Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My 7 Year Old Son's Surgery...EEEEK!

My 7 year old son has a mild form of Sleep Apnea which was inherited from his dad. You can learn about Apnea here:

His tonsils were HUGE. He snored at night and sometimes stopped breathing for a few seconds. It isn't nearly as bad as what his dad has but I wanted to take care of this asap. He has trouble getting a good night sleep and that shows at school. Two years ago I had a consultation with an ENT doctor (Ear Nose and Throat). After learning about it I freaked out and didn't go through with it. I decided the end of last school year that it needed to be done so I made another appointment. The more I learned about getting tonsils and adenoids taken out, the more freaked out I got. The doctor looked at everything and said it would be best if he had both done at once.

Finally we scheduled a surgery date: September 23, 2008. I really wanted to have it done over the summer so he wouldn't miss any school but they seem to be overwhelmingly busy during the summer months. So I agreed to this date with the knowledge that he would probably be out of school for about 2 weeks. That day came fast. The closer it got, the more frightened I became that I might only be a mommy to 2 kids when it was over. Being put to sleep scares me SO bad. The idea of someone never waking up again. Add the risks of surgery and I was terrified!

Tuesday, 9/23 we had to be at the hospital at 6:15am. That time doesn't exist to my kids or myself. This wouldn't be a big deal for some...but MY kids don't accept that as being morning, especially when the sun isn't up. When I first woke Zachary up he told me I was lying because it was still dark. I had to take all three kids because their dad had to work (and could not take off) and no one else wakes up at 6. Plus most of my family and friends work and were unable to help. I didn't want to ask either. I did arrange with my mom to come when it got a little later and she was going to take my 3 year old to preschool. My youngest was going to stay with me all day.
Lucky for us we live only minutes to a fantastic hospital. We got there and waited for a short time. We went from one waiting room to the surgery waiting area where they did all their prep work. There he had to dress in a hospital gown and was given a sedative. We were able to watch some cartoons on a little tv while we waited. I noticed immediately when the sedative kicked in and was that ever hilarious! I mumbled something about how he was never ever allowed to get drunk ever and he shouted, "I WANNA GET DRUUUUNNNKK!!" Everyone understood but they still had a good laugh. Then it was time to wheel him off to surgery so we gave him hugs and kisses and went on to a new waiting room at about 7:45am. They gave us a card with his id number on it and told us we could watch a television which had a list of id numbers and doctors doing surgery. Each id also had a code beside it which informed waiting family what part of surgery they were going through. My kids were amazingly well-behaved. Jonas crawled around and played with the toys I brought. Amara drew tons of pictures and made friends with some women. He was done his surgery around 8:30am and my mom got there at 8:40am. About 15 minutes after my mom got there they told me he was done and we could go to pediatrics to meet him. We were given his new room number and went on up. The pediatric unit is filled with colorful rooms, bright lights and pretty pictures. Zachary had a nice room with plenty of extra seating for us. He had a very nice view of the city and one of the new televisions with a dvd player. The new tvs are flat panel lcd. They are awesome. Zachary was wheeled in and looked good. I asked how he was feeling and he said he was fine! They reminded me that his drugs hadn't worn off entirely so he would feel fine for a while.
So the kids made themselves at home and we spent the whole day there. I was able to run down to the cafe to get breakfast while my mom was there. Later I got dinner from the other cafe while Jason was off work and stayed with the kids. Jonas and I took a short walk around the whole pediatric unit which was surprisingly small. We stopped in a play room where he played with some cars. We passed a few rooms set up with cribs where babies were lying. That made me sad even though I couldn't be sure if they were really really sick or just like Zachy and recovering from something.

I tried to take a nap but I couldn't get comfortable and right when I was about to fall asleep Jonas woke up. Zachary didn't eat anything for lunch but a popsicle (he had more of those at the hospital than he had all year).

My mom came back from preschool with Amara and stayed until about 3pm. Jason arrived at 3:30 so I wasn't alone very much. Then Jason fell asleep and Amara started really acting out so I kicked the two of them out around 5. As they were leaving, Jason's dad and step-mom arrived to visit.

While they were there we found out that his doctor gave the Ok to discharge him right away. I tried to encourage him to stay the night and even told him that we would stay with him but he really really wanted to go home. That surprised me since we don't have cable and there he was able to watch anything he wanted. He said he wanted to play with his toys (the toys he normally says he doesn't have at all). I told him he probably wouldn't want to play- that the iv they were giving him, plus the pain medication were making him feel really good. He didn't care. So around 6:30pm we were able to leave.

When we got home he went right to the most comfortable chair in the house and went to sleep. When he woke up he was in a lot of pain so I had him take his antibiotic and pain meds with some ice water. Then we put him back to bed. He is such a sport though- he isn't complaining at all. I wouldn't be that way! I was so scared when he went in to surgery but I am so happy now that it is done and over with and was successful.

While it was a taxing day, it was definately worth it. This week will be a bit of a challenge- taking care of my sicko and the younger two as well. He needs as much rest as possible and doesn't need his brother and sister jumping all over him!

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