Recovery

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I saw lots of upset parents yesterday, which is what happens when you spend time at a children’s hospital. Happy kids (because of lots of good toys and kind professionals and all sorts of positivity) but upset parents.  I wasn’t really upset; I was concerned and stressed.  The nurse, in pre-surgery consultation, told me to make sure I ate something to boost my blood sugar while he was being operated on, because loads of parents pass out in the recovery room and, she assured me, “lose control of their bowel and bladder”.  Why thank you, that’s lovely.

The only time I actually got really upset yesterday was sitting in the surgery waiting room, watching Oliver play before it was his turn (the REALLY good toys were in there).  A premature baby was wheeled in, presumably about to have surgery as well.  And the parents were just sobbing.  The mother was clutching a doll so hard her knuckles were white.  The baby’s name was Emma.  I hope she is okay. She was so tiny.  And obviously what was going on was so much riskier than what we were experiencing.

Oliver’s surgery was low-risk.  I didn’t have a lot of questions, I did my on-line reading about the procedure, listened to them quote stats about anaesthetic reactions and gave consent for something like an epidural.  It look as long as they said it would (about an hour).  I trusted that these were professionals.  It helped that his surgeon was the chief of pediatric surgery and a quick google search reveals him operating on conjoined twins.  I think if he can handle that, a little groin stitch up is a piece of cake.

I was expecting to find him asleep on a gurney when they took me into the recovery bay.  I assumed he’d slowly come out of his anaesthetic fog and need comforting and we’d go home after he had some juice or a freezie.  Instead I found him hysterical, jumping out of the bed and into my arms, as much as he could with an IV and other leads coming from him.  He was basically inconsolable, and ultimately ANGRY.  He didn’t know what was going to happen to him yesterday.  I had an internal debate about how much to tell him before he went in.  I assessed that he could know that he was going to get fixed, and he knew that something was wrong with his nether regions, that lots of doctors have looked at it.  But I didn’t explain going to sleep, getting cut open, an IV in the hand (which is, ugh, one of the most horrible things anyone can experience, probably one of the worst memories of both hospital childbirths).   I didn’t buy him Franklin Goes to the Hospital, or whatever.  He didn’t know how he was going to feel when he woke up, what the hell had happened while he was asleep.  And he was PISSED OFF.

Eventually he calmed down, fell asleep so deeply in my lap the nurse put an oxygen mask near his face as his heart rate had slowed down so much.  And within two hours of his surgery being complete, I was told to get him dressed and wheel him downstairs.  Mark hadn’t even had a chance to come and meet us yet!  It seemed quick.  But fine.

He’s fine.  He’s distressed by the sight of his incision and stitches.  He doesn’t like the plastic paint they put on it instead of a band aid.  He doesn’t like the hole in his hand from the IV (don’t blame you, kid).  He’s completely himself, being too boisterous, kind of like the dog after she got fixed as a puppy and ended up ripping her stitches open again because she never actually rested after her surgery.  He’s a little bit not himself, because he’s sleeping in his bed right now, and he fell asleep in his pushchair like 2 hours ago as we were wandering around the shopping mall (can’t even remember the last time he did that).

I’m glad it’s over.  Still a little bit stressed obviously as we monitor his recovery and make sure everything is okay, but I think all my stress comfort eating of the last few days (why yes, I did eat apple stuffed french toast and bacon and coffee in the hospital cafeteria while he was being cut open to cope with the fact he was being CUT OPEN – and it was damn good) can subside.

Speaking of which, I’d better go finish making that cottage pie for dinner…

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3 Responses to “Recovery”

  1. Vic Says:

    I’m glad to hear it all went ok and hope he recovers quickly.

  2. Maria Says:

    I’m glad he’s doing well and I think you made the right decision. I don’t think that at three you could really “prep” him for the experience and he’d only have dreaded it or fought you going in, being stressed beforehand. My grandpa is in his 80s and has been counting down to cataract surgery on Monday and really stressing about it. Glad he’s recovering well and hope you’re having a cozy, stress free weekend.

  3. Loukia Says:

    Hi there, I found your blog through danigirl. I just wanted you to know that recently my 3 year old underwent surgery as well. And it was the most traumatic experience of my life, to see him being wheeled into the operating room, to see him with an IV, to see him post-surgery lying there with an oxygen mask on. My son had pneumonia and after a few days of IV treatment, got a bit worse, so he needed surgery to drain fluid from his lung. He had a chest tube in him for 4 days and remained in the hospital for 14 days altogether. With an IV, and countles ultrasounds, MRI and C/T scans. And blood work. Daily. It was a nightmare. So I can completely understand what you were feeling. And seeing other worried parents sucks, too. When my son was 3 months old he was also hospitalized with a UTI and seeing an IV in a baby that young, well that totally changed my life. Again he was in CHEO at 6 months old with another UTI (he had hydronephrosis, a treatable kidney conditions that is fairly common and that most kids outgrow by the time they are 3 – happy to say he has outgrown that!) Anyway… it’s just not fun at all. But I am glad he is 100% better after all of this. It’s just for us, I think we’ll live with it forever. That worry will never go away, at least not for me.


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