Having Magdalena's tonsils removed at age 5.5

Magdalena had her tonsils removed two weeks ago. We've known for the past year or two that this surgery was coming eventually; the fact that she had 5+ bouts of tonsillitis/strep in as many months sealed the deal.

One thing I love about doctors here is that their schedules are so much more accommodating than I've experienced in the US. We saw the ENT doctor on a Tuesday afternoon, asked if we could have the surgery scheduled soon, and he said, "how about next Thursday?" I was so glad we wouldn't have to wait long, especially since Magdalena had just come off a nasty bout of strep throat and a longer wait would have meant a greater possibility of her getting sick again before the surgery.

The process was much the same as my tonsillectomy in Tucson seven years ago. However, there were a few differences. For example, the doctors and nurses (at Belhoul European Hospital in Jumeirah) let Jeremy film throughout the process, including when they were putting Magdalena to sleep, when she was still asleep after the surgery, and her waking up. When Miriam had surgery to remove a dermoid cyst in 2009, they did not let me go with her beyond the intake room with the nurse. I didn't see her go under and they didn't let me back to see her until she had completely woken up. Jeremy got to be with Magdalena for the whole time except for the actual surgical procedure.

They also kept her at the hospital for the entire day. I remember being discharged from the hospital almost immediately after my tonsillectomy. That may be a difference in procedure, or just a matter of me being an adult and her being a child, so they needed to keep a closer eye on her.

In any case, everything went so well. And her recovery was so fast! When we went to the Cinderella ballet in Abu Dhabi, she'd had the surgery only two days before. But we'd bought the tickets way ahead of time, so I figured she could sit in a chair and watch Cinderella, or sit in a chair at home, and it would be all the same to her recovery. Just before we left, I handed her a dose of liquid Tylenol to drink, then I continued getting things ready. I noticed in the car and all evening at the ballet that she was a little quieter than she had been, even considering the fact that she was recovering from surgery. I thought maybe scabs were forming and irritating her throat more than usual. But after we got home about six hours later, I noticed that dose of Tylenol sitting on the table, untouched! She had been without pain meds all that time!

Here's a video of her right before the surgery, looking forward to the "ice cream vanilla" she's going to get to eat afterwards.


Oh, one more thing - they let us take home the tonsils. Really! Yes, I am going to post a picture of them below. The coin shown is about the size of a quarter. I am so glad these things are out of Magdalena and I'm so glad everything went well.


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