Sunday, October 23, 2011

Surgery: Take 3

I have an IV pole in my living-room. In my living-room. I didn't think that would happen until my parents or Walter's parents were old, or something like that. It's all a bit overwhelming, and I had to hold back tears while the very nice lady from the medical supply company, dressed in high heels, with her nicely done make-up, explained to me all about programming the pump, and priming it, and how to use the handy dandy backpack when we're out of the house. She walked into the hospital room while Walter and my Mom were out with Isaac, taking him on a wagon ride, and I was trying to finally get some sleep. The whole time I couldn't stop thinking about how she looked so good, and my hair was a frizzy mess, and I had horrible dark circles under my eyes, and here she was quizzing me on how to use the pump and all the while my head was pounding and my stomach, well, it's been a disaster, the stress causes lots of trips to the bathroom. I don't know, it's all a lot to take in and I think I've been in the usual "survival mode" and now reality is setting in.

The surgery went very well. The only little hiccup was that Isaac had a laryngospasm, but otherwise, the surgery didn't take long, and he actually woke up very well from the anesthesia. I couldn't believe it, and was so thankful that this turned out to be a better experience than the last two surgeries. Thank you for your prayers! They were answered! Isaac was only poked one time for his IV line!

As usual, doctors drive me crazy (if you're a doctor, no offense, I'm sure you think we parents are morons and are trying to interfere with you doing your job). I really like Isaac's actual GI doctor, but trust me, once the surgery is over for this kind of thing, you don't see them again. The anesthesiologist was the one who got on my bad side this time. She gave Isaac some "happy juice" to relax him before the surgery, which made him completely loopy and quite funny, but she refused to tell us the name of the medication and when I asked about side effects she responded, "Of course it has side effects. Everything has side effects, even Tylenol." Thank you for that very informative information and for completely avoiding my question. You're fabulous and need to leave the room. And after surgery she acted like I was a complete idiot for ever saying they have problems intubating Isaac before surgery. With a very scornful look on my face I was thinking, would you like to have a chat with the PICU team at Rainbow Babies? They could share with you all about the trouble they had and also the three minutes he STOPPED breathing after his first surgery. I swear, I can't stand people like that.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure my threat of not ever returning to Cleveland Clinic for his following surgeries if they put us in a recovery room with four other children, worked. I was telling the truth too. Though I like his doctors, I'm sure there is someone equally as good at Akron Children's. Due to my persistence, we ended up on the fifth floor, which is a magical floor of peace and quiet and private rooms only. I later found out that it is the cancer and blood disorder floor and most of the children are there for a very long time. One of the babies had been there for over four months and spent ninety percent of the time on his own--I wanted to take him home with me, it was such a sad situation.

Shortly after we arrived on the fifth floor, the nurse announced that the doctor had ordered a series of blood work. Um, I DON'T THINK SO. They could have done that during surgery. After I asked what blood work they wanted to run, I knew that it had already been done two months ago at his last surgery. If you're child has to have surgery, DON'T BELIEVE EVERYTHING EVERYONE SAYS. The nurse was very nice and called Isaac's doctor and talked with her, and it was all a mistake. In the meantime a very tall, burly, and angry looking tech came in and announced he was going to take some blood. I said no, and he left angrily. At this point, the resident who had been consulting his lap top for several minutes, laughed, and I said, "What, was that a bad thing?" He just shrugged his shoulders.

Here's another lesson for your hospital stay: if your child is unnecessarily on IV fluids and blowing up to twice their normal size (or more, like after his first surgery), TELL THEM TO STOP THE FLUIDS. Yes, you can do that. YOU'RE the boss. They had pedialyte going through Isaac's g-tube and IV fluids on top of that, when Walter noticed that his leg was swelling around his leg band. I told the nurse we would like the IV stopped, and of course then they have get an order from the resident, who I guarantee, won't come look at him. She said they would probably just slow the rate of the IV...No, they will stop the IV. And they did, thank you very much!

By the time we left the hospital yesterday, I was very grumpy and tired of talking to people. Isaac is a very grumpy patient and pretty much starts screaming every time the nurse or doctor comes in the room. So this always makes hospital stays more unpleasant than they already are. He has also mastered a very angry death stare which he offers to anyone he feels deserves it. Hmmm, wonder where he gets that from.

First of all, completely unrelated to the surgery, Isaac loves to paint and he's pretty darn good at it!

Here's Isaac standing tall in his gait-trainer...

Now, for surgery pictures. We were in pre-op for four hours. Thankfully my mom and Sarah were there to help entertain Isaac. He really didn't like that ankle band, so my mom covered it up with a sock and he soon forgot it was there...

Pictures are compliments of Sarah!

I'm getting really tired of people asking me where Isaac gets his curly hair. I don't know, it seems pretty obvious to me (FYI, I'm going blonde just to emphasize the fact that he is my child)...

Milo was happy and content for the many hours that we stood in pre-op. Go Milo!

And this is Isaac drugged on "happy juice" (which, thanks to his nurse, is called Versed)...

He's never been this calm in his entire life...

Sitting up after surgery!

We came prepared and brought the beloved pink bouncy seat...

First feeding...

Everything is going well here at home. I've had minimal break downs this time, which I find very impressive, go me! Isabella was very disappointed when we told her that we'd be home the day after surgery, so I guess her sleepover dreams didn't come true. She's perfectly fine with this new feeding system and doesn't shy away from looking at the tube site, and of course, she asks questions, but her curiosity is endearing.

Isaac is still in a fair amount of pain and his "scoot" is much slower than usual. We can tell he wants to scoot quickly after Isabella, but then he stops, grabs his bangs (this is what he does for comfort), and just watches her.

Until next time,


  1. Thank God it went well for the most part! Thanks for sharing your heart, as always, and being such an awesome, strong, faithful mother and wife. I am blessed to know you, Isaac, Isabella and Walter. I now better understand, through observing your experiences, how God's grace is enough! Love you guys and hope to catch up/see you soon!

  2. Great post :D I'm so glad that the surgery went so well and that Isaac is recovering well!

    I was *not* a fan of the anesthesiologist...though her "happy juice" did make Isaac pretty hilarious and made for some funny pictures :) Your mom and I couldn't stop laughing at his antics!