Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Post-op Day 1

If I thought surgery day was long, I was very mistaken!  What an incredibly long day Post-Op Day 1 was.

At 12:40AM, the nurse woke me up to tell me we were getting a roommate.  By the time they brought in a bed, the patient, asked them questions, etc., and the new roomie was settled in, it was 2:00AM. 
At 4:00AM, CJ woke up nauseous again, but we were able to get some medication administered before anything happened again.  Sleep was off & on.
At 6:00, doctors, residents, interns, students, or whoever they are started making rounds and checking on us.  I managed to get a little more sleep until 7:00, when shift change occurred. 
Our surgeon came by around 8:00 or so to check on our roommate, so he popped in to see how CJ was doing.  He was pleased with how well CJ looked.  Our roommate was discharged around 9:00, so we had the room to ourselves again.
A little before 10:00, CJ was hit with sudden nausea, and before I could let anyone know, he was sick again.  CJ's attitude has been great.  Despite the pain of throwing up, he said, "Well, at least we know I can sit up."  LOL
The catheter came out at 10:15, which made CJ very happy.
At 10:30, the physical therapist came in and had CJ really sit up & move to a wheel chair for a while.  As soon as he was settled in the chair, he went back to sleep, and pretty much stayed that way until a little after noon, when he had to do his breathing exercises again.  He really didn't enjoy those breathing exercises.  Then, the physical therapist came in to get him back into bed.  He was glad for that.
The physical therapist came back around 3:45 for CJ to get up and try walking a little bit.  As soon as CJ had taken a couple of steps, though, he felt dizzy and needed to sit down.  He sat in the wheel chair for another couple of hours (sleeping most of the time again).

CJ had a long line of visitors, which he loved, but it sure wore him out.  By the end of the evening, he was exhausted & grouchy.  Throughout the day, he struggled with nausea, but he never threw up again. 

We were told of a private room that was opening up and asked if we wanted it.  With the horrible experience of the previous night, we definitely took the opportunity to move.

Sometime between 9:00 & 9:30, CJ seemed to turn a corner, and finally found his appetite.  He had some chicken noodle soup, pudding, and beef jerkey.  And he started drinking even more.

With the knowledge that he was feeling better and that we wouldn't be getting any midnight roomies, hopes were high for a good night's sleep.

Long day...

It's been a very long day.  But it's been a good day.

We arrived at the hospital and checked in at 9:25.  Almost immediately, we went through the admissions process and were called back to pre-op.  Vitals were taken, CJ changed into the gown and scrub bottoms.  We met with the surgery nurse who went over some basics and re-asked questions we had answered several times already.  (I understand the need for redundancy; it just gets to the point where it's funny.)  We then met with someone from pain management to discuss what would be involved in managing pain after the surgery.  The surgeon also came by and checked in, making sure we didn't have any final questions.

A young lady also came by whose job it is to just make sure the kids who are having surgery know what they are going to experience, answer any questions, show pictures of the OR & rooms, and tell about all the cool things the hospital offers for the patients here.  It's a really cool job to have, and she did a great job; she made ME want to have surgery!  LOL!

Everything had gone so smoothly & timely, that it looked like we would be right on time for surgery to start.  The scheduled time came and went, then another half hour, then another half hour.  Finally, about and hour-and-a-half after our scheduled start time, they finally came back for CJ.  We gave him kisses and headed back to the waiting room.

It took about 25 minutes for anesthesia to get him hooked up, intubated, and sleeping.  The actual surgery started at 12:45.

Once we had word that the surgery started, we went to grab some lunch.  We hadn't been back to the waiting room for long when we saw the surgeon walking toward us telling us it was over!  The surgery itself only lasted 45 minutes! 

About 30 minutes later, we got to go back and see him.  It was amazing to see the immediate result of the Nuss Procedure.  CJ was obviously a little out of it, but he was able to respond to us.

We were in post-op for an hour or so, waiting for a room assignment.  We got settled into the room, and we had a couple of visitors come by.  He woke up for brief periods, but CJ slept most of the time. 

Almost as soon as we got into the room, CJ was asking for banana pudding.  Unfortunately, he was told he was on a clear liquid diet for the rest of the day.  So, he was stuck with apple juice.  Around dinner time, he requested some chicken broth.  As soon as I opened it, he started complaining of nausea, so we put it away; I don't think the smell sat well with him.
He is on anti-nausea medicines, because the pain, pain meds, & anesthesia meds could all cause nausea.  That is something we really want to avoid.  Obviously, it's very painful, plus the act of throwing up could dislodge the bar.  We were told that if he felt the slightest bit nauseous, to let them know, so they could give him additional anti-nausea medication.
The respiratory therapist came and gave CJ a device to help him do some breathing exercises.  It's important for him to breath deeply in order expand his lungs & to prevent pneumonia.
A little before 8:30PM, CJ said he was feeling nauseous again, so the nurse went to call for the other anti-nausea med.  Unfortunately, it didn't get here in time, and all 20 fl oz (I know because the bag has measurement lines on it) of apple juice he had had came back to see us.  Blech.

Obviously, that didn't feel well, but CJ went right back to sleep.  I eventually got to sleep around 11:30.

Monday, May 19, 2014

On the eve of surgery

It's hard to believe that we are about 12 hours away from this surgery.   It was a whirlwind day with last minute things to be done, though only one thing had to do with the surgery.

The surgeon called in a special soap that CJ needs to shower with this evening and tomorrow morning.  It will kill any bacteria or other little bugs that are living on the skin and add an extra layer of protection against infection.  CJ just needs to use it on the torso (between the neck & the waist) and under the arms.  So, it's a shower before bed, a clean shirt to sleep in, and a shower in the morning before we leave.

CJ is in really good spirits.  He has a dear friend spending the night with him tonight that will go with us to the hospital with us.  We are all doing well, just ready to get this over with.

A Prayer...

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
--Philippians 4:6-7

Funny how God gives you what you need when you need it.  I have a list of things a mile long that I need to get done today, but I knew I needed to spend time in the Word.  This was the passage I read.

I am struggling with some anxiety.  I didn't think I was, but I realized yesterday when I started crying for no real reason and snapped at my family for small things that I was.  I think I'm more worried about CJ's surgery tomorrow than I want to let on...even to myself.  Of course, I'm also stressed because of all I need to get done today.

But what do I really **need** to do today?  Yes, preparations need to be made for a hospital stay.  School needs to get done.  A doctor's appointment needs to be attended.  But really, the fridge doesn't NEED to be cleaned out.  The dining room doesn't NEED to be straightened up (even though I've been trying to work on it for a week).  The checkbook doesn't NEED to be balanced today...I can do that tomorrow at the hospital; it might provide some needed distraction.

No, what's really NEEDED today is for me to love on my family.  What's NEEDED is for me to rest in the peace of God that surpasses all understanding.  THAT is what is most important.

Father, take my anxiety.  Take my fear.  Take my worry.  Thank you for the gift of being a mother.  Thank you for the gift of my precious son.  Thank you for the medical advances & knowledge that you have given that allow for procedures like this one tomorrow to take place.  Abba, I ask that you protect CJ during his surgery and recovery.  I ask that you guard my heart & mind in Christ Jesus.  Mostly, though, I ask that you be glorified through our family during this time.  May others see You in the way we conduct ourselves and in our conversations.  Help me to keep my focus on You today, and guide me through those things that truly need to get done.  If I'm able to get to the other things, that's a bonus, & I thank you in advance.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Got the time!

So, we got a call from the hospital this morning.  After asking some medical questions (does he use medical equipment, what medicines does he take, has he been exposed to various diseases, etc.), they made sure we knew that CJ was scheduled to be admitted after the procedure and asked if we had any questions.  I did have a couple of questions about what kind of things to bring from home and some clarifications about a parent staying in the room that they answered for me.

Now for the specifics...
We check in at 9:25AM.  His procedure is scheduled to start at 10:55AM and should take about 2 hours.

The typical pre-surgery rules apply:  no eating after midnight, can have a cumulative total of up to 8oz of water or apple juice until 8:45AM, then nothing in the mouth after that.

During pre-op and recovery, a parent will be present with CJ and only one other person 12 or older can visit.  This is good news for CJ's brother, who just turned 12, but bad news for his 10-yr-old sister.

How long he is in recovery will depend, of course, on CJ and how he's doing.  It may be an hour, maybe more, maybe less.  From recovery, he'll go to his room & new home for the next few days.

Family & friends will be allowed to stay in a special waiting area in the hospital overnight if they want.  One parent can stay in the room with CJ where there is a pull-out bed for them.

So, that's that.  I guess the next time I post will be the night before the surgery, unless something else comes up.

Prayers for the next few days:
1. Health...please pray that our entire family stays healthy prior to the surgery.  Pray that we stay healthy while he's in the hospital, too.  I'd hate for any of us to be unable to visit him.  CJ isn't feeling well today, but I think it's more from allergies & not enough sleep the last few days.  Also, his chest is really hurting today.
2. Anxiety...please pray against it for all of us (including grandparents & close friends!).
3. Doctors, nurses, & technicians...pray for their health.  Pray that the procedure goes as planned.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

One week and counting

It's hard to believe that we have only one week until CJ's Nuss procedure.  It's also hard to believe we still don't know exactly when it is!  My husband and I are used to hospitals that are more firm in their scheduling.  I guess with all the unexpected surgeries & procedures a children's hospital has, their schedule needs to be more fluid.

Since we hadn't heard anything & we were just a week out, I called today to see if I could find out CJ's surgery time.  I was afraid I'd missed something in the mail or a phone call.  They told me they don't find out surgery schedules until 3days out, which means for a Tuesday surgery, they will know on Thursday.  So, it'll be another couple of days before we know our surgery time.

As we get closer, please continue praying for our family.  Specifically, we need prayers for continued health for all of us and any anxiety to be calmed.  This mama has had a few anxious moments, and I know CJ has had some, too.

Oh, one good thing, we received a letter from the insurance yesterday stating that our precertification was approved.  Still wish we knew how much this was gonna cost, though...

Thursday, May 8, 2014

This is really happening!

So, we got CJ preadmitted to the hospital.  Basic info: insurance, name, birthdate, etc....and of course a payment worked out since we haven't met the deductible yet.  I also got a call from one of the nurses at our insurance company wanting to make sure we understood the procedure and to see if we had any questions.

Suddenly, this all seems so real.  Hard to believe we're just a couple of weeks out.  We've known this was coming for years, and yet, it feels almost like it's just rushed up on us!

Please be in prayer for us as we gear up for this big day.  We've got a busy couple of weeks before the surgery, and my prayer is that we'll make the most of our limited family time.  Also pray for our nerves and that we are able to rest completely in the peace of God.


Thursday, May 1, 2014

All clear!

Well, CJ went back to the doctor today, and the nickel allergy test was negative.  All the other tests were negative as well.  With that done, we are all clear for surgery at the end of the month!

Here is a picture of CJ's back after the patches were removed.