Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Squash Surgery Update

Yesterday was a day I hope to never do again. I fed Squash at 3:00 to 3:30 a.m. - the last time the doctor wanted him to eat due to anesthesia. Then, we got up at 4:00 a.m., and left home at 4:45 a.m. to get to the hospital by 6:00 a.m. We walked in at 6:05 a.m. A children's hospital is definitely a place to go to if you have a child in need of medical care. They had their program down pat of where to go, wait, and what to do when. We went to admission, and waited to see a lady behind the desk. Then, he got his i.d. bracelet, and we paid our co-pay. They give a 20% discount for paying the co-pay. I found this interesting. In my mind, you HAD to pay the co-pay so why would they give you a discount for doing it right then? (Interesting irony for my Ramsey friends.) Then, we went to another waiting area. Then, we went back to the short term stay area, and met with the nurse practitioner who approved him "well" for surgery, and had his blood pressure and temperature taken. They have these really modern scopes that have a ball on the end that they run over the babies head to take the temperature (maybe they have been around for years, but I have never seen one). I thought it was really neat until I noticed they don't seem to clean them - so basically it "appeared" that they ran it over his head and all the other "well" kids waiting for some surgery... anyway, I digress. Then, he was dressed in a children's gown, and we were sent to wait in a waiting room we just came from. It was full of play cars that looked like they had NEVER been cleaned... of course, we let him play on them, but I was still wanting not too... anyway, we were called to go back to another room with a lot of other families and kids waiting on beds to go to surgery. We met with the anesthesiologist back there and talked to his doctor before surgery. Strangely enough, there was NO privacy in this room. We heard about the other families, and they heard us. I saw a family with a baby that was probably about 4 months old talking to the doctors and anesthesiologist. They were up before us, and I saw them kiss their baby goodbye. I tried not to look or pay attention, but I saw the tears in her eyes when she walked by. There could be a better way to do this...

So, they make you part ways in a hall, and they promised he would be asleep in 5 seconds. Kissing my baby goodbye and watching him be carried off - and hearing and seeing him crying and looking at me was HORRIBLE. We both needed more than a few tissues at this point.

The surgery was supposed to take an hour and a half. It was scheduled to start at 7:30 a.m. He actually went back for surgery at 7:45 a.m. Then about 9:00 a.m. a nurse we had met came out and said he was doing well that the doctor had less than an hour of surgery left. Well, 10:00 a.m. rolled around, and still no doctor. Did I mention we were freezing. I put on an extra t-shirt I had brought in case I needed a change of clothes and had to spend the night. I had on 2 t-shirts and a light jean jacket and jeans. It was so cold back there. They let me use a blanket, but the blanket they gave me was icy cold. Also, we waited in a tiny individual "conference room." So, you did not wait with anyone else... we were given a pager so we could go to the cafeteria, but we did not want to leave the area. So, the doctor comes about about 10:15 and lets us go back to see him. He was laying down with a blanket up to his chin holding a bottle (very small) and was drinking glucose water. Actually, the nurse said he chugged 6 ozs and asked me how much he usually drank. Since he is breastfed, I had no idea. Mostly, he eats food - not milk. So, they let us follow him to the short stay unit and stay with him. We immediately left the short stay unit. He had been out of surgery about 30 minutes, and had been awake about 15 minutes. He was really calm and quiet. Not fussy. Then, when we got to the short stay he started to fuss to be picked up. I got to pick him up and nurse him for about 30 minutes. He was content and not fussy. He was a bit cranky after nursing and was not happy. The nurse said she would check back in about 30 minutes. She checked back and took the i.v. out of his foot. She checked his fingers for good blood flow. Then, I asked when we might be discharged, and she said, "Right now." So, that was it. The longest time there was the surgery. He did not seem to need any more pain medication, but we picked some up before leaving the hospital. We left about 11:30, and pulled out of the parking lot about 11:45. We were home about 1:00 p.m. and exhausted. Did I mention we had been up since 4:00 a.m? Also, it was extremely stressful waiting.

Now, he has a huge cast up to his shoulder to immobilize his fingers and hand. In 10 days, we go to have the cast taken off to see his hand. Then, the doctor will put it back on... So, he should be in a cast about 3 weeks. The cast or weight of it seems to throw him off balance. So, he is not walking as good as he was before. Also, he is having to play and use his sippy cup and eat with one hand... so, it is a bit challenging to scoop him up (he is heavier) and arrange his arm.

I am so thankful for everyone that prayed. Please continue to pray for his healing. I have to admit I feel that I have a scar on my heart. It is painful to watch your child leave you for surgery and be in a cast. I wish he could tell me if he is in pain or hurts or is uncomfortable. He also has an incision and some type of stitches where they took the skin for the skin graft. We have not taken off the bandage yet - and aren't supposed to remove the special tape. He found the spot during a diaper change, and tried to rip off the bandage today.

My handy husband put duct tape on the end of the cast to keep him from pulling out the stuffing and bandages after he succeeding in pulling some out. Later, I talked to the doctor and he recommended a sock. Well, the tape is off now, and the sock is working just fine... He is really missing his bath time. I am glad I let him play in the bath a long time the night before the surgery.
Did I mention his cast is bright blue?
If you read this, please comment. Also, if you prayed, please let me know. I want Squash to know someday about all his friends and loved ones praying for him.


  1. Thank you for the updates Andrea! I prayed all day! I am so glad that he seems to be doing so well! I am so proud of you too! I CANNOT even imagine how hard that was for you! I think it was probably worse for you than for him. I will continue to pray for you guys! Will told me to tell Jude that he missed him in the nursery and can't wait until he is feeling better! We love you guys and want to help out in anyway possible!

  2. Andrea - I am so sorry your family had to go through that, especially Jude! God has blessed you guys so richly with three perfect and beautiful children! Praise God that there is such procedures available to us, that God allowed the doctors and nurses to have the skilled hands he gave them to perform delicate procedures. Leaving your child in the hands and care of another and feeling helpless is a near impossible feeling! Seeing them cry and not being able to help that hurt, not matter how brief or long is indescribable! I really do understand that hurt. The most amazing and wonderful thing that we always know, is that those same loving, perfect hands that carefully and fearfully formed our precious gifts are the same hands that carefully guided our children's doctors, and most importantly that wonderful peace and calm that is with our children and us (even when we are not together holding them) that we are so richly blessed to have touch them and us at the exact same moment. Praise God everything went well! Well, please know I will be praying for his continued healing and your healing! They are so much more resilient than we are :) God Bless you guys :)
    Love Always -
    Shaunna and family :)

  3. I'm glad you ALL did well! All three of my girls have had surgery at very young ages. 2 of them were 11 months! So I know what you went through. Well I enjoy reading your blog everyday...hope he continues to do well! And you too! ~~Wendy

  4. Hi Andrea! I was thinking about you guys all day yesterday and praying that everything was going well. So glad to hear that it did go well! Yes, someday you will have to tell Jude about the surgery he had and how brave he was! And how brave you were! Sending lots of hugs to all of you! I hope Rachel and Luke enjoyed their sleep-over. At times like this I so wish we were closer so we could help with things. Your blog is so great because it makes us feel like we are closer. We love you and hope to see you soon!

  5. So glad things went smoothly... I know, as a mother, how tremendously hard it is to see your baby suffer, but sometimes we need to take a lesson from them in how to be resilient and bounce back! It sounds like he's already let go of the "hurt" and learned to adapt to his new situation...what a model for the rest of us!

  6. Hello-I was thinking about you this morning during the surgery! I'm so glad it went well. I laughed at the duct tape--my dad duct taped my cast onto my fingers when i was 8 or 9 after I broke them in gymnastics when part of it feel off (the cast)...apparently, he "fixed" it :-)

  7. Yay! I am so glad that surgery went well and you guys made it home. I can only imagine how heavy that cast must feel to him. The kids in class were anxious to hear how he made out too.

  8. Hey girl.I know the feeling of dealing with medical issues with a child.It hurts worse than anything possibly could.You feel helpless.I am so blessed we've never had anything life threatening -that would be unthinkable.I am so glad all is well and your little guy will be back to normal soon.You are a good mommy -your children are blessed to be yours.Love ya!Brandy

  9. Andrea,
    Praying for your precious baby! As a Pediatric Intensive Care nurse, I witnessed many such incidents as you describe and was a blubbery mess when it was my baby having an adenoidectomy!!! So emotional and out of control! I am a control freak and it was hard to put him into someone else's hands! I am so glad he did so well! Sounds like he recovered so quickly and without any nausea and vomiting that is so common (we didn't escape that one)! I will continue to pray for you as you adjust to the increased weight and awkwardness of the cast and for him as he deals with it and without his bathtime! Hope to see you tomorrow!

  10. Hey Andrea,

    Thanks for the unpdate, glad to hear it went well. I will continue to pray for you all an dhis quick recovery--Rhonda

  11. Hey, I am so glad to hear that his surgery went well. I bet he adapts to his cast rather quickly. Kids are just so amazing. Hang in there! Keep us posted of his progress and we will keep praying for his healing. Take care.
    Stephanie Nance