Family · Health · Kids

Waiting for Operations (or: Tonsillitis Sucks)

Pretty sure this is mandatory, post-tonsillectomy…

Waiting for your kid to be operated on is the weirdest thing. Sausage has had tonsillitis about 30 times and needs a tonsillectomy; we battled with our GP for years just to get a referral to a consultant to see if they thought she needed the op. Then, when we moved last year we also changed GP and he referred her pretty much immediately. She saw her consultant on the very first day of the summer holidays and last week, she received her appointment for her pre-op assessment and the actual operation.

Naturally, she’s shitting herself. She’s a lot like me in that the thing which is scaring her most is the element of The Unknown. She’s no idea what the operation entails, she doesn’t know how she’s going to feel afterwards, she’s scared of seeing the inside of the operating theatre and feeling freaked out by it all. Most of all, obviously, she’s scared of being in pain.

And it’s hard. It’s really hard. Because we’ve always been a fairly libertarian household, which means there’s no way we’re going to operate a “you’re doing this because we said so” policy, except Sausage really seems to be erring on the side of not wanting the operation at all. And, although she’s a logical kid, it doesn’t matter how many times we tell her that it will all be okay, that we’ll both be with her the whole time and Husband will be sleeping at the hospital with her, that it will be one or two weeks of discomfort rather than potentially another TEN years of getting tonsillitis at least 5 times a year. All she can think about is the fear.

Husband and I are WELL aware of what the operation entails (I had my tonsils out myself when I was 6) and that the risks are really very minimal indeed, especially when weighed up against the risk of continued infection and, because we’re adults, we’re capable of being pragmatic about the whole thing. However, it still feels really bizarre, willing your child to want to have an operation. Leading them to the scalpel and telling them that everything will be okay. The other thing is, her operation is scheduled on the last day of November, a little over three weeks before Christmas and the worry that she won’t be well enough in time to enjoy her Christmas is very real.

If you look at the bigger picture, it feels silly, in a way. They’re tonsils. The op takes as little as 30 minutes from start to finish, less time than it took for me to have two wisdom teeth removed. I’ve got a friend whose two-year-old has a congenital diaphragmatic hernia and has needed open heart surgery. THAT is something to fret over. But, when it’s your own child, it could be an ingrown toenail removal and I’d still be agonising over it.

Husband and I are fairly convinced that it’s the right thing to do in the long-run. A relative of ours didn’t have them removed until she was pre-teen and she really suffered with recovery, and everyone we’ve spoken to has said that the younger they have it done, the less time it takes to recover, so at eight years old, Sausage is pretty much prime age. But OUR conviction doesn’t seem to make the situation any simpler.

Have any of your nippers had their tonsils removed? Were they glad they had it done, once it was all over and done with? Would you still make the decision to have it done, given the chance to rethink it? We’d love to hear from you, so please do leave me a comment below.

15 thoughts on “Waiting for Operations (or: Tonsillitis Sucks)

  1. Ah the poor little thing – sending hugs! I’ve had mine out, I think I was 12/13 and I’ve never had a throat infection since. I spent my childhood sick with tonsillitis and then throat infections, it was awful but so worth having them out. None of my four kids suffer with them, thank god, but if they did I wouldn’t hesitate to have them removed. Good luck!

  2. Sending your child in for any operation is extremely worrying. My son and daughter both had operations on their eyes and I was terrified at the time – hope all goes well x

  3. I think it’s always hard to help a child understand the long term benefits of something they don’t want to do. I hope it goes well and I’m sure it will be with it.

  4. Aw Jayne – she must be so scared bless her.

    My daughter had to be put to sleep to have some teeth before they’d fit her braces and she was shaking on the way to the hospital. It really is the fear of the unknown and although we know it’s best for them, it’s hard to reason with a scared youngster isn’t it.

    I hope it all goes well x

  5. I don’t have any experience with this so can’t offer any advice or words of wisdom but hope the operation goes well and she has a speedy recovery. It sounds like it’s going to be much better for her in the long run! xx

  6. I bet you are worried. I would be too…especially because like you I had my tonsils out quite young – 5 and a half or so. Just think that she will not need antibiotics anymore as a cold without tonsils is easier to treat. Speedy recovery xxx

  7. I hope all goes well for your little lady, i can see my little girl having to have the same op further down the line. She is having a lot of problems with her tonsils already at four years old.
    Sending good wishes and a speedy recovery for Christmas xx

  8. Oh my goodness, I do feel for you all. I would be anxious too. Is it worth doing some relaxation/positive visualisation exercises with her before the op? I really believe the mind is super powerful and can have such a huge impact on healing quickly and pain perception and management (ask anyone who has had a hypnobirth!) – good luck with it all x

  9. Aw bless you how old is your little one? My daughter recently had hers out in may actually. I wrote a little post when my little girl was 3 days post: We didn’t tell her anything other then she would be put to sleep and then when she woke up it would all be done. It was the pain days after the op she found the worst and very dry throat in the evenings she would wake in the middle of the night, my advice would be keep on top of pain meds and that way it wont be as bad for them. But she was a champ and the medical team fantastic she and I both very lucky it all went so well. Wishing you and yours all the luck that it all goes well. It is hard to go through and no one wants to see their child in theatre but it doesn’t last forever and the pain soon goes. If you have any questions or any concerns I would be happy to help lovely. xx

  10. I know this worry. Harry is in a for a general next Friday to have 2-4 teeth removed and some other dental work after an accident in the summer.
    It’s worrying me that he’ll be under for around an hour.

    Hugs to you all. I had my tonsilsite out at 16 and remember having to eat toast…I’m so hoping thats changed now as it has to be the perfect excuse for ice cream for breakfast x

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