How to NOT Lose Your Mind When Your Child Is Having Surgery


A few months ago we scheduled my 2-year-old son's first anesthetized surgery. As a parent this is one of scariest things I've been through. He had to have tubes put in his ears and his adenoids shaved down. Pretty routine procedures but that doesn't mean that a mom won't worry that her child will be that tiny percentage of people who have something go wrong. So I did a little research online, made myself a bag of stuff to keep me busy, and charged my cell phone. I made it through the event without completely going crazy so I guess I succeeded. Here are a few tips on how to maintain some level of sanity while your child is having surgery.


Bring Snacks

Load a bag with snacks. Salty and sweet, add a few crackers or dry cereal in case you have a weak stomach, gum, and a bottle of water.

Bring Something To Do

Bring a book, puzzle book, new magazine, anything that will keep you focused. Don't forget a pen or pencil!

Download a few new puzzle game apps. My picks are Sudoku and Word Warp. Try the super hard boards.

Download a few apps that stream TV or movies. My faves are Netflix and Hulu. Don't forget your earbuds!

Catch Up On Your Favorite Sites

Surf the web and find a few new blogs to read. I love catching up on Pint-Sized NOLA, Buzzfeed, Scary Mommy, and Mommy Needs Vodka. Add whatever is on your guilty pleasure blog list for some mindless entertainment.

Read About Your Child's Surgery

Read through the paperwork provided by your child's doctor the day before so you'll know what time you need to stop giving food, liquids, water, etc. Some surgeries also require you to bathe your child the night before with a special cleanser and you should avoid deodorant, lotions, creams, etc post-bath.

Get Some Sleep

Take meds the night before so you actually sleep through the night. You might want to test a sample to see which works best for you. Tylenol PM seems to be the most popular choice. [Disclaimer: Always consult your doctor before taking any new medication.]


If you believe in a higher power, say a prayer whenever you start to feel nervous. If not, meditate or do some breathing to relax yourself.

Give your little one some extra hugs and kisses before the procedure. Remember that the doctors and nurses are there taking care of your child until you meet them in recovery. They are absolutely doing everything they can to keep your little one comfortable.

You can do this. You will do this. I did it and I'm not the most stable person there is!

Arden Cahill Summer Camp

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