Life Is Just So Daily

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Gage's Surgery....Not for the Squeamish!

Okay, so Gage had his tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy yesterday in Dallas.
My son is a ROCKSTAR!

We had his surgery at Texas Institute for Surgery, and we had an overall GREAT experience!
We had to sign in for surgery at 6:30am, and so that meant that we had get up SUPER early at our house. Gage was in pretty good spirits that morning, so we were impressed.
Before the surgery: 

They put cartoons on in the kiddie waiting area for Gage, and we read Olive My Love, on loan to Gage from his 1st grade teacher.

Before we knew it, we got the text that it was time for us to come back to our room and get ready. Mommy helped Gagie change into his surgical jammies.

Gage was all warm and snuggled into the bed, waiting for surgery....
I swear, the pre-assessment nurse, the surgical nurse, and the anesthesiologist all asked pretty much the same questions: does he take any medicine, has he been sick in the last 10 days, does he have any piercings or tattoos, does he drink or smoke or do drugs, does he have any loose teeth. Yeah----only a few of those are appropriate for our little 7 year old!

We all had a good laugh at the "mandatory" questions....and everyone was SOOOO nice to us. Dr.G came in and asked us if we had any questions....nope. He asked Gage if he had any questions. Yes, he did.
1. Can my tonsils ever grow back?
2. Can you give me my tonsils back after you take them out, or show them to me?
Well---yes, technically, you can have "tags" or what appears to be the regrowth of tonsils over many, many years after the initial tonsillectomy (or so we were told yesterday), but in Dr.G's many years of doing the surgery, he's only seen that happen once, and it wasn't someone upon which he'd performed the original surgery. So, there's that.
Gage's tonsils: going to pathology after removal, so no, you won't get them back. David, our surgical nurse, did Gage a favor and took pictures of the tonsils for Gage to see. During the actual surgery, the anesthesiologist (Dr.Fine) decorated Gage's black Angry Bird and drew out a fun little setting for the tonsil photography.

Warning: the following is not for the squeamish!!!!

Apparently his adenoids were worse than his tonsils, and that whole cluster of tissue came out too. Gage didn't ask for a picture of that, so as inquisitive as I am, I sadly have no idea what that looks like....

The nice thing about how they handled Gage during all of this: they took him to the OR and used some kind of gas to put him to sleep temporarily, and then they started his IV. So, he had no experience of IV placement, and that was WONDERFUL!

After the surgery, Gage went to recovery. Dr.G came and talked to us.... And then before he was even done talking to us, Gage was being wheeled back to the room and saying, "I want my mommy!" {Oh, be still my beating heart!}

Gage described his recovery room experience: "I woke up and I couldn't see. Then there were grown ups holding me down. I could feel them, but I couldn't see them. They wouldn't let me get up. When I could see, there were other people in there, and they were all grown ups, and I didn't feel safe." {Oh.My.Poor.Buddy!!!! I am sooooo sorry, buddy!}

{Is that Dr.Bird, or Angry Doctor!? This was one of the little things that made our little buddy smile.}

Gage wanted apple juice and an orange slushie. Done & done! They were on top of giving us whatever he wanted to keep him satisfied....

He was given some Lortab, and would nod off periodically....
...and then his respiration rate and oxygen saturations would drop. "We just don't want it to go below 92%." here's the machine that let us know....

...and when we watched that number go down to the 80s, we rubbed him and told him to take some deep breaths....and then when it kept going lower Hubby went out to get our nurse, and boy did they all come running! When it got to 69 & 68%, I was starting to get panicked too, but I could see that he WAS awake and alert...and it eventually came back up with some calming down. Whew!

A bit later Gage wanted up to go to the restroom and he was not exactly stable on his little legs....

We were there for some additional monitoring because of the O2 saturation tanking at one point, and for additional fluids....and when that time period was up, we went through the details of our discharge papers and the next step was to get his IV out.
That's when the vomiting started.
{OMG. Vomiting across a freshly cut throat? I saw my son go through this, but I cannot imagine the pain myself. I mean, I can....but, you know---I just know it must have felt horrendous!} They warned us that this might happen....but what I wasn't prepared for: vomit to come out of his mouth AND nose. Poor buddy....

So, we got cool cloths and stayed even longer for more monitoring....discharge delayed yet again....
....but then, a bit later, he let us know that he wanted his IV out, and he wanted to go home, and he was ready. It's like there was this upbeat change to him, and he was ready to get out of there! I'm sure it was the effect of the anesthesia wearing off and him becoming more and more alert....

So, our discharge nurse, Barbara, came in and let Gage help her take out the IV. Involving him in that process was not anything I ever would have thought he'd be ready for---but he was. He was fascinated by it. He didn't want to see his own blood, but he wanted to know how the IV worked, how it got in there, and where was the needle part? He wanted to know it all. She did a great job with him and his plethora of questions! {....she was quite the talker herself, so I'm sure she enjoyed it!}

Per Gage's request, she went back to the OR area and got Gage some surgical masks to take home. I'm telling you---this place catered to our child's every whim, and they were all just so patient and wonderful to us. I can't sing enough praises!

Mommy and Daddy helped get Gage changed back into his own jammies, and packed up his stuff. He was ready to roll! When they said that they were going to wheel him out in a wheelchair, he started crying. He did NOT want to have to be wheeled out. A quick reframing of the situation by Mommy helped with that, "Dude, this is not your first wheelchair ride. When you were born, I rode in a wheelchair and held you in my arms. So, this is your SECOND wheelchair ride. Besides that, it's not that you HAVE to----you GET to. A chair with wheels that someone else pushes? That's awesome, and it may be fun." He was sold.
Gage wanted me to ride in the backseat with him on the way home. It wasn't long before the sleepiness kicked in....
Once we got home, he was wide awake!
Memaw picked up the meds at the pharmacy for us, which was so nice not to have to stop there too.

Gage had a few friends drop by with cards, and coloring books, and a puzzle, and a Lego Sticker Book... Lucky Duck!

Gage and Memaw put the puzzle together last night....

Gage is on antibiotics twice a day. He takes Lortab every 4 hours. He takes Phenergan every 8 hours. Between the Lortab and the Phenergan, you'd expect him to sleep, right? Nope. Not my opposite-effect-child. He gets all jazzed up, and then when he comes down from the high, he gets tearful and easily irritated, and fights his sleepiness.

FINALLY around 9pm last night, he snuggled down, and let me sing him to sleep. {He's the only one who likes my singing voice anyway....}

He slept all the way through the night, but was up early this morning asking for his pain medicine. We didn't wake him and medicated him during the night....

So, all in all, I think he did VERY well during his surgery and is doing VERY well during his recovery!
And this whole Eat-IceCream-All-Day thing: he's got this routine down.



At 1:51 PM , Blogger mpotter said...

unbelievable ordeal!
way to go you brave people.

speedy recovery......

At 5:25 PM , Blogger Shoeaddict said...

I cried through this whole post. Gage is so beautiful and sweet. The " I didn't feel safe" part reallllllly got me.

You are such a sweet, wonderful mommy.

At 8:30 PM , Blogger Aubs said...

awww...sweet boy! hate that he had such a rough time right after surgery but glad that y'all are home and he is recovering well!! will be praying for recovery to continue to go well!! =)

At 7:58 AM , Blogger Patty said...

Such a brave little boy! Hope he's feeling much better by now :)

At 7:17 PM , Blogger Stephanie and Jeff Stovall said...

Sweet angel!!! How scary to wake up without Mommy :(


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