On Monday Hayden went to Riley Children’s Hospital to have urological surgery and have his ear tubes taken out. He was supposed to have the urological surgery in January, but we ended up postponing it so we could combine it with having his tubes taken out so he would just have to have general anesthesia once.
We had to be at the hospital at 5:45, so it was quite an early start for us considering the hospital is 45 min away. Hayden wasn’t allowed to eat or drink before surgery, so that was one good thing about it being so early since he wouldn’t have to be hungry for an overly long time.
We tried to prepare him as much as we could the day before. I tried to talk about every detail I could think of, from the hospital gown to the toys they give him to the bed on wheels that would take him to the operating room to the mask they would put on his face before he fell asleep. He really seemed to take it all in because we weren’t there very long before he was asking where the bed on wheels was (no wonder, since I had likened it to a train).
Right when he got there he got a little dolphin beanie toy and a toy car, plus we had given him a monster truck so he had a lot to be excited about. He was happy and calm, lounging on my lap watching cartoons and playing with his car and monster truck before surgery, but they still gave him a drug 1/2 hour before they took him away to calm him. They weren’t sure about giving it to him since he was pretty relaxed, but we went ahead anyway since we thought it would help him be less stressed when we parted ways. About 15 min after he took the drug, he was sitting on John’s lap looking through an I-Spy book and he just slowly fell forward until his head hit the book. It looked like he had fallen asleep while reading, but his eyes were open. Obviously the drug was working! We all had a giggle about that, including him.
They took him away at 7:30 and did his ears first. After about 45 min we talked to the doctor (after some miscommunication about where we should wait, we didn’t get to talk to him in person but they got him on the phone for us – not ideal but what are you going to do) and he said everything went fine. The urology part we knew would take longer, so John and I went to get some breakfast. Riley has a cafeteria and a McDonald’s. Isn’t a McDonald’s in a children’s hospital a little like a cigarette machine in an oncology wing? ANYWAY, the breakfast food in the cafeteria didn’t look very good, so John and I sucked it up and went to McDonald’s for the first time in – well, really I don’t know how many years but it is well over 5 for me. I had an Egg McMuffin, hold the Canadian bacon, and it tasted good but my goodness how salty! I don’t know how an English muffin, egg, and cheese can be that salty, but they sure make it that way. I’m glad that I have the knowledge that too much salt in a diet is a bad thing, otherwise I would be getting those more often just because it tasted good! Am I digressing? 🙂
I want to say it was a little after 10 when the surgeon came to see us to say it was over and Hayden had done well. He said they make you wait 30 – 45 minutes after surgery to see them there, but I think it was only 10 minutes or so after he left that they said we could see him. The recovery nurse said he woke up really fast after the anesthesia and didn’t seem upset when he came to, so that must have been why it wasn’t as long for us. It was so good to see him – that time apart was stressful, even though we knew he was in good hands. I predict in 100 years they will allow a family member or close friend in the operating room with the patient, because it would be good to have someone with you when you are having surgery and it is SO hard for parents to be separated from their kids when they are undergoing it. Think of how much OB deliveries have changed in the last 50 years. They used to knock out the mother, the father was in the waiting room, bar, or work, the baby was kept away from its mother, etc. Now things are radically different. Did I digress again?
So yes, it was such a relief to see him again. He was his usual calm self. He was wondering why he didn’t have clothes on, but other than that didn’t really say too much. It wasn’t long before he was going from that immediate recovery area (where he was hooked up to machines to monitor vitals) to another recovery area where he could watch tv and eat popsicles. After a little while there we were able to go home.
My mom had watched Layla for us, which she said went very well. We came home and Hayden got some paintable monster trucks that he was super excited about. He did puzzles with Grandma, painted his trucks, ate a very small amount of lunch, and eventually watched a movie on my lap for a few minutes before we both fell asleep. He remained in good spirits throughout the day, even though he was obviously in pain during parts of the day.
Recovery will take a couple of weeks, due to the nature of the surgery. His pain does seem to be getting better each day, though. Each morning when he’s first woken seems to be the hardest, but today when he woke up there didn’t seem to be any pain which was a great sign. I still gave him some medicine since he went to preschool and I didn’t want to risk it.
So, everything seemed to be a success, and we are so glad it’s behind us now!