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How to handle your child having Emergency Surgery

My personal Tips on How to handle your child having Emergency Surgery

Here are some personal tips on How to handle your child having Emergency Surgery.  I was unfortunate to be in this situation just a few short weeks ago, when my middle son Max, who is twelve years old had this happen.  He had been complaining of belly pain by his belly button.  I thought he may have done something during spring football training that day.  I had him drink some water and go on to bed.

The next morning, he said it felt a little better so on to school he went.  The next day he said it hurt a little in the morning, so I sent him with a water bottle to school and told him to fill it up throughout the day that maybe he was dehydrated.  Later that afternoon I got a call from the school nurse that he was in there and doubled over in pain.  My son Max never goes to the nurse, so I knew it had to be bad.  I picked him up and went straight to the ER.

My personal Tips on How to handle your child having Emergency Surgery

We got to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Emergency Room around 3:30pm and were seen right away.  After seeing many doctors and getting an ultrasound (which was inconclusive) they wanted to admit Max for observation around 10pm and maybe do an emergency surgery in the morning for appendicitis.  They wanted to see if the pain lessened with IV fluids or if it got worse.  It was a very long night of no sleep, probing, pushing on his belly and being woke up every hour.  So needless to say, Max and I were very tired and exhausted come 6am.

The doctors came in around 6:30 am and decided the best course was to do emergency surgery and remove his appendix.  From that point everything happened so quickly.  At first, they said it would be around noon, but the next thing I knew they were coming in to prep him for a 9am time slot.  I called my husband so he could there to be there with my son and me.  My son got very overwhelmed with everything going on, so I took a deep breath and remained strong for him, even though I was a bundle of nerves inside.

I talked to him calmly and reminded him that the doctors did this type of surgery every day and would do everything for him.  I assured him that I would be all the way with him to the operating room and I would be the first person he sees when he wakes up.  This helped ease him and I always kept a smile on face and talked to him in a quiet, reassuring tone.  I believe this not only helped him, but me as well.

My personal Tips on How to handle your child having Emergency Surgery

Right before they came to wheel him to the OR Prep area we prayed together over the doctors, surgeons and nurses who would be handling him.  I then prayed over him, and he said he that he felt such peace.  We then went to the OR Prep and some fabulous nurses took great care of him as he went off.  As I sat in the OR waiting area for 2 1/2 hours, I was very thankful for having a Children’s hospital so close to where we live.  Sometimes those of us who live close, do not know how others are.

I met a lady in the waiting room who lived five and half hours away.  She was sent to Children’s for her daughter to have massive stomach surgery and had been in surgery since 5am and was going through complications.  This poor mother was there all alone with no family or friends.  I immediately started praying with her and was wishing her the best.  Comforting her was the least I could do to help ease her nerves.  As they called for me, I remember looking back and smiling to her and saying it will all be alright.

My personal Tips on How to handle your child having Emergency Surgery

So, my tips for you are to be calm, talk to your child in a quiet, reassuring way.  You r child looks to you and your actions as they are nervous themselves.  Explain everything to them on their level.  Children’s Hospitals have Child Life advocates that will come in and explain everything to your child through pictures, videos and even games.  Be sure to ask for one.  It really helped my Max.  Also be sure to reach out to family and friends, they may know the right thing to say to help you and your child.  I hope you have never had to experience what I went through but if you do be sure to use these tips on How to handle your child having Emergency Surgery.

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  1. Thank you for sharing your story. I’m glad everything worked out well for Max and your family!

  2. This is some really good information about how to do if your child needs emergency surgery. It is good to know that your child might have a hard time sleeping before and after the surgery. It seems like it would be smart to get them something to keep their minds occupied during the night if they can’t sleep.

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