Thursday, October 19, 2006

October 16, 2006 - Day of Aiden's Surgery



The following is a story about the most fantastic day of Aiden's Cochlear Implant surgery.

5:20 am: Ric and I dragged ourselves out of bed at my parent's house and went about getting ready to go to the hospital. We had a big bag to pack for Aiden and myself, because we knew that neither one of us would be home for a couple of days. We made sure that we packed up lots of Aiden's favourite toys and familiar blankets (with his "home" smell) and a couple bottles of apple juice. We remember from past surgeries that, post-op, Aiden is REALLY thirsty, and apple juice is his favouite drink.

5:30 am: Noah was woken up when Ric and I got up (he was sleeping with me, because "Nanny" was in his regular bed at his Grandma and Grandpa's), and couldn't get back to sleep. So, he climbed in bed with Nanny and they talked and played games for awhile.

6:00 am: Aiden wakes up, and my Mom got busy changing him and getting him dressed for the big day. Ric and I had a bit of breakfast, and tried to eat while Aiden's attention was somewhere else so that he wouldn't want to eat what we were having.

6:35 am: Okay, so this is a bit later than we wanted to be leaving, but by now we are in the van and headed for CHEO. Luckily the traffic isn't bad.

7:10 am: We get all of our papers signed at CHEO's admitting department, and they send us up to the third floor to the day surgery area, where we wait and wait. There is a playroom in the waiting room, and Aiden played with toys, with other children awaiting surgery (as an aside - the day surgery room in a children's hospital is the oddest place becuase you know that all of these sweet little children are about to go into surgery for one problem or another and their parent's are all going through what we're going through. But, everyone is just hanging out playing with toys) and, of course, Aiden is taking off and walking up and down the halls. As always, lots of people remark on how cute our little munchkin is :> No one asks why we're there, and we don't ask anyone else why there are there.

8:15 am: Aiden's name is called and we meet up with a nurse to answer a hundred questions about Aiden's history. The nurse takes his blood pressure and temperature, double checks his hospital band, and gives "Lamie" (Aiden's stuffed Lamb - very original name eh??!) a sticker to identify him so that he can go into surgery and recovery with Aiden. The nurse then gives us a yellow striped pair of hospital PJ's to dress him in, and we take him to the locker room to get changed. Then, we head back to the waiting room to play some more.

8:45 am: One of the Audiologists that we know very well comes by the waiting room to give Aiden a portable Tymp test. His fluid levels still look good, but the Audiologist again warn us that his levels, although good, are "boarderline", and that we should really be prepared for only half of the surgery to be completed today (a Mastoidectomy).

9:10 am: Aiden's name is called again, and we are escorted down the hall to the surgery hallway. It is here that our surgeon meets with us to tell us about Aiden's surgery, and we get to meet his Anestigiologist. Again, the surgeon explains all about the Mastoidectomy and basically talks about the Implant surgery as an aside, "if all goes well." He says that he is hoping for the best, but will make the "best surgical decision". He says that Ric and I can come to the OR information desk at about noon to ask how far he was able to get.

9:30 am: Ric and I go down to the cafeteria to get a bite to eat and a coffee, and then we head up to the (very cramped!) surgery waiting area and began our long wait.

11:50 am: With A LOT of trepadation, Ric and I went down the the OR desk to find out our fate :> And, GREAT NEWS!!! they were able to go ahead and do the full implant surgery. It's hard to say what my reaction was to this. Honestly, I was expecting it to go the other way so much that it took awhile for the great news to sink in (it still hasn't, and I'm writing this 5 days later!). We made a few phone calls to let others who had also been anxiously waiting what we had learned, and headed back to the waiting room. We were told that Aiden was doing well, but would still be in surgery for another 2 or 3 hours.

3:00 pm: The Audiologist comes to meet us in the waiting room to tell us that she has gone into the OR to test the Implant. And, not only does it work (good thing!), but she was able to get some responses from Aiden's Auditory Nerve from her sound stimulations that she wasn't expecting to get. She thinks this is great, and so do we! Again, she says that Aiden is doing well. He is just having his head x-rayed (to ensure that the electrode aray is sitting properly in his cochlea), then he will be bandaged up and sent to recovery.

3:45: The surgeon comes out to meet us in the waiting room post surgery to talk with us. His words are, "I don't really know what else to tell you other than what the Audiologist said, it was a textbook implant surgery." He answers a couple of our questions, and gives us post-op instructions. While he is talking to us, a nurse comes to tell us that we can go into recovery to visit him now (and gives us a tiny bag with Aiden's hair in it :>).

4:00 pm: When we saw Aiden in recovery, he was very, very upset - crying his little heart out. But, as soon as we picked him up he settled right down and fell asleep. However, it was really hard to hold him and keep him comfortable. Aiden's head bandage was really big and awkward, and he was attached to a SAT monitor, blood pressure monitor and IV line. Every time he moved I thought I was going to pull one of his lines out of order. Really, after that, he was just uncomfortable. He was so tired, and clearly disoriented, and just could not get comfortable. I held him, Ric held him, he laid down - nothing seemed to work. Finally, the nurse let him have a drink. He finished THREE bottles, and that settled him a bit.

5:00 pm: I knew that my Dad (Lewis) and Ric's mom (Bev) would be coming to the hospital soon, so I went downstairs to find them. I met up with them in the hospital parking lot, and let them know that they came just in time because Aiden should be leaving recovery and going up to the overnight floor at 5:30.

5:30 pm: Bev and Lewis waited for us right outside the recovery doors, and so they were able to go up with us and a nurse to the 5th floor. Ric carried Aiden and his IV pole up, and both Bev and Lewis were surprised at how alert he was just a few hours after surgery.

6:00 pm: This is about when the picture at the top of this posting was taken. Bev was the most successful to this point of getting Aiden to settle down, and so she sat with him and held him for awhile.

6:30 pm: My dad headed out back home to sit with Noah so that my Mom could come and have a visit too.

7:00 pm: Auntie Sharon arrives for a visit!!

7:15 pm: My Mom arrives too. (Note: The hospital staff were VERY good. Aiden is really only supposed to have 2 visitors at a time, including parents, and we had 5 people in the room at this point. They even brought us chairs!!)

7:45 pm: Aiden's nurse noticed that his IV had gone inerstitial (came out of the vein) and needed to be replaced. Aiden still had 2 doses of IV antibiotics to get, and needed the IV until morning at least. So, the IV team was called up. As it turned out, they were doing an emergency PIC line in the OR, and we had to wait.

8:00 pm: Visiting hours are over and my Mom and Sharon head home. Ric and Bev stay to help me get through the IV change.

8:20 pm: The IV nurse comes to change Aiden's IV, and it is NOT pretty. Aiden just doesn't have good veins for IV lines. First of all his little hands are still small, and there aren't any straight veins in them - they all curve. Plus, Aiden has had so many IV lines in his lifetime (already) that his veins are full of scar tissue. So, the IV needle starts, but can't be fully inserted. It is clear from the sores on his hands that they tried many times in the OR to find a good IV vein pre-surgery. It took Ric, myself and nurse to hold Aiden down while the IV nurse tired to get an IV in. She had a lot of trouble, but at least we got to pick Aiden up and hold him between "tries." This was really hard. Near the end, I was really lightheaded, and I really thought that I was going to be sick. I sat in the bathroom for a minute, and then they were finally done. I swear, I have seen Aiden get many, many IV's in the NICU and it was never this hard to go through.

8:50 pm: Ric and Bev headed home for the night. I tried to get comfortable on my "chair bed" and finally Aiden slept.

Overnight: Aiden had a pretty restless sleep. Thankfully, someone had brought a rocking chari into our room and I was able to rock him several times to get him back to sleep.

6 Comments:

At 9:37 PM, Anonymous Grandma said...

What a relief and a joy to know that Aiden could have the Implant today. Ric's Mom and I took Noah on the bus (a big excursion) to the Experimental Farm this morning to give him something special for the day and to help us over this anxious time. When we arrived back home, Lewis had just heard from Nicole that they were able to proceed with the Implant. We could hardly believe our ears and were overwhelmed with gratitude for Aiden. I thanked God that things had gone so well for Aiden. That evening when I was able to go to the hospital it was just lovely to hold him and rock him and have him snuggle down for awhile. It was pretty hard to leave knowing that he had the IV ordeal ahead of him. Our other daughter Sharon had been at the hospital for a couple of hours by then and she needed to be home as she was dealing with a very swollen and sore foot, the result of a bad fall the night before. She said that it was nothing compared to what Aiden had gone through but it was pretty bad never the less. We left with a much lighter step having seen how well he was doing after his big day.

 
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