Sunday, May 17, 2009

Surgery Day

Caleb had his surgery on Thursday (double myringotomy and adenoidectomy), and I think things went very well. Here's how our day went.

I got up around 5am, showered and dressed, then woke up Scott and Isaac around 5:30. Meme and Papa (my parents) got to our house at 6:00, right after we'd woken up Caleb. We headed out the door about 6:20. Isaac was happy and didn't cry a bit when we left. Thank you, Jesus!

We went to Baylor Medical Center Frisco for this procedure, and we'd never been there before. We were impressed--the lobby was huge, with lots of big comfy chairs, tasteful artwork, and a super-high ceiling. It didn't have a hospital feel at all, which was good. They even had free pastries and gourmet coffee, which we appreciated.

We checked in and they gave us one of those little buzzer things to page us with throughout the morning--you know, like the things you get in restaurants to let you know when your table is ready? Now that makes sense! Caleb sat in a chair and colored on the cool new toy that his friend Jackson had stopped by and given him the day before.

We'd also surprised him that morning with a gift of our own: little Thomas and Percy trains. He attached to them right away and has taken them with him everywhere since.

Caleb was in a great mood and laughed and giggled and played a lot in the waiting room. By 7:30, they called us back to a tiny room of our own to prep Caleb for surgery. We changed him into a little hospital gown (I must say, there is nothing like seeing your baby in a hospital gown to make it all very real) while he got to watch Handy Manny on a little TV in the corner of the room.

The nurses were all fabulous, but I was particularly happy to see that one of our friends from church, Lori, was on duty that day and stopped by to chat with us. It was reassuring to see a friendly face. :)

The anesthesiologist came and talked to us, and then the ENT, Dr. T, came and talked to us. Everyone was pleased with how calm and happy Caleb was. It sounds like many kids have to have a sedative called Versed before they go to surgery to calm them down, but Caleb did just fine without it. I just kept telling him what was going to happen in as much kid-friendly detail as I could. (Caleb is one of those kids who needs to know what will happen and when, and once he does, he's good to go.) He knew that soon he'd go with the doctor, and the doctor would put a mask on his face like a breathing treatment (which he has seen Isaac have a hundred times), and the medicine in it would make him sleepy and want to take a nap.

At 8:10, the nurse said it was time, and she asked Caleb if he wanted to take a ride in the bed or if he wanted to walk. He chose to walk. What a brave boy he was! I don't think I will ever forget the image of Caleb walking away from me down that hospital corridor, his gown half-open in the back and revealing the Pull-up we'd put him in that morning (just in case), hand-in-hand with the nurse he'd never seen before, trusting her and trusting us, clutching his Pooh bear and his trains, and turning his head back to look at me and give a half-smile as he rounded a corner. As I went back to the little room with Scott to gather our stuff and head for the lobby, my eyes were full of tears.

I decided that the best thing we could do was eat, since we missed breakfast that morning. We went to the little cafe in the hospital and grabbed a quick bite, then went back to the lobby with our pager to wait. It didn't take long. Around 8:50, our pager went off and we quickly went up to the front desk. We were led to a little consult room to wait for the ENT.

Even though I knew in my head that this was a minor procedure and the chances of something going wrong were very slim, I was still nervous. The wait for the doctor was only a few minutes, but it felt soooo long. Finally, Dr. T came in and said the words we wanted to hear most: "Everything went fine." He said that there was still fluid in the ears when he put the tubes in (and Caleb had just finished another antibiotic for his last ear infection a few days ago), and the adenoid pad was what he called "mushy" for lack of a better term. He said that when the adenoid is repeatedly infected, it loses its firmer texture, and that's what happened in Caleb.

Then he said that Caleb was already awake, and so we should follow him quickly so we could be with him. I was on my feet in a flash. GET ME TO MY CHILD!! Sure enough, we went through some double doors and I could hear Caleb yelling hoarsly, "Mommy! Mommy!" I high-tailed it over to his recovery area, scooped him up, and held him in the rocking chair they'd put right by the bed. He whimpered and cried, but he quieted some as I rocked him.

If you've never had anesthesia or seen someone else waking up from it, it can be brutal. You feel disoriented and nauseated. You feel so sick and confused at the same time, it's just miserable. It doesn't usually last long, but it's a hard few minutes. We had been told that a lot of kids come out of anesthesia kicking and fighting, but Caleb didn't do that. He just whined. :)

The nurse told us that Caleb could be discharged as soon as he would drink something and hold it down, so we tried to encourage him to drink. He wouldn't have anything to do with that apple juice we offered him, though. After about 15 minutes, the nurse decided to transfer us to another area so they could have the space in the recovery room back, so I carried him as she led us to another room. I was so pleased to see that our friend Lori was the nurse for the area we arrived in! She took great care of Caleb (and us), and let me just sit and rock with Caleb for awhile.

Lori gave Caleb some Tylenol, and after I told him that he'd get to see Meme and Papa if he drank something, he had some juice. :)

By the time we got home, Caleb was still groggy but not whining anymore. He just wanted me to hold him and rock him for an hour or so. When it was time for lunch, he had a big enough appetite to eat and was feeling well enough to sit at the table. As soon as he was done eating, though, he said that he was tired and was ready for a nap.

I was so pleased and surprised at how quickly he rebounded from the surgery. I thought that with his adenoid removed, he'd complain more of a sore throat or be in pain. Nope! We gave him one more dose of Tylenol later in the day, but he really did just fine. He was sleepier than usual for a couple of days, but otherwise was back in the full swing of things. Kids really are resilient!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a brave little man you have ;) Glad to hear all is well. You handled everything great. I can only imagine how hard it was to see your little guy walking away from you. Oh, I would have burst into tears. Brave mama you are.