Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Tuesday we go again!

It's been a long and traumatic day! However, tonight I write this with a sense of relief that surgery is all over, and my little boy is tucked up in his own (hotel) bed, having been discharged this evening.

There was a definite sense of deja-vu as we arrived on the 6th floor (Same Day Surgery) this morning. Daniel was a little anxious but very calm and cheerful.

We went through the usual pre-op stuff, and were amused by Dr Dobbs coming in and writing 'Yes' on both Daniel's knees; it's always good to have reassurance that they will be tackling the right bit of the body!

We put on the sea creatures pyjamas, had the 'sleepy medicine', and then he was gone all too quickly. As before Rich and I retired to our waiting room and waited for the phone to ring.  (Lucy was in the siblings' playroom, networking with her fellow UK siblings, who are rapidly becoming close friends of hers).

We didn't have to wait too long this time. Less than an hour later Dr Dobbs phoned to say they were finishing up and all had gone as expected. He said Daniel will have lovely straight legs. About 20 minutes later we were able to see him in recovery, where he was not particularly happy (that's an understatement - he was screaming). It appeared that the thing that was really bothering him was not his legs, but the IV in his arm, which seemed to hurt a lot. He had a histamine reaction to the drug they had just put through it, and his arm was quite red. Once he had calmed down I was able to tell him the big news - that the TOOTH that had been wobbly for absolutely ages had finally come out in the operating theatre (well, truth be told the anaesthetist had removed it while he was under, in case the breathing tube knocked it out and he aspirated it into his lungs). Apparently the tooth fairy comes twice to children who lose a tooth in theatre, and he already had a 'dollar ring' (a dollar note folded into a ring shape) on his finger. He also had the tooth in a pot, so he could put it out for the tooth fairy again tonight. That meant that by the time we got up to his room on the 10th floor, he looked like this!

Daniel dozed off for a while, and I took Lucy for some lunch in the cafe, after which she couldn't wait to get back in the playroom.

Healthy eating for Lucy?

When Daniel woke up, a physio turned up and said she needed to check we were able to do a suitable transfer to the wheelchair. This was a bit irritating because we have spent the last 3 weeks doing precisely the sort of lift she was after, but we had to demonstrate it again, and Daniel was NOT happy about it. However, once back in bed he settled down watching TV and was happy enough until anyone bothered him, or tried to move him in any way.

Unfortunately, we needed to bother him though because we knew that to have any hope of getting out of the hospital tonight and not having to stay in, he needed to eat and drink, and keep it down (it was already 4pm by this time). We ordered some food and while waiting for it to be delivered, the nurse brought him some valium, because his legs were spasming. We put the valium in some strawberry ice-cream, and optimistically gave him the first spoonful. He reacted as we were trying to poison him, and basically declared it was the foulest thing he had ever tasted. What followed was nearly 45 minutes of crying (by him) and attempts to cajole, threaten, bribe etc (by us). Eventually he gave in, and with the promise of some immediate Angry Birds action on the ipad, it went down (the strawberry ice-cream being pink liquid by this stage).

So, by 5pm the scene looked like this......

The siblings' playroom was closed for tea, so Lucy and I had a little wander round the hospital, including a lovely few minutes in the garden on the 8th floor, which we have never visited in the dark before, and was beautiful with its Christmas lights.

When I returned to the 10th floor (after once again dropping Lucy in the playroom - what an amazing facility that is, and Lucy just can't wait to get back there every time) I found that Rich had done a great job of subtly feeding Daniel tuna sandwiches while he played Angry Birds and didn't notice! We decided we would make a bid to get discharged this evening and there was a mad scramble for the nurse to order the necessary medication, and for us to collect, before the pharmacy closed at 6.

In the end, we had to wait for Daniel to have his next lot of pain relief and time for it to kick in etc, so he would cope with the journey. We also had to have the IV removed, and we asked the nurse to help us with the job we had been putting off for the last week, ie removing the plaster on Daniel's back. There were a few tears from Daniel, but undoubtedly she did it far more quickly and effectively than we would have done. This is what it looks like underneath - not too bad really when you consider it was major surgery.

Pepper the dog called round for a visit. Rich and I found the whole 'dog in a hospital' thing slightly peculiar, but Daniel loved it!

As a final job we needed to go through the complicated list of what medication he needs to be given and when (essentially he needs to be permanently dosed up for the next few days). So, it was nearly 8pm by the time we left. Daniel proudly carried his tooth in its pot.

This time Daniel is reasonably comfortable in his wheelchair (for short periods at least), but he screams when moved in any way and getting in and out of the car was not good. However, we made it back, and both children were tucked up in bed by 9pm.

In a cruel bit of timetabling, therapy is at 8.30am tomorrow (yes -it restarts immediately, and no - it isn't going to be pleasant). One of the medications has to be given 2 hours before therapy (and a second one 45 minutes before), so we will all need to be awake at 6.30. We will be back to sleepless nights for a few nights...... so now I'm going to bed! 

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