day at Nanna’s house as I had to go back to work.  This is approximately when the scabs start to come off causing a lot of pain in the throat. The breath is also just rancid. I can’t imagine what taste that caused in the mouth.This is also about the time we were told to expect some bleeding, but fortunately we never had that issue.

Day 5, Friday…

Sleep is not real… It is a myth. She is a little bit grumpy, but she seems just fine. She still does not quite have her appetite back, but we are getting there.

Day 6, Saturday…
I am starting to think we will never sleep again, this is good practice for when our newborn arrives at the end of the year I guess. I literally had to get up for her every hour last night – not fun when rolling off the bed takes meticulous planning and effort. I am not sure if it is the anesthetic that is still in her system or her medication, but she is still having terribly vivid dreams and nightmares. I even gave her pain medication in the middle of the night, but it made no difference so I am not sure if the pain is the problem. When she finally woke up she was very moody, but that only lasted a little while. I promised her we can try fly her kite today so that lifted her spirits. When this is over, I’m going into a self induced sleep coma. As the day passed her voice started to sound funny and her nose got all snotty – at about 6 pm the fever started. Oh boy, this cannot be good. She was fast asleep by 8pm and has already started waking up whimpering.

Day 7, Sunday…
It’s 4:30 am… It is official, she is sick. Her throat is still sore and she is coughing so much. She had a high temperature last night and has quite a snotty nose. I will phone the doctor tomorrow and find out if this is normal. My biggest worry is that her throat starts bleeding because of the coughing.

Day 8, Monday…
We took Mikayla to the ENT for a check-up. She was not happy to see him! He assured us that all her symptoms are normal – some kids just have more trouble than others. He also told us that between day 5 and 8 is the worst and it should just get better from here. So relieved!

Day 11, Thursday
Mikayla is pretty much back to her old bubbly self. Just in time for daddy’s birthday party!

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TIPS:

• Take their favourite blanky with to the hospital, apparently you lessen their chances of getting infections by keeping them warm
• Take their favourite stuffed animal for comfort.
• Take some crayons and a coloring book or games to keep them busy – the wait can be very long.
• Take their favourite story books to read to them.
• the sooner they eat solid food, like sandwiches, the better – they need to use the muscles at the back of their throats in order to heal faster and have less pain.
• Be patient, this is scary and new to them and they are in such a confused state when they wake up from the anesthetic.

Did you find this helpful at all?

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4 thoughts on “Mikayla’s Tonsilectomy And Adenoidectomy – What To Expect

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