Survival tools: Tonsillectomy Adenoidectomy & Turbinoplasty: A living nightmare for my 4 Year old daughter



Photo above is Pre-Op Appt….. Still a happy girl

We are on Day 7 post op of my daughters Tonsillectomy, Adenoidectomy & Turbinoplasty I still haven’t written posts on Days 1 through 6 as I was going to start that today. But 1st I want to list some of the things we’ve tried to easy the pain as I know as a parent when I’m searching for info the 1st thing I want to see is possible methods of relief. Especially since our procedure was done as a last minute change of procedure. We were discharged with VERY BASIC post op info and since we didn’t know we were going to have this procedure done we hadn’t done any research.

Now these are items that we have tried some work some don’t I will list our results. Again this is OUR experience and everyones will be different. Don’t take any of this as medical advice as I have noooo medical background all I have is Mommy background!

  • ENT Doctor discharged us with Tylenol (Acetaminophen)  and Motrin (Ibuprofen) . These maybe great if your child is willing to swallow. Our expierience she spit most out we never knew how much she actually would swallow but I would imagine not enough because pain was non stop but we couldn’t take chances and give her more before next time. We were told to alternate every 4 hours for the 1st few days (at day 7 we are still doing 4 hours to control the pain and stay as ahead of it as possible)
  • My family doctor prescribed us some Tylenol Suppository (Acetaminophen Suppository) now we have the 325 mg ones and they also have the 120 mg this is something your doctor should advise you on again all kids are different age and weight has a lot to do with it. Our daughter is 4 and 48 lbs and we could give her the 325mg every 4 to 6 hours. This was great for us for the 1st 4 days because there was no longer guessing how much she took since it is administered through the rectum (including our extended stay at the hospital more on that on post of day 2). Unfortunately the Ibuprofen doesn’t come this way.  Our daughter quickly became dehydrated and pain wasn’t going away at all!
  • Baths for whatever reason putting her in the warm water would sooth her. Not exactly sure why but she has always been a water baby. I would keep her in one around the clock except for she would fall asleep in there!
  • Driving around also soothes her for some reason. Don’t know if it’s the movement or because she is upright but whatever the reason I feel its worth mentioning.
  • Homemade Ice Packs: I’m sure store bought ones would be good as well. But since I’m kinda housebound I had to do what I could as I googled and googled and googled for relief. Whether you go with store bought or homemade please make sure that they are soft frozen and moldable. The recipe I went with was: 3 parts water 1 part Alcohol. So for example if you use 3 cups of water you will add 1 cup of Alcohol. I had both 50% and 70% alcohol at home and the 70% made more “slush” that lasts longer cold (all night last night and was still cold) From what I’ve read this should only be used for 20 minutes at a time (worth mentioning). Not what I’m doing though. She wants something cold ALL the time on her neck so I’ve made 3 batches of these ice packs which I’ve made bags as little as Snack Size ziplock and as large as gallon size. The best has been the Gallon size since I can mold it around her neck. Yes I already know that this can be a hazard which is why I keep a very close eye on her. When you get to the part where your child is complaining about an “Ear Ache” “My Ear Hurts” You have reached the point that will test you. I’ve been pretty strong but day 5 broke me! This has been the most excruciating part of post op so far. In most cases it’s isn’t an ear infection from all the searches I’ve done. It’s part of the healing process and it’s by all accounts the worst. And in a child like mine with Hypersensitivity this pain is magnified 10 fold. The nerves are all connected I’ve read and it’s not really the Ear that is hurting. The pain is coming from the throat but is being registered by the brain as an ear ache. So even when your auto response would be to apply the ice pack to ear don’t it won’t help instead apply the ice to the throat and you will see her calm down (at least for us this is working) The ear pain seems to be worse when she has to swallow. She soooo wants to eat and drink but when she tries she really suffers EXCRUCIATING PAIN this includes when she has to take her meds. At this point the suppository Acetaminophen isn’t working. We have started giving her Elixir.
  • Another med our family doctor prescribed was Elixir: This is by prescription ONLY! If you didn’t walk out of the hospital with this or another form of strong medicine I would recommend asking for it WAAAAAY before you need it so that you have it on hand when the time comes. We didn’t need to start giving it to her until Day 5. Knowing now what I didn’t know then I probably would have started her on it at the end of Day 4 which is when she started complaining about ear hurting but it still wasn’t excruciating and she had done so well that whole day that I thought we were on our road to pain free recovery instead it was the “Eye of the Hurricane” (will post about that later as well) Again I’m not a doctor PLEASE do not take my experience as medical advise. Your doctor is the only one that would be able to tell you if this med is right for you. Elixir is Acetaminophen with Codeine and is considered a narcotic medicine.  I’m mentioning it because we weren’t given this by our ENT doctor and the only reason I knew this was an option was because of my endless Google searches for answers. Thankfully our family doctor worked with me and provided me with this medicine and the Suppositories which we didn’t even know existed UPDATE: While doing some browsing today on internet I found this article on the FDA website which warns against use of Codeine in children with obstructive sleep apnea (all children but mostly those) Because your liver metabolizes Codiene into Morphine but some people are “Ultra Rapid Metabolizers” and can result in death. So study up on the subject and talk with your doctor Click here for article. A syringe with a catheter Your child may be afraid to swallow or it may hurt to much. We have a giant syringe (got it at the hospital while she was hospitalized so not sure where you can buy one) One of the nurses rigged one up with a long catheter. Remember you have to keep your child’s throat wet. Hard to do when they won’t swallow or drink and in our situation she doesn’t understand us when we say drink to keep your throat wet so you feel better. So with this Syringe we are able to put the catheter in the mouth between teeth and cheek about 1 1/2 inch to 2 inches in and slowly squeeze fluid in doesn’t matter if she swallows we just want to keep her throat wet. Especially when she wakes up. The 1st thing I do when I see it’s time to wake up or she is stirring in bed is start squeezing water in her mouth before she tries to swallow. From what I’ve read about adult experiences waking up and swallowing is the worse and feels like “swallowing a box of thumbtacks” “swallowing a mouth full of broken glass” “Swallowing a box of nails” So knowing this and my daughter doesn’t speak much on a good day due to her speech delay I can only imagine she is feeling this. So even though she hates it and we have to restrain her (she’s really really strong) I still squirt water in her mouth and after a while she relaxes and lets me keep going>.
  • Ear Drops Not sure if this does anything for her but since it’s not an ear ache medically but since mentally to her it’s an ear ache I think it gives her a sense of relief that I address her concerns. The drops I have are over the counter ear drops for ear aches that I had on hand for my son
  • Humidifier or Vaporizer!  Dry throats are a recovering persons worst nightmare so anything at all that you can do to minimize the dry must be done. We don’t have a humidifier but do have a Vicks Vaporizer so I’ve added more than a pinch of salt so that it makes more steam in the room. Not sure if this is a good thing but seems to help my daughter sleep soundly. We still have the irritated throat thing going but at least while she sleeps she sleeps well.
  • A bell and/or baby monitor Another thing I’ve read is to minimize talking (reports from adults) So our daughter speaks very little as it is on a normal day even less now but all her crying is still taking a toll on her throat. I have provided her with a nice bell that rings loudly ours is pewter and even though it’s tiny it rings solidly and loudly so we can hear her in our large house without a problem. And yes sometimes she rings it just to ring that’s ok come to her every single time. She needs you and even though you are beyond exhausted and overwhelmed your baby is too and nothing brings her more comfort than to know you are there.

So this is all I have for now I know I’m long winded but I really want to help someone anyone everyone! But also I’m overwhelmed as well and need to distract myself with what I like to do most… Help people…

Below here is just a repeat to help with search engines and will be on each of my posts:

This will be a very long post or series of post not sure yet how I will post them. I’m not a professional writer so don’t need or want grammatical criticism. I’m simply writing this to get my thoughts and experience out in the open with the hope that my experience will help someone with their child.

The Procedure: Tonsillectomy, Adenoidectomy and Turbinoplasty

Female Age 4 Healthy 48 lbs 3 feet tall

 No two cases will be alike I guess so this isn’t the end all be all nor am I a doctor and do not take these posts as medical advice. Just take it for what it is MY experience. There isn’t much information available that truly describes possible outcomes. Especially in babies and toddlers. In our situation our 4 year old daughter has Developmental Speech delay. By that I mean though she looks like a well developed healthy 4 year old her speech development is that of a 2 year old. She also has very high sensory sensitivity.


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