So, surgery was a success. Recovery has been far from that.
The boy had his surgery on Thursday and we learned quickly that recovery was not going to go all that smoothly, nor was anyone lying to us or exaggerating when they said that he would be beyond miserable.
We spent the night before at my parents for a few reasons. 1) We lost power due to ice and snow the day before and I wasn't in the mood to spend my snow day in a my house with my children and no heat or power. 2) They are super close to the hospital and we had an early arrival time. 3) It helped to put everyone at ease to spend the evening together the night before.
We arrived at the hospital nice and early and we were greeted by another little boy having the same surgery, by the same doctor, and Cars playing on the TV in the waiting room. Things were going smoothly. We registered, I got my bracelet, the boy got his and we waited to be called. We went in the back with our super nice nurse Mary who got the boy ready and gave me my scrubs to change into and my hat to wear and we waited some more. All of the nurses stopped by to see the boy. We met with the doctor and he was great, as per the usual with the boy. (He had his wedding ring on a chain around his neck and for some odd reason this made me feel soo secure in everything. Not that I wasn't before....) Then we watched some Barney and met with the anesthesia team. We discussed what would happen upon entering the operating room- I would carry the boy in and place him on the table, the gas would be started and the mask would go over his face and he would fight it and cry. I was prepared, sort of.
It was time.
I carried the boy into the operating room and actually did a really good job of holding back tears. (The last time, I couldn't hold them back so much) I put the boy on the operating table and the lead anesthesiologist hopped up next to him. (He literally had to hop...he was short. This made me chuckle) Another doctor showed the boy the mask and told him to blow into the mask to make the "balloon" inflate. It's important to know that we'd been "practicing" with an anesthesia mask for over a week so that the boy knew what to expect. The doctors looked at me and told me to be prepared, this was where it would get hard. (meaning the boy was going to start crying) They put the mask over his face and he, just like the champ that he is, started blowing super duper hard to inflate that "balloon". There was no crying. There was no fighting. There was just my little guy sitting there blowing and breathing and slowly falling asleep. Within a minute it was clear that the boy was sedated and pretty much out even though his eyes were still open. I gave him kisses and was led from the operating room by one of the nurses. The husband was awaiting me and my tears and we went back to the waiting room to do just that, wait.
Roughly 45 minutes later...maybe longer...the doctor came out. Everything went well. They drained a bunch of fluid and removed everything that needed to be removed. He reiterated to me, again, that the boy was going to be miserable. I really thought that everyone was just trying to prepared me for the worst and that we wouldn't be experiencing something so terrible. We waited some more. Finally, we were called into the stage two recovery area. There was our little guy looking MISERABLE. He was pale and just completely knocked out. The next 4 hours were long. It was filled with IVs and pain meds and ice pops and anti nausea meds. I have never wanted my child to vomit so badly. If he had just vomited he probably would have felt a bit better. He never puked. We were in recovery for about 2 to 3 hours longer than expected. We took our little guy home and started plying him with pudding, ice cream, milkshakes, anything soft. He did not feel good.
That night was horrendous. Coughing fits. No sleep. Medicine fights. The next day dawned and my child was ridiculously CRAZY. We think that the effects of the anesthesia, rather than continuing to sedate him, caused our recovering child to become a raving lunatic. This child did not stop ALL DAY. Grandma came over to help me with both kids and we were both amazed by the boundless amounts of energy that my child, who had just had major surgery, was exhibiting. Evening rolled around and the energy came to a screeching halt once the fever entered the picture. Our second night was filled with more coughing, non stop fever and more medicine fights. Saturday morning dawned and we were off to the hospital. The fever had shot up beyond comfortable level for the doctors. We needed to rule out pneumonia and more infection. Saturday morning was spent in the ER. Saturday afternoon on the couch at grandma and grandpa's. It was a long day. Sunday was a bit better, but not much. We could not get him to drink or eat and the medicine fights continued. Last night was not great. The boy was awake most of the night which meant I was too. He does not feel good. He hates his medicines, hence the fights. His throat is killing him so drinking and eating is next to impossible. This has not been fun for him, at all. I feel so bad for him.
Each day seems to get a bit better. Although, it has felt like 2 steps forward 1 giant step back. We'll see how these next few days go. I'm off tomorrow and then the husband on Wednesday. Grandma is taking both kids on Thursday and Friday, thankfully, so that they won't see the inside of daycare at all this week. These past few days have tested me as mommy. They've made me do something I haven't done since just after our daughter was born. They've made me doubt my parenting and mothering skills. I know, deep down, that what I'm doing is right and the best thing for him but when you look into your child's eyes and you see fear and pain because you trying to trick him into taking medicine or force him to swallow the mind reels. The boy is getting better but it is not an easy road. I doubted everyone when they told me this would be terrible. I didn't believe them when they said that it would be horrible and our little guy would be next to inconsolable. I just didn't want to hear it. I don't think it would have mattered. Nothing could have prepared me for what has been these past few days.
So the little guy is on the mend. This post is disjointed. I haven't slept. I can't focus. He's doing well....ok....
Thank you for your thoughts and kind words and great encouragement! I cannot tell you what it has meant to have all of you, who I've only known briefly, be so kind and wonderful!
Monday, February 18, 2008
So, surgery was a success. Recovery has been far from that.
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 10:26 AM