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Friday, July 22, 2011

What's Up Doc Part II: Tonsils Are Like Bellybuttons

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Maya's tonsillectomy came and went. Thanks to the Hunterdon Medical Center, Dr. Kroon from Hunterdon Otolaryngology Associates and wonderful pediatric nurses, it was as stress-free as possible. Here are a couple of wisdoms for those who are considering tonsillectomy or adenoid removal for their 2-3 year olds:

1. Partial tonsillectomy beats the full one - ask your doctor if it is an option. If he says no, get a second opinion.

2. If the doc shows no compassion to your child pre-op, switch. Your gut is usually right. The first doctor we saw wouldn't allow the zaikas to play with his blood pressure cuff in the exam room. His exact words (to two bored 2-year-olds) were: "don't touch my medical equipment". That did not sit well with me: if you are a pediatric ENT, you let your patients stand on their heads if they choose and it shouldn't rattle you.

3. Don't read the horror stories about starving children and tonsil removals gone wrong on the interwebs - that only adds to the anxiety. It's really, really not that bad. Honestly, Maya's pre-op blood work appointment was far more dramatic and stressful. Maybe it's because the vampire torturer bloodwork tech couldn't find a vein on her little arm and I had to hold Maya locked on my lap while she screamed for Papa..Hmmm..The actual surgery is done as an outpatient procedure, and if your child is medicated properly post op, she'll be able to drink and swallow very quickly. Just keep the foods soft, cold and make her drink small sips of fluid continuously. 

4. Children really are resilient - Maya was playing in the playroom at the hospital while drinking chocolate milk four hours after she came out of surgery. Then she got home and played with Sonya till bedtime.

5. Kids on codeine are funny: we gave her pain meds every 4 hours for the first two days, and it made her roll in circles on the bed, rub a fuzzy blanket like she was on ecstasy and sing "twinkle, twinkle" over and over again.

6.One bit of truth from the dreaded interwebs' discussions on horrible tonsil removals is indeed true: the dead dog breath. I'm hoping that there aren't many of you out there who smelled dead dogs, but the child's breath will be vile for awhile (that was intentional, I'm too cool for school :p)

7. Tonsils are like belly buttons: this gem was passed to me by Maya's doctor. Apparently, tonsils grow like belly buttons: an innie or an outie. Hers were so big, they were both. Poor kid's throat was almost completely blocked, so it's a good thing we did this.

It's been four days since Maya's surgery, and she was able to swallow meat for the first time yesterday. It was awesome!! I am so proud of my brave little girl, my great husband and of course Sonya, who handled the upheaval in the household and separation from her "sissy" in a truly graceful Sonya manner: with tantrums and biting. Love all three of them.

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