New Territory – Need Advice

In the state of Virginia, and I’m guessing other states, the public school system requires students have a full physical to enter the school. As we recently changed schools and had not done the physical since Kindergarten, we needed a new one. So off we went to Dr. L. What you should know about Dr. L is that she is the most thorough doctor I’ve ever seen. The first time I ever went to her it was for a terribly bruised big toe. By the time I left her office that day, I’d had a pap smear and was scheduled for an MRI on my brain. I kid you not, this woman is thorough.

In the last month, Kiddo has faced two back-to-back bouts of strep throat. She also snores something terrible, suffers a touch of sleep apnea (stops breathing in her sleep) and is slightly larger than your typical nine year old. Lets just say, shopping for clothes or shoes in the kids department is a thing of the past.

According to Dr. L, taking out Kiddo’s tonsils would make a huge difference for her future. Likely less infections, less snoring, eliminate the apnea, better sleep, better metabolism which would lead to dropping the extra pounds which in turn reduces the chances of Diabetes in her future. (For the record, her father suffers from apnea, snores something terrible, is overweight and Diabetic. So these genes did not come from me. Just sayin’.)

All this means my baby is going to likely have her tonsils out at the end of the year. They’ll do it the second week of Christmas break so she won’t miss any school. I’ve had my share of surgeries in my life, spent nights in the hospital and done the recovery bit. But I’ve never had my tonsils out. Neither have any of my siblings. I’m pretty sure both my parents still have theirs. So this is all new to me.

My baby has been to the emergency room one time and that was before she was two. I’ve been very lucky with her (and believe me I’m knocking on all the wood I can find right now) so I’m a little freaked out – on the inside. I should win an Oscar for my performance of nonchalance on the outside.

What I need to know is, has anyone out there been through this? Either you’ve had the surgery yourself or you’ve been through this with your own kiddos. Any advice, things you wish you’d known, words of wisdom? I’ll take anything I can get.

PS: Her father says he’ll come here for the surgery. He’s 1100 miles away and has NEVER been here. I’ll be requesting prayers for that ordeal at a later date.

14 thoughts on “New Territory – Need Advice”

  1. Hvitveis says:

    I had my tonsils out as a kid. No trauma at all for me. I can just about remember being a bit sore and having to eat white bread without the crust afterwards. I thought it was brilliant. white bread was for sunday-breakfast and I got to eat it every day.

  2. terrio says:

    Hvitveis – I LOVED white bread as a kid. Would sneak a piece every chance I got. And my biggest worry is Kiddo’s intense fear of needles. Or anything she thinks is going to cause the slightest pain. I’ve explained she’s not going to get through life without a little pain and in some cases (me giving birth to her) it’s well worth all the suffering.

    Believe it or not, getting that IV in is going to be the worst part. Thanks for the input.

  3. Poor baby. Children are so precious. I’d love it if none of them had to deal with things like this.

    My dad has sleep apnea and snores. They gave him a harmless breathing machine-though it’s pretty loud and we do tend to call it his scuba But he’s fine now.

    As for the tonsils, I’ve also never had mine out but my baby cousin did. She had some pain but I actually think she liked it because she got out of school and could have all the ice cream she wanted.

    I, like your baby, am really terrified of needles. But I’ve noticed that they don’t actually hurt, just cause me anxiety. I’ve never had an IV, though, so I don’t know how that will be. But I’ve been told that if you have the right person put it in you won’t feel a thing. And luckily she won’t have to feel any other shots after that IV.

    Okay, I hope all goes well!

  4. irisheyes says:

    Hey, Ter, I had my tonsils out the summer after 4th grade. I don’t remember much about the pain (and believe me if it was horrendous I’d be able to give you every minute detail – you know how well my childhood memory works!). I do remember being able to eat ice cream and my throat being too sore to want it.

    I also had strep throat last year and thought I was going to die. The pain was incredible. So I’m thinking she probably had either worse or comparable pain with the strep. Technology being what it is they’ve probably got some really great numbing fluid to have her swallow to keep her throat soothed.

    As for the needles – I’ve found the best way to deal with kids and needles is distraction. When my kids were little and getting immunizations, they would hold the other’s hand and squeeze real hard. I told them it helped and they believed me. They joke about it now. If either one of them have to have a shot they look at the other and say “you need to come with so I can squeeze your hand.” If she’s not watching the needle and the nurse is good, she’ll never feel it. The really good ones usually work pediatrics just for that reason.

  5. Oh, you should talk to Ely. Her brother had his tonsils out to fix a bunch of things, with a doc recommend!

  6. terrio says:

    Kelly – You’ve hit it on the head with the anxiety being the real problem. Once it’s over, she’s fine. It’s the anxiety that begins the moment the words “needle” or “shot” are mentioned that is so bad.

  7. terrio says:

    Irish – She’s actually not worried about the pain of the surgery, just getting the IV. But she found out yesterday they can give her an oral sedative then put in the IV after she’s out. That made her feel much better and she’s ready to go.

    She will have to wait though, as they surgery will be Dec 29 so she won’t have to miss school. And if she works it right, she should really make out at Christmas.

  8. terrio says:

    Tiff – I couldn’t believe the long list of benefits they said this surgery would have. Everything from fixing the snoring to preventing future orthodontic work to improving her self-esteem. Who knew?!

  9. J.K. Coi says:

    Ter, I never had my tonsils removed, but I remember a different operation when I was about 6-7. I think the initial anxiety overshadows the reality. She’ll be fine and won’t feel anything, I’m sure. Then she’ll get to eat jello and ice cream until she can’t eat any more. It’s all good!

  10. terrio says:

    JK – she’s definitely looking forward to the ice cream. And it is the fear of the unknown. The more she learns about it, the better she feels about it. Thank goodness one of her new girlfriends in school had this done a couple years ago and has told her all about it. And I’m even more thankful she had a positive experience to talk about.

  11. Janga says:

    Terri, how great that Isabelle has a friend who can tell her all about what to expect. That should do a lot to reassure her.

    Her throat may be too sore to eat the ice cream at first though. I advise telling her that at some point. My sister had her tonsils out when she was five–quite a number of decades ago, and she still complains about being deceived about the ice cream. LOL!

  12. terrio says:

    Janga – yes, the friend with the info is mucho helpful. And as soon as the doc said they’d knock her out with a drink before sticking her with needles, the anxiety went away.

    I’ll warn her about the possible delay in the ice cream. But the doc says they are using this new state of the art plasma thing to take them out, so less bleeding and less pain. Fingers crossed!

  13. I still have my tonsils. These are OLD tonsils now, and I’ve never been too sick. *knocks wood* My kids still have their tonsils too. But my son had to have surgery for a hernia at age 6 and then had appendicitis when he was 11. Scary times. I did my share of not sleeping in the ghastly recliner they set up in his room.

    I know Isabelle (and you) will be fine. Everything is so much easier and compassionate for families nowadays. And you can pamper her all you want when she gets home!

  14. terrio says:

    Thanks, Maggie. And I’m glad to hear your tonsils are keepers. LOL! Mine too!

    I was amazed to find out this was an outpatient procedure and we shouldn’t be at the hospital more than 4 or 5 hours. And there will be much pampering, never fear!

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