Preparing Your Child For a Tonsillectomy

by Dagmar Bleasdale on February 1, 2011

I ran around with Landon all morning today — I think I counted six times in and out of the car.

We had to see his pediatrician to get him checked out for his tonsillectomy on Friday morning. They wanted to make sure his heart and lungs sounded clear. We got the go-ahead.

After that we went to Panera Bread to get his favorite lunch — well, only after we picked up $1 french fries from the drive-through on the way there. He asked for them and I wanted to spoil him a little because I can’t stand the thought of him having to get his tonsils out and having to go through this.

L ate all his fries AND his Panera kids meal, yogurt and macaroni and cheese, AND half the chicken of my salad. It’s the only chicken he likes so I usually get a salad there so he can have it. He was eating as if he knew he won’t be eating much in the next week. *sigh

Last week I bought Jell-O and pudding for the first time to see if L even likes it — I usually don’t buy things with food coloring, especially colored gelatin without nutritional value. He liked the Jell-O and Don and I liked the pudding :) I also stocked up on those fruit-and-vegetable baby food pouches he likes to have other options in the house for after the surgery.

What’s he doing here? Trying to cross his eyes. I can cross just one eye or the other and all kind of other things with my eyes and he wanted to copy me.

He actually took a picture of me crossing just one of my eyes but it turned out so hideous, I spared you and future generations and erased it.

I showed him a little trick:

Being the clown he is, he had quite some fun with that.

Next stop: the haircut place. We usually go to the barber after having made a huge production out of his first haircut, but we were only a block away from a kid’s haircut place so I figured what the heck, let’s spend the extra $10.

He got to watch a few minutes of a kid’s video and we were out of there in no time — after he fixed this car:

We still had plenty to do: pick up the prescription for Tylenol with codine suppository and drop it off personally at the pharmacy because it’s a controlled substance.

I did a lot of research to prepare for L’s tonsillectomy and I even reached out to moms in the McKMama community to get more input. A lot of moms commented that you really have to stay on top of medicating kids’ pain after a tonsillectomy. Just in case L won’t take the Tylenol with codeine, I asked for the suppository as well.

They offer tours of the out-patient surgery center and I have been back and forth about taking advantage of that. My first instinct was no: I didn’t know how I would do going there. What if I’d lose it seeing the operating room? Seeing me upset would really freak out my little boy. But most of the input I got was that I should do it.

I didn’t. I didn’t want to risk L not liking it there or getting scared or the person showing us around saying something that would worry him. I have been very careful about telling L about what is going to happen while being honest with him.

I strongly believe in being honest with your child and preparing him or her that there will be some pain involved. So far L doesn’t seem worried about the procedure. And he will be given something to relax him a bit before he goes into the operating room with me on the day of the surgery, which will make going in there easier and hopefully more of a blur in the end compared to touring it all wide-eyed. If he were older than 4, I would have taken him.

I wish they could give me something as well! I’ll be downing my trusty homeopathic Bach Rescue Remedy that has helped me and L through many appointments at his dentist.

I told L we’d finish all this running around with a stop at Target to get a special Playmobil toy for after the surgery. I had mentioned that the whole day, while getting him in and out of the car, and felt so bad when they didn’t even carry Playmobil! He was a trooper about it.

But we are going to make a special trip to another toy store tomorrow to get it — after we buy all the ice cream and Popsicles he wants.

I’ll keep you updated on how the surgery goes on Friday, on Twitter and here. (The Wednesday appointment was canceled because of the snow, ugh!) Even though a tonsillectomy is such a common procedure for kids, I didn’t find a lot of useful information from parents on the Internet about how kids really do after it. I’ll share our experience with it in hopes that other parents can benefit from it.

{tonsils book source}

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Mandy February 2, 2011 at 11:36 PM

Oh what a cute guy you’ve got there!! Love the cross-eyes pics! lol

I would be spoiling my kids rotten too if they had a tonsillectomy coming up. You sure he doesn’t need TWO new toys? ;) Lots of prayers your way!


Marni February 2, 2011 at 4:52 AM

First of all, I like the changes you have made to your blog. Looks good Dagmar!

Second, I think you are making the right choice, and I commend you.

Lastly, my son had his out in December and I am glad that we did it. I posted about the surgery here.
You like you have prepared yourself as well as I and I hope that it goes as well as my son’s. Sending good thoughts!


Kristi {at} Live and Love Out Loud February 2, 2011 at 3:49 AM

Aw, I’m sending you big hugs Dagmar! Being a mom is scary sometimes, isn’t it? Your brave little boy will be just fine and we’ll all be here to support you. :)


Faythe @ GrammyMouseTails February 2, 2011 at 3:43 AM

I will keep L in my prayers. I am sure he will be fine. We as parents worry more, it is nature. I am surprised they still do tonsillectomies? My youngest grandsons was had numerous surgeries since birth (5y/o) and is a real trooper about most of them now. but we still worry each time, no matter how routine the docs say they are. (Hugs)


Amber February 2, 2011 at 2:10 AM

I will definitely be praying for you guys on Friday. I am having my wisdom teeth out and I am completely freaked. But if your brave little boy can do it, then I have no excuse, right? lol


Kathy Morelli February 2, 2011 at 1:06 AM

What a fun day you two had together! There will be many more! You are an awesome mom and he will feel better after he has them out! I’ve told you my son did!


Dinnae February 1, 2011 at 7:11 PM

ooooh, GREAT post – my 4yo is going to be getting his out soon too. (they’re HUGE, and the dr. is worried about sleep apnea – i’ve personally witnessed him stop breathing at least half a dozen times whilst sleeping.) both me and dh are worried (even though i survived the procedure just fine at about 5yo), because it’s STILL a surgery and it’s STILL a trip to the hospital, and we’re STILL causing pain to my boy. :P well, maybe not so much worried, as concerned… (worried just seems so frantic!) thanks so much for this!


Diane February 1, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Good luck to Landon and his momma too! I hope all goes smoothly and he is feeling back to normal quickly. I am curious – where is this salon?? Since the one in Mohegan Lake closed, I haven’t been able to find another kids salon.


mainegirl5 February 1, 2011 at 1:46 PM

I’ll be praying for you and L..he does look like a trooper. I’m sure it will all go well. I had a terrible time getting my wisdom teeth out, but my son’s went so smoothly, he laughed it off!


Elizabeth February 1, 2011 at 1:21 PM

Aww I hope L’s surgery goes well! I will keep him (and you!) in my prayers. :)


Odie Langley February 1, 2011 at 9:24 AM

Your prep for the surgery is awesome and seems the day you two had together was a day to remember. Such sweet moments. Glad you didn’t show the picture of you doing the eye thing. Wouldn’t want to see that pretty face distorted in any way. The only one of my 3 that I remember specifically was my baby Rachel and her’s went very well and that was about 25 years ago. L should do great. Have a wonderful day.


Cara R. February 1, 2011 at 7:55 AM

What a great day you had together. I don’t blame you for wanting to spoil him. :o) I will keep you all in my prayers, especially on Wednesday.



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