Anyone else having problems with toddler needing surgery?

Amanda - posted on 09/18/2010 ( 2 moms have responded )

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My daughter is 18 months old and will be getting her tonsils and adnoids removed sometime next month. I'm really worried because of her age and the fact that they will have to strap her down to keep her from pulling the IV out of her arm.

She's had ear infections every month since December with the exception of this summer. They won't put tubes in because the tonsils are so large they are causing her to snore loudly, toss and turn all night, not get enough sleep, drool a lot because she can't swallow all the saliva at once and basically fight to breathe (she's not gaining any weight because she burns more calories while sleeping). If they were to do tubes first, the anestsia could be fatal due to the fact she can't breathe right already. I'm not sure how to feel about staying at a hospital an hour away for 2-3 days till she can drink fluids on her own. I really don't wanna see her in that much pain, just getting shots is bad enough.

Any words of wisdom?

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Renae - posted on 09/19/2010

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My baby had an operation to fix 2 hernias at 10 weeks old. He also had a 6 day stay in hospital due to severe reflux (which caused a feeding and sleeping disorder) at 5.5 months. At the children's hospital in our state one parent can stay with the child if they are under 10. You are not expected to leave them there. I stayed with my baby and cared for him as normal the whole time. I was in the infants ward and I noticed some mothers went home or spent time in the parents lounge while the nurses fed, changed, bathed and played with their babies, but that's not me, I was with him the whole time. Here the parent sleeps either in a fold out bed if you are lucky or in a recliner lounge chair, so be prepared to be uncomfortable! :)

At 18 months the risks of anesthetic and options for pain relief are much better than when they are younger so I'm sure she will be perfectly safe. I think you should discuss what pain relief they have planned for after the surgery so that you can do some research and make sure you are happy with it rather than being put on the spot to make decisions when she has just come out of surgery.

They should only have to hold her down to get the IV in her arm. Then they bandage the arm up so that the child cant pull it out, but they dont stay strapped down the whole time. If possible, have her father be there for the IV being put in and any blood tests, my husband says that I would have been in tears if I had witnessed my baby having blood taken and being held down, he is glad he did it and didn't let me in the room. Sorry, not trying to scare you, just wanting to prepare you.

The one thing I have learned is to question anything I dont like the sound of. For example, when they tell you she will have to be strapped down, ask questions. Why cant they wait until she is under? Why cant they sedate her? Why cant they cover it once its in so she doesn't have to be strapped down? etc. I have learned that sometimes hospital staff go with the easiest option for them, not the option I would prefer. You are the mother and you know best.

The time while she is in surgery will be the longest few hours of your life. Have a friend there for support and to keep you occupied. You may not be able to focus your brain enough to read so dont rely on a good book to pass the time.

Good luck. I"m sure everything will go ok.

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Ruth Anne - posted on 09/19/2010

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Amanda, I'm sorry to hear about this - this has to be incredibly hard on you. Knock on wood, our daughter's been very healthy, but I had the huge tonsil problem when I was a kid and remember having strep and tonsillitis so often it wasn't funny. All of that stopped when I had my tonsils and adenoids removed, and I didn't get other illnesses as often - the huge tonsils were like magnets for every germ going around, so if there was a cold or flu bug at school, I always got it. Always. For what it's worth, I think things would have been much better if my tonsils had been removed early.

Good luck - and please keep us posted.

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