I tried to get my cleaning done on Tuesday because I knew this week would be hectic. Cailin’s surgery was Wednesday. I went to bed around midnight but I didn’t sleep well. Seriously, how many moms sleep well the night before their child has surgery?
Well before the crack of dawn (5am), the alarm clock began to ring. I was already awake unfortunately. I stumbled down the steps and got my clothes. They were still down on the dryer from being folded last night. I let the dogs out to potty, and went back upstairs to get dressed. By the time 5:30 rolled around, I was dressed, and ready to go. Chris has his shower and was moving the car seat from the truck to the car. I didn’t want to wake up my sleeping girl by turning on the light in her room, so I turned on the bathroom lights and opened her door. Of course she was sleeping so soundly… against the wall. I moved her to the end of the bed and planned to change her without waking her too much. As soon as I touched her though, she was up. She needed to potty. She pottied and when I told her we needed to get dressed, she said she was “poop-nin”. I gave her a few minutes to go, but she didn’t. When I tried to get her up, she again told me she was “poop-nin”. I got her dressed and hair combed while she sat on the potty… and did nothing.
Cailin wanted to hold my hand while we were in the car. Once we got to the hospital, Chris dropped me of at the door and I took the bags and the paperwork in to check in while Chris parked the car and brought in Cailin. I should have waited with Chris. They didn’t do any check in at the desk. They took us into a room right away. There were two waiting room chairs and then a big huge recliner. After about 2 minutes, someone came in to do all of our paperwork. Cailin sat on daddy’s lap while I sat in a regular chair and signed everything.
Before I go any further, I have to tell you, this is NOT a children’s hospital. With that in mind, with the area where we were, you would have thought that it was. They were FABULOUS! KUDO’s to everyone working there. Not only did the work hard to make Cailin feel at ease, they made mom and dad much more comfortable too.
The lady that was doing all of our paperwork had an ID bracelet for Cailin to go on her ankle. We all made such a big fuss that she got a special bracelet. She loved it. This hospital worker left and in came a RN. She introduced herself to Chris and I and then she stooped down to Cailin’s level and greeted her as well. She let Chris and I know what to expect for the day, and she told Cailin what was going to happen… however, it was a much more vague description for Cailin. Instead of saying surgery, she told Cailin she was going to visit Dr. Walker. That kind of thing. When ever we had to do something with Cailin, such as checking height, weight, oxygen saturation, and such, the nurse always started with Daddy trying it, then it was mommy’s turn, then it was Cailin’s turn. This was she wasn’t afraid by the time it was her turn. Cailin thought it was great that she could make the SpO2 meter beep with her thumb and the nurse let her push the buttons on it. Next came in the anesthesiologist. He asked Cailin if he could listen to her chest to hear her heart. She sat so still for him! He told us she would get a sedative while she was sitting with us, then we would move to a kind of holding area. From there, when she was significantly calmer, they would take her to the surgery suite, play with the masks and after 2-3 breaths of the bubblegum flavored gas, she would be asleep enough to start an IV and get her intubated and ready for the surgery itself. Dr. Walker is known for being one of the best doctors in the area for her field. She is also one of the fastest. The anesthesiologist told us that it would take about 30 minutes from the time they separated Cailin from us to the time she comes off anesthesia. It would take just a few minutes to wake up, and then most kids normally fall back asleep. They stay in a highly monitored area for this part. When she wakes again, then she will be moved to a recovery room and we will be taken to her.
A nurse came in next with the sedative. She told us that some kids fall asleep, some get giggly, and some get glassy-eyed. It depends child to child. Cailin opted for #3. She was soo spaced out. They moved us to the holding room. There was a window to the nurses’ station so they could monitor everyone. They had mats and bean bags on the floor for bigger kids that might want to get all stretched out. Cailin started slurring her words so much. She sounded like she had a few too many drinks! She watched the Disney channel and tried to talk to daddy, but we didn’t understand much. Finally (5-10 minutes later), it was Cailin’s turn. They have wagons with blankets and pillows in them for the kids to ride in back to the surgery area. Cailin loved the wagon ride. We get to the end of the hall and they have hugs and kisses corner. We gave our lovin and told Cailin we would see her soon. The nurse told us that she could take one of her animals that we brought with us back to surgery with her so she wouldn’t be so frightened.
As soon as she went through the doors, another nurse greeted us and took us to the family waiting area. We asked if we could go eat. We were in the cafeteria for about 15 minutes, and then waited maybe 10 more minutes. Our names were called. They told us that Cailin was out of surgery and to go around the corner to wait for Dr. Walker to come out and talk to us. Dr. Walker came out with an elephant beanie baby. She said that everything went really well with surgery. In the state between coming out of anesthesia and falling back asleep, she got to pick out a beanie baby and she chose the elephant. She was a trooper. We sat back down in the waiting area and waited for Cailin to wake before she was moved to a recovery room.
We were told that for her to go home today, she needed to be drinking on her own and have at least one wet diaper, or successful trip to the potty. After waiting 20 more minutes from talking to the doctor, they sent us on the way to Cailin’s room. She was in a chair on a nurse’s lap sobbing slightly and hugging her wolf in one hand and a sippy cup of apple juice and ice in the other hand. I climbed up onto the bed and Cailin was placed in my lap. She cried. She cried hard. It broke my heart. I knew she was hurting and there was nothing that I could do about it. In between sobs, she was drinking her apple juice though. I didn’t expect that so early!!! A nurse brought in some Motrin for her and she gobbled that down and calmed down a little bit. It took her a good hour to calm down significantly. She fell asleep. She woke close to lunch time and told us she needed to potty. We unplugged her IV pump from the wall and she went to potty in the bathroom. We went back in the room and she didn’t want to sit on the bed any more. For lunch, she had chocolate pudding, chocolate ice cream, macaroni and cheese and mashed potatoes. She finished a 2nd cup of juice. This was at 12:30. She still wanted to wander in the room, and then tried to go out in the hallway. We had the door closed, but she learned how to open them pretty fast. The IV pump began to beep low battery, but we couldn’t plug it in and keep her still enough. I had to talk to the nurse about this.
She told me that the IV had to stay in as long as we were in the hospital. I told her what was going on. She said she would be in shortly. About 2-3 minutes later, she came in, took the IV out of Cailin’s hand, and then told us we were set and could go home. That was good news. I wanted out of there as soon as possible.
On the way out the door, Cailin noticed cookies on the lunch tray and asked for them. She ate those in the car on the way home and didn’t complain about it hurting one bit.
We got home and she played for about 40 minutes then got a bit fussy. Cailin and I lay down and took a nap for an hour. She woke up crying because she hurt. It was 30 minutes away from a dose of Motrin, but I gave it to her anyway. 10 minutes later, she was showing me how she could jump, and build with blocks, and color, and play play dough. She drank more of her apple juice.
At one point, she found the other apple juice container and asked for it. I told her that is what was in her cup already. “No momma, this one. This one… mate brooat allll betteeerrrrr”. She sure knows how to work the system. She is still talking like she is drunk, but I know her throat is pretty messed up right now.
I am hoping she will get a good night’s rest, and so will Chris and I. She had last dose of meds at 7:30, and went to bed at 8:30. It is 9:30 now and I am going to join Chris in a nice snooze in our bed. I don’t know if Cailin will wake in the night needing more medicine or not. I hope she feels okay enough to get the rest that she needs. Dr. Walker told us the hardest part of this surgery is going to be once we get home. Wish us luck.
I am so thankful that so far, things have gone as well as they have. I am so thankful that the staff at the hospital work so hard to keep the kids and the parents at ease. I am so thankful that we get to sleep in our own bed tonight!!! God is good to us!!!