Childhood Cancer

Your Child in the Hospital

Reducing pain after trauma or surgery

Because trauma or surgery can cause moderate to severe pain, your child will be given pain medications by IV or mouth while recovering from the surgery in the hospital. If your child is in the intensive care unit after surgery, he may also receive sedatives along with pain relievers. Sedatives can decrease anxiety, induce sleep, and eliminate the memory of unpleasant events.

Tucker was three when he had an emergency operation to repair an inguinal hernia. We were potty training him and after a session on the toilet trying to have a bowel movement he was in extreme pain. We took him to the emergency room and they discovered that part of his bowel was stuck in an abnormal opening in his abdominal wall. When he first woke up after surgery, he had no pain at all. However, after a few hours he got worse and worse. He was grumpy, wouldn’t get up, and only wanted to watch his very favorite cartoon over and over again. At first we didn’t realize it was pain, because he couldn’t describe what was wrong, but after he got pain medication he was hard to keep still. The doctor told us that he would be back to his usual self in a couple of days, and he was, but it took a long time to get him to go back on the toilet.