Tonsillectomy, Adenoidectomy&Myringotomy...OH my!
I originally wrote this about 6 days after my son had his surgery in 2015. Needless to say I was still in my head about everything and still very emotional we had just been through. I know, I make it seem so traumatic and for me it was. Well here it is 2 years later and I have relaunched my blog and with it, a lot of articles were revised, this one included.
First, Sorry this post isn't much to look at, but I didn't really find any appealing pictures of these procedures nor did I think pictures of sick kids would be encouraging to any parent about to embark on this adventure. I did, however, find this one helpful when explaining things to my son and hope you find something helpful among these words.
Any time your child has to undergo any kind of medical procedure, it's in no way, shape, or form easy or comforting....no matter how skilled or experienced the doctor is and no matter if this is you first or forth child. I'm driven by the why of things...I get it from my mama. So the first thing I wanted to know when they told me, "...Oh yea, he has really big tonsil, so we'll take those out and while we're at it take out the adenoids too. To help with the hearing, he has a lot of fluid build up, so we'll put tubes in and that should help in school."
What the hell is a tonsil any way? I mean of course I've heard of tonsils and I knew my husband had his taken out when he was little and once upon a time, I knew it was a fairly common procedure. But now they were talking about putting my baby, my first born to sleep and putting a knife to his throat. I mean really, as a mom, that was all I heard. So the research began. What the hell was a tonsil, what purpose did it serve and was this procedure really needed?
Tonsils, the oval pads at the back of the throat, act as filters that assist in trapping germs that could otherwise get into the airway and cause bigger problem. Tonsils also assist in producing antibodies to fight infection. While I'm at defining things, the adenoids are in the nasal passage and do the same thing as the tonsil. The big difference between the two is that at around age 5, the adenoids shrink and practically disappear by the time your little one is a teen. The good thing is by then, the body has developed other ways to fight infection. Back to the tonsils, which are more commonly problematic. Tonsillitis is the first sign there's a possible problem, especially if it's frequent. Tonsillitis is inflammation of the tonsils. Having gone through the surgery thing with my son and not knowing, I was better informed with my daughter and ready Freddy when she started having tonsil issues.
Me, being further down the homeopathic path then I was when my son had his procedure, I immediately broke out the oils and herbs for her. Now, to CMOA (cover my own ass), allow me to throw a disclaimer out there. I am NOT a doctor and any advice given here should NOT be used in place of medical attention. In other words if you try ANY thing I have done, you do so at you own risk, so don't come yelling at me if you don't like the side effects. YOU should know you and your families allergies and medical history BEFORE trying anything homeopathic in addition to what reaction herbs and oils may have on any medication already in your regimen. Whew...now that that is out of the way....
I always recommend any homeopathic remedy be tried at the onset of whatever you are trying to alleviate. If you're doing this with a child, do so with MUCH care and be sure it is not an ailment that they are severely miserable. Needless to say, homeopathic remedies don't alleviate within minute, usually, or even hours as today's man made chemicals do. Am I anti pharmaceutical? Absolutely not, but I will try the natural route first almost always.
Here are some of my methods if you would like to try this before subjecting yourself or your child to anesthesia, the knife and possibly the introduction o f their little bodies to narcotics.
#1 Because this was done on my daughter, whom was 5 years old at the time, it's done topically, meaning not ingested, but on the skin. (Before you stop reading t the hint of essential oils being mentions, wait! There are all kinds of opinions on essential oils out there, both by people you know and the WWW. I am not going to get into what brands are best and why I use what I use, that's not what this post is about. To each their own. If it is going to bother you how I use EO on MY child, feel free to skip number one and go to number 2. Back to what I was saying...I would rub 1 to 2 drops of Echinacea with 2 to 3 drops carrier oil on her throat at least twice a day. Echinacea aids in improving the body's immune system, which is what the tonsils are supposed to be doing. It also helps to encourage the drainage of the lymphatic fluids, relieving some of the tonsillitis related symptoms.
#2 The good ole' fashion gargling with warm salt water is almost a cure all for me when it comes to anything in the mouth. Earlier this year (2016) I had TMJ, which is NO JOKE. I gargled with salt water and though it was not the salt helping the situation the warm water sure as hell did. Salt gets rid of almost any viral agent trapped in the glands of your throat and the warm water will help ease the swelling. Do this 2 to 3 times a day.
#3 This one was my favorite and to me showed SOME relief almost immediately. She even said, "I'm all better mommy." Warm milk, which like the warm water will help ease the swelling. A Tbsp of organic honey, which contains oxidants and minerals that help boost the immune system as well as ease the pain of a sore throat. You can put a little more to taste if you like...I did the first time to get her to drink it. And lastly, a pinch of Turmeric, which is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Turmeric has an abundance of other GREAT properties that I use for other purposes as well, but that is a post for another day.
#4 This one I didn't try because I didn't have ginger on had at the time, but my neighbor swears by ginger for almost everything. So, gargle with a tsp of fresh grated ginger, 2 tsp of water, and 1 tsp of honey. This concoction is supposed to instantly relieve swelling and pain. Again, we didn't try this one to say yay or nay to it though.
If you try all this and still end up going to your ENT who says it all has to come out, though it is not the end of the world, even though it may feel that way, you will survive. It's what we moms, or parents for that matter do. Good parents anyway....though I suspect if you're a good parent you may not be reading this. Okay....moving on.
Now, here's some non-medical advice to help get you through the ordeal. You will get and need to look up all medical advice once this procedure is recommended, but no one is going to tell you what you want to know as a mom. How am I going to keep it together for my sake and theirs? Sure, you'll get all kinds of advice, good and bad, wanted or not, but the bottom line will be that you have to do whatever you feel is best for your child and don't let anyone tell you that your decision is good, bad or otherwise. I try and live as natural as possible which means I try and provide for my family as natural as possible, but modern medicine is there for a reason and together, nature and science can be powerful if used with knowledge.
I think the day we went into surgery was, by far, the most stressful event of my life...yes, even more then my wedding day and even more then the birth of my children. There is a light at the end of the tunnel thought cause by day 6, my baby boy was eating eggs and bananas....whoo hoo!!
5 Helpful things I wish I knew going in...
YOU WILL CRY!!! I knew almost a month in advance and I stressed about it for almost 2 weeks to the point that I couldn't eat...thank you Peppermint oil for helping ease the turning and constricting of my stomach at least a little. It does this by reducing the spasms in your colon and intestinal tract. This ease allowed me to be strong and be the super mom my son needed me on the big day. Once he was sleep and I walked out of that room though, it was like the air in a balloon was released. I didn't even realize I was holding my breath and I finally cried on the day. I mean full out cried. The nurse just handed me a box of tissue like THAT was the spot. Two Minutes later I was walking down the hall like nothing happened. Cry, allow the release. Crying releases toxins and feel good chemicals in your body.
Bring something for them AND you to do at the hospital and if it is battery operated, don't forget the charger. A distraction is WAY better then staring at the walls with nothing to think about except what's to come. Of course I had my oils...for both of us. Peace & Calming, Joy, Stress Away and Lavender. In conjunction with the oils, he had his tablet, oh the joys of NetFlix, and within a few minutes, he was taking nice long blinks. No butterflies, no worries, no tears.
Okay, now your home. MOVIE MARATHON! The first 3 days all we did was watch movies and it was his choice even though half way through each of them he was out cold. The Lego Movie was actually pretty good. Your little one probably won't want to talk or do much but cuddle the first few days, so books or movies are ideal for the whole family. We actually colored in good old fashioned coloring books while watching movies on day 3...the adult coloring book craze hadn't started yet but it is in full swing now.
Plan your meals for the week prior to surgery! Everyone is going to give you a plethora of advice. Take it and file it away to sift through as needed. You know your child better than anyone, but more importantly, this will be an ordeal for all of you, new territory, and you honestly will not know what he/she will want until your faced with it. Everyone will say Popsicle's, Popsicle's, Popsicle's oh, and ice cream, ice cream, ice cream. Even the Dr.'s and nurses say it and will even give it at the hospital. The logic behind it is sound, cold to try and sooth and numb may very well help, and let's be real, what kids doesn't like Popsicle's and ice cream. My son, on the other hand, consumed applesauce and Pediasure the first 3 days...oh and ice water. Now my daughter, whom by the way did NOT have surgery, finished the rainbow Sorbet in honor of her brothers pain. The point is, don't load up on any one thing. Get a variety of soft foods and/or Pediasure or Gatorade to ensure they stay hydrated and they have something on their bellies. For everyone else, try not to be cruel, depending on your little ones age. My little one was 8, so ordering pizza for everyone else would've just been wrong. You'll be taking care of them, so make life easy for you, meal plan for the week ahead of time. The first two days I did soft and easy, Dirty Rice and Shepard’s Pie, then I did soups cause my little guy is a soup lover. Chicken and Dumplings, Taco Soup and Zuppa Toscana. (I took a hand blender and blended the chicken and dumplings for him and he soaked crackers in the Taco soup so he could enjoy the flavors.) Room temp seem to work better for him then warm. Last foodie tip, they CAN have dairy, but keep in mind that dairy produces excess mucus which nicely coats the throat, BUT for someone who doesn't want to swallow, this may suck pretty bad or be uncomfortable on an open wound.
Pain Management. This is where mommy command comes in. Some Dr.'s will prescribe Tylenol with Codeine and some will prescribe another form of pain medicine, some will simply tell you to use OTC Tylenol and/or Motrin. It's really going to be contingent on the Dr. AND YOU! Know that as the parent, YOU can speak up if you are not comfortable with giving your child Codeine. As a parent, I feel obligated to share this about Tylenol with Codeine after a Tonsillectomy. That being said, ALSO know that pain management is tantamount to the healing process. It will allow your child to help you focus on getting him or her better faster, in addition to keeping them comfy, pain control can reduce the risk of developing certain complications like pneumonia and blood clots. If pain is controlled, they can move around, get out of bed, talk, swallow, and bath, etc. So no matter how you choose to do it, pain management is part of the healing process.
REFERENCES: WEBMD.com is one site used to gather some of the information here and KIDSHEALTH.org is another which I think is extremely user friendly for kids AND parents alike. For each topic there is a parent page and a kids page that explains the same thing, but in terms each group will understand.
***I am not a Dr. nor will I ever pretend to be. EVERYTHING stated here is in my personal opinion and should not take the place of medical advice. If you're interested in ordering any of the oils mentions, please feel free to email me or if you don't want to be bothered, follow the links and when asked who refereed you, my number is 2422565. My goal in ANYTHING I do is NEVER to push, just to help you feel good about yourself or find ways to do so for you and your love ones.***