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When/how to get a child back on his feet after surgery?

My 8 year old son had to have his appendix removed this past Tues. He came home Wed and they let him wear his hospital gown home. I can't get him to put any regular clothes or even pajamas on or any underwear. He's very comfortable in his room, and has enjoyed being waited on and watching TV and eating in his bed. (He doesn't normally have a TV in his room nor does he usually eat in his room, much less in his bed.) He's been getting up and moving well, but he won't try to "settle in" anywhere but his bed. He also just won't even try clothes/PJs or underwear. Is 5 days after surgery too soon to start pushing some of this stuff? I've told him the TV is coming out of his room soon, but he says he's not comfortable anywhere else. I don't want to coddle him too much, but I also don't want to push him too hard either. Any suggestions?

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Asked by pbgibson at 12:30 PM on Jan. 11, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (6)
  • 5 days isn't really very long. when I had mine out I was in hospital for 3 days then at home mostly in bed or another 5 to 7 days. I would suggest he start wearing sweats. take the tv out of the room and he can get dressed and lay on the sofa and watch tv.

    Answer by Lyndall at 12:43 PM on Jan. 11, 2009

  • Did he have abdominal surgery or laproscopic? Abdominal will take more time to heal. Also how sick he was before the surgery makes a difference.  Recovery time is different for each child. My oldest son had his tonsils out. we sent him to school after a week, and he was pale and ill by the end of the day and had to take off another week.  When my other son had his tonsils out, he was playing when my husband picked us up from the hospital the next day. I'd let him recover at his own pace and not push him. When you see him running and playing, you'll know he is feeling better. He should walk around a little every day and maybe even get some fresh air.


    Answer by Bmat at 1:03 PM on Jan. 11, 2009

  • In my house we are an expert on surgeries. My son has a cleft lip and palate so he has had a number of easy and hard surgeries. His hardest one was a bone graft when he was in Kindergarten. His recovery time was unique as he was up and moving two days later I was prepared for the worst. I would not have pushed him because his recovery time could have taken weeks. When they are young sometimes they bounce back sometimes they don't. He will recover on his time. As long as he doesn't have to be in school there isn't a reason he shouldn't be comfortable. Let him relax for young kids surgery can be scary and he may just need a little more time.

    Answer by robinsi2000 at 3:28 PM on Jan. 11, 2009

  • My daughter had an appendectomy also. She started doing the same thing your son is doing, but, she had it made. I waited on her hand and foot. Suffice it to say after 4 days, she had to start walking and getting herself better. She wanted something, she had to come get it, I would make it, but, she had to move. The doctors told me that movement was the best thing. Did I listen NOOOOOO. After 4 days I did. Take the TV, it might be the best thing for him. Sure, he will get mad, but , he will start recovering..
    PS. Don't let him make you feel guilty about anything. They do that too.

    Answer by Kat122 at 4:02 PM on Jan. 11, 2009

  • He needs to take a shower, get freshened up and put on some pajamas, or some kind of clean clothes.
    Even if he doesn't want to.
    Laying around isn't good for you. People with hip replacement are forced to get up and walk 12 hours after surgery. I'd kick him out of bed.

    Answer by 3gymnastsmom at 4:57 PM on Jan. 11, 2009

  • Take him into the doctors and have the doctor tell him. This takes it out of your hands.

    Answer by mistynights234 at 8:15 PM on Jan. 11, 2009

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