Five Year Old tonsillectomy and Recovery
This is the story of my five year old’s surgery. May 18th, she was due at the hospital at 6am. At 7:30 she was in the back, having the procedure done. It lasted about an hour and a half and then she was wheeled into recovery. We were discharged almost immediately after it was through.
Day 1 – she was either high on meds or just generally feeling fine ha. She was playing with her toys, being goofy and happy.
Day 2 – She started to seem a little more tired. Was less enthusiastic about things. She had been drinking water very well though throughout the day however so I was not too concerned.
Later that night at 2:30 am, I got up to see if my husband had given her a round of meds she was due for. She was staying in her bedroom sleeping with her grammy, as her grammy had come to be with us for this. My mother in law walked into my bedroom and said, “I think Clara is throwing up and it looks like blood”. She had a bleed about 36 hours after the initial surgery. When I turned to look at her she had blood pouring out of her mouth and her nose. I knew immediately it was the famous “bleed” for which the internet had warned me of.
We rushed her to the ER. She was placed in the back and then had a second bleed occur. It was like a scene from a medical drama where nurses and doctors are running in. I was standing in her vision saying it would be okay, and her father was standing in the corner of the room sobbing. No one really explained what was happening, or what was going to happen. As in, I thought we were going to go back into surgery.
That hospital decided to send us to a pediatric intensive care unit at another location. So we had to ride in an ambulance there. It was a horrible experience for her because she was already nauseous and who knew ambulances were so bumpy!? I was a wreck by this point, sleep-deprived and neurotic. She had lost a tremendous amount of blood, was tired from the events of the day, but every time she closed her eyes on the ride there, I poked her gently to make sure she was still alive. People – they look like they’re literally dying when these things happen.
When we got to the ICU, she was hooked up and monitored. The doctor told us she was only 2 points away from needing a blood transfusion. They were going to keep her there in case it happened again and in case she needed a transfusion.
We left the next day with some simple instructions.
I had a friend come stay with me and help monitor her with me for about seven days after that. Each day I was worried it would happen again. But.. it didn’t. I was told if there is a primary bleed (within 48 hours) a secondary bleed is LESS likely. Couldn’t count it out for sure though.
Day’s 5 – 10 were pure hell for her. It is some of the most extreme suffering I’ve seen. I know children do this routinely, and I know it’s been very common, but holy hell this is not joke! Parent’s who get these done, love on your baby’s they need it so much. I personally don’t think it’s just “kids are so resilient” but they just don’t hold on to the memory of it. It’s genuinely awful for them as well.
Days 11 and onwards slowly got better. She’s on day 18 now and her diet is mostly back to normal. I haven’t let her have pizza yet though she’s really wanting some. I plan on letting her go swimming this Thursday which will be a full three weeks after the surgery.
She still has her “minnie-mouse” voice a little bit, but it’s clearing up as well.
Overall – parent’s who’s children are getting the surgery, be extremely patient, extra loving and extra kind. It’s pure hell for them too.