Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Our little man's surgery

Today was Sunshine's day for ear tubes. We got the call yesterday for our surgery time: be at the hospital at 6:30 am, surgery at 8:30. YAY! I was told we'd be asked to arrive at either 6:30 or 8 with surgery to follow two hours after that. YOU try keeping a 3 yo who is used to eating at 6 am every morning busy until TEN!

So happy I was, yah, to leave the house at 5:45 am. The three middles slept over at Nonny's and Rose Bud was able to get herself up and ready for school on her own.

Mr. GT took the day off, so Sunshine thought it was an absolute PARTY! He narrated our drive from his carseat: "Brrrrm! Brrrm! (yes, Sunshine, cars) House! House! Nunner house! Up, up, up! Down, down, down, down, down (we live in hilly country)" Mr. GT said it was like having our own live altimeter in the car.

Once we got to the parking ramp, he started clapping, he was so excited! We walked into the hospital and easily found the outpatient surgery area. He greeted the receptionist with happy squeals.

We were escorted to a 6x6' room with a curtain for a door, two chairs, a hosptial bed, a trash can, a small cabinet and a tv on the wall. I changed him into hospital jammies and he admired his new duds.

The nurse came in and did vitals. He showed her his ears, soon to be "fixed." He cooperatively offered his armpit for the thermometer and his arm for the blood pressure cuff. However, he was so wiggly for the BP reading that she just recorded his BP as 80 over 40-something!

All that took about 20 minutes. Then we waited. And waited. We read several books I'd brought along. He sat on the bed. He sat on my lap. He peeked out the curtain. He ran away down the hall. We played with some puzzles I'd brought. We played with some cars I'd brought. We sat. We waited.

Finally, after about 45 minutes, the anesthetist resident came in and asked questions, including, has the dr. been by? No.

The surgery RN came by and asked questions, including has the dr. been by? No.

The admitting nurse came back. Has the dr. been by? No.

The anethesioligist came in. Has the dr. been by? No.

RN back. No dr.

Anethesioligist resident back. Dr? No.

Anethesioligist back. Room is ready. 8:25. Dr? No.

8:29 Dr comes by, signs all his paperwork and we're off.

I get a cool yellow scrub outfit with a non-matching green hat. Sunshine thinks I look awesome. (thanks, Baby!) RN gives me some fashion tips for the hat. The anesth. resident and nurse lead the was to the surgery room, pushing the bed. I carry Sunshine who thinks it's neat that his bed is driving down the hall.

ONce in, they have me hold him in my lap while the hold the strawberry-scented gas over his face with a mask. The resident is awesome and rubs his head, holds the mask and tells him a great story about flying to the moon, all at the same time! He watches me and smiles under the mask. So much for their warnings about how he will scream and flail. Within two minutes, his eyes droop and they take him and shoosh me out.

Nine minutes for surgery and nine minutes in recovery and the bed comes back carrying.....a cup of apple juice and a bag of animal crackers. No baby. Oh, here he comes, head resting on the shoulder of a new nurse, clutching his blankie.

He woke up perfectly calm (they said however he went out would predict how he'd come back) and they handed him to me. Mr. GT helped him drink his juice and he snarfed down the animal crackers like he'd never seen food! He only cried when they were gone.

By 9:40 we were on the road home, Sunshine tucked safely under an old beach towel, since they'd promised he would almost certainly barf in the car. Nothin' such. He fell asleep about 7 miles from home.

ONce home I settled into the recliner with him, Dad got us both socks and a snack and some 7-up for him. The only time he really crabbed was when his food or drink ran out. Despite not having complained AT ALL about having nothing since supper, (he only asked once for a drink at the hospital before surgery) he was apparantly REALLY hungry! So he downed a bowl of dry Cheerios and some 7-Up and then was happy as a clam.

He and I had a lovely 2 hour nap together in my bed. He never threw up. He ate another bowl of plain cereal and finished his 7-Up for snack and ate Indian (uppama and sambar) for supper. He happily let us put in his ear drops (3 drops, 3 times a day for 3 days---not sure if we'll be able to remember that!) and VERY happily chomped down his Tylenol meltaways.

The only sign of what he'd been through was that his balance was off all day. He's normally pretty sure on his feet, climbing, running, hopping, doing stairs. But he fell off his bench by the window twice, almost fell of the stool at the counter twice, DID fall off the stool once, I think, and fell down outside a couple of times. Luckily, he has a cement skull.

Whether the balance issue is from the anesthesia or from the messing with his ears, I don't know, but hopefully, he'll be better tomorrow.

All in all, he was a perfect little trooper and came through it all with flying colors.

Oh, why the tubes? He has had non-infected fluid in his ears since AT LEAST January (that's when our ped. first noticed it) and his ear drums were retracted (sucked in) from the pressure. He also failed several hearing tests in a minor way when we had him checked in April. So the tubes will alleviate the pressure, allow the fluid to drain and improve his hearing.

Today I count as blessings medicine that so easily and painlessly fixes his fluid problem, compassionate doctors and nurses who enjoy small children, Sunshine's happy attitude and ability to make us laugh and the fact that he DID NOT THROW UP!, Mr. GT's ability and willingness to take the day off to come along and then help out the rest of the day, and the blessing of my mom who kept the other kids overnight and then took them out for lunch before bringing them back.


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