We Survived Ava’s 1st Surgery!

Yesterday was D-day or rather T-day. Finally the day for Ava’s tonsils to be removed! I would be lying if I said I wasn’t anxious, but in truth I was a wreck! We’d been warned by everyone about how badly toddlers cope with anesthesia, so we were anticipating a day of coping with a screaming, crying, thrashing about, inconsolable toddler. Add that, we have no family medical history for Ava and I’m sure you can understand my worry.

Watching Mickey Mouse With Shaun The Sheep.

We arrived at the hospital at 06h30 and were immediately taken to the surgical ward and assigned a cot in a semi private ward along with another couple who’s child was having grommets. I had expected Ava to be whining and miserable as usually the first thing she wants when she wakes in the morning is apple juice and I knew we were still going to have a long wait ahead of us. Thankfully, even though the grommet surgeries go first, they are really quick and so by 9am our ENT was ready to start doing the tonsillectomy’s. Ava was the youngest, so she got to go first.

Getting In A Last Cuddle!

She was absolutely fine while we waited in the pre-op ward, until I had to don the shoe covers, stylish surgical cap and gown, while somebody else held her, this she did not like but was quickly consoled when she was offered a stylish surgical cap to wear as well. Our ENT and anesthetist were amazing. Explaining everything and preparing us for what to expect after the surgery, something all my mom friends had already done a really good job of doing.

The "Foot Bangles" Ava Loved!

Unfortunately, Ava is not the type to go down for an anesthetic easily and in the end it took a nurse and the ENT to hold her down for the gas mask, all the while she thrashed about crying and I could literally feel the accusation in her beautiful brown eyes each time she looked at me, asking me Mommy, why are you not helping me? It felt like an hour for the anesthetic to take effect when reality it probably wasn’t more than 20 seconds. During all her crying and thrashing about while going under, the ENT noticed her tied tongue, which has not caused any issues with her eating or talking but something we had planned to get clipped eventually, he suggest he did it right there while she was under and so I agreed.

The 30 minutes it took for her surgery felt like an eternity. But I was, by this stage, much calmer about her procedure and eventually the Dr came out and confirmed he had clipped her tied tongue and removed her tonsils and adenoids, both of which were enlarged and that they’d call me within the next couple of minutes  to be with her when she started coming around. That never happened, Ava woke up really quickly and within a minute a nurse was standing at the door with a wide-eyed, disorientated Ava in her arms and I was ask to come through to the post-op ward. I had expected the screaming/crying to start then as that is what everyone, Dr’s included, had warned us about. Instead, Ava was dead silent, until she noticed the drip in her hand and tried to pull it out, thankfully by that stage the drip had finished running and the nurse removed it for us.Sleeping Angel!

A couple of minutes later, we were back in the ward with a still silent Ava-Grace. I am so proud of my little girl. After spending the morning listening to every other child screaming/crying, she was resolute in her silence, the only times she cried was when she tried having something to drink and when her drip was removed. She slept for a couple of hours and then we were off home.

She was most concerned about her hand with the plaster!

Yesterday afternoon she was still very lethargic and slept most of the afternoon, refusing all comfort or to be molly coddled, she told us in no uncertain terms, she wanted to be left alone and lay on the floor in the lounge and slept, with her pillow and Shaun the Sheep.

By 5pm she’d had a Ponstan suppository and was merrily checking out her Netcare “Happy Meal” and munching her way through her yoghurt and Vienna sausages.

Last week Walter and I were discussing our own memories of our tonsillectomies and the only thing either of us could remember were the presents we’d gotten the day of our surgery, so we decided to do the same for Ava. Of course in her drugged up state she simply shouted no each time we tried to give her her pressie but last night, just before bed, she decided would be the perfect time to open them.

The Netcare "Happy Meal" & Her Pressie!

Last night she slept well, from 7pm to just after 6:30am this morning without a peep. The most amazing thing of all is that my child can finally breathe through her nose for the first time in more than a year, we never work up once to the sound of her snoring last night and this morning she’s almost back to her old self. Her voice sounds a bit strained from the breathing tube but other than that she’s carrying on as if nothing happened yesterday.

I’m so thankful we had such a positive experience and that it was not nearly as bad as I was expecting it would be and of course, I’m most looking forward to no more tonsillitis & antibiotics!




  • randomthoughtso

    May 3, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    oooh I feel your pain, all the way. We had adenoids and tonsils done when C was three, and I swear – LONGEST HALF HOUR OF MY LIFE. I am CONVINCED that the clock stopped, went backwards, and then ticked slower than ever before. The anaesthetic is awful. Well done to Ava for getting through just fine and well done mama for not losing her mind during that half hour! XXX

  • marleen237@gmail.com

    May 3, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    I can only imagine your anxiety (I was there too) but it’s different for you. Like you say, you have no medical history for her and that I’m sure, added to your anxiety for sure.
    Glad everything went good and that it’s over now.

  • Sue Griffiths

    May 5, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    Well done Ava, and Mom and Dad! Every second your child is in theatre feels like a million years! Keep Ava eating and she will do so well! Xxx Sue


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