Surviving the Toddler Tonsillectomy
Getting a tonsillectomy sucks. I don't actually know, since I've never had it done. I still have my tonsils and my adenoids. Never caused me a problem BUT, I did just go through this with Fletcher. You can read the whole story here.
The first thing most people say when they find out your child has just gotten or is about to get their tonsils out is, "Oooh you get to eat all the ice cream you want!". I think this was just a trick to get kids to be okay with the surgery. Bribe them with copious amounts of ice cream. Makes sense. I kind of want to get my tonsils out, just thinking about it.
But alas, when you have a child that is allergic to milk and various other things, this enticement doesn't work. Fletcher's response, "I can't eat ice cream." And it's true. He can't even have that vegan coconut ice cream or the soy kind.
So having just been through this experience. Here is some advice I can give to any parent that has a child that has to go through this. Especially those parents with kids with food allergies.
TIP 1: Get a Yonana. Or a similar frozen dessert maker. I was lucky enough to have a friend donate one to me. It is great to have especially for situations like this. You can turn frozen bananas into ice cream. Or frozen peaches or frozen strawberries or frozen mangos or WHATEVER.
TIP 2: Get a popsicle mold and make your own popsicles. Store bought ones are okay, but if you can make your own and cut some of the sugar out - even better! Fletcher doesn't eat a ton of sugar on a daily basis, and after the tonsillectomy he had a lot more. With all the juice and popsicles and freezies and even the pain medication, it added up to be a ton of sugar. Since he wasn't used to it, it made him a little bit nutty.
TIP 3: Listen to your doctor and keep up with the pain meds like clockwork. If you miss a dose or are late on a dose your kid will go batshit crazy. No lie.
TIP 4: Get your kid to drink often, doesn't have to be a ton. A sip will do. But every ten minutes or so. The key is frequency not amount. I learned this one the hard way. Every hour I'd make Fletch drink a few big gulps instead of getting him to just wet his throat as often as possible.
TIP 5: Expect to take 2 weeks off work. I thought 1 week would be more than enough. It was not. Day 7 was by far the worst and he only truly felt somewhat normal at 13 days post op.
TIP 6: Roll with the punches. Legit, your child might punch you. Kids deal with pain in different ways. Mine turned into an evil spawn. I was actually worried that when they took his tonsils out, they also took his soul.
TIP 7: Co-sleep for at least the first 2 nights. Monitoring your child's sleep is important especially if he/she had sleep apnea before, which Fletch did. Sleeping with him made it so much easier to ensure that he was drinking throughout the night and taking his pain meds too. Plus, extra snuggles ain't bad!
TIP 8: Keep germs away. This one was impossible for us, as my husband and I both got the stomach flu right after Fletcher had the surgery and Finley (his sister) brought home a virus from daycare. If we were able to keep the germs away, I'm sure the recovery would have been a little quicker!
TIP 9: If your child is refusing all pain meds, get a Tylenol suppository. Ya, that's right, I mean stick it up their bum. It is faster acting and you don't have to worry about them spitting it in your face.
TIP 10: Cry in the shower. Nobody will know that you are losing your shit. It's liberating.