Saturday, October 30, 2010

On Matthew's Surgery

Thanks for your prayers and well wishes, guys, Matthew's surgery went really well! Matthew and I had a very nice time at White Spot the previous evening, where I filled him up best I could in anticipation of no breakfast before surgery. Milkshakes are sometimes lovely options =) At least there is some milk in there!! And fries are originally potatoes! It's remarkable how much I enjoy each of my kids when we get to spend time together one on one. I always enjoy them, but as a mass, you know? I try to have individual relationships and respond to each as an individual, but it's different when you are alone together than when you are doing the daily functioning unit thing. I have to do that more often! Matthew is really really funny. He's also a constant limit pusher, so even one on one he's sliding off the chair and tossing toys into the aisles and eating crayons (I know! He's six! It gets a reaction) and forgetting his manners. He's also really into repetitive annoying noises. I remember when my cousin Tonya's second little girl was younger she often blogged about the awful 'mouth noises' she'd make: I totally get this! Matthew hasn't outgrown this yet.
However, he's also fun and enthusiastic, and wore his Halloween costume out for dinner so everyone naturally thought he was adorable. Because he was. And we worked on the activity page together, which is a really nice new development with Matthew--he's old enough to concentrate on paper oriented tasks! He has never really been captivated by coloring and crafts the way other kids are, he'd far rather interact with people and move his body around. But now he has developed to the point where he can do word searches and mazes and find-the-thing-that-doesn't-belong, so he will engage a parent to do it with him and be occupied for quite some time! So we did the entire activity page before dinner came, and had a good time.
He fell asleep immediately upon hitting his bed, and in the morning he didn't protest no breakfast, even when I had to eat in front of him. I felt so bad! But there's no way that pregnant me can go without breakfast, which he seemed to understand.
We were late getting to the hospital, but they get you to come in 2 hours early, so even late there's plenty of time. Matthew was a bit worried that it might hurt, but he was cooperative and charming. He wore his halloween costume to the bed the night before and to the hospital in the morning. It helped him to feel brave. =) He weighs less than we thought, but there is always scale discrepancy, right? He's so tiny the size 6 hospital jammies were falling off him!
I want to give a shout out to Matthew's ENT surgeon: I LOVE him. I'm quite sensitive to the bedside manner and imaginative capabilities of medical personnel, and this guy operates exactly the way I wish all would. Respectful, kind, professional, and entirely ethical. He presents options and lets parents choose. He has really good bedside manner with adults, and is moderately good with kids. He gives prizes and explains stuff, but he doesn't do the initial build trust intro that is imperative when new adults interact with a kid. Because Matthew is so good natured and resilient, I don't mind this because he does well as long as there is an adult present whom he trusts. It's incredible to me how MUCH Matthew trusts the world he lives in, given his early life circumstances! I had explained the surgery in detail several times with Matthew, and described operating rooms and what they are like, and what would happen. So he willingly met his nurse, anaesthetist, surgical nurse, porter, etc, etc, and when we got to the operating room they asked, "Can you hop up on the bed?" and he said "YUP!" and up he went. He slapped the funny gel donut pillow they have for surgical patients a few times, then flopped down on it. He didn't protest the anaesthetist's hand on his face, or the 'stinky air' that came from the tube, or anything at all. I think he found it all quite interesting. I held his arm until he was out, and someone remarked that all the other kids who had had surgery that morning had kicked and screamed, but Matthew was so brave! Which he was. He didn't look at me while he was being put under: he was watching the nurse's face and the lights above him, and he was very relaxed. And curious.
The hardest part of the entire experience for me was walking away then. He was so small and vulnerable, asleep on the table, and I had to just LEAVE him with all these people I didn't even know, to do invasive things to his body? It was so, so hard.
My friend had offered to come be with me at the hospital since Brent couldn't come and I would be alone, which was so nice. But the surgical team was running ahead of schedule so she wasn't there for the hardest part, which was walking away and then waiting in Matthew's room for the surgery to be done. I crocheted and prayed. And suddenly, so soon, the surgeon was in the room and it was over! I'm so glad it didn't take long.
They took me to the recovery room so I could be there just after he woke up, and he was remarkably calm there, too! He was stoned! It was really funny. Very tired, big pupils, and slow speech! He perked up to the prospect of a popsicle, and we were out within 40 minutes. He felt a bit nauseous, and his ears hurt, but they gave him tylenol and he recuperated well. Another 2 hours or so in his room (my friend had come by then so it was nice to have company while we waited!!) and he started rolling playdoh into balls and tossing it around the room, so I knew he was feeling better.
What a day. Oh yes, and I got a parking ticket. Nice. Free health care, but you owe us $21 for parking. Bleh.
I was emotionally exhausted by 1 pm. Matthew curled up in front of the tv for the afternoon, and I puttered around.

Thanks for your prayers! We got through unscathed, untraumatized, and healthier to boot. Please pray the tubes don't fall out this winter, or we'll have to go through the entire ordeal again!!


Asheya said...

So glad it went well! Sounds like you did a great job of preparing Matthew, and his natural curiousity did the rest.

tamie said...

hurray! i'm so glad! and i can just picture him, so curious, so funny, so limit-pushing. you're a great mom, mel.

lori said...

Aww, what a great write-up of Matthew's surgery. This is the kind of childhood story I bet Matthew will love to read as an adult - a story where he handled something hard with humor and bravery. Think about what confidence that'd give you, to know a true story about yourself where you're the hero, where you're strong. I'd love to read this story about myself! Could you write one where this happens to me? ha ha.

I dig that you prepared Matthew for each step of the way too. That's a huge anxiety-reducer.

Just caught up on your blog, including the spanking post and all its comments, which were OUTSTANDING.