It’s been over a week since London’s surgery and I am happy to report he is back to his normal self. He is currently wrestling with the blinds while the hubs watches Psych which means this Momma has time to blog…FINALLY! In true Bartel Chronicles style here is the recap to our surgery experience.
The Sunday before London’s surgery we were pre-admitted to start an IV drip of D-10 glucose. The way it works at Texas Children’s Hospital is a bit different. When they have the room available the day of admittance they call to tell you and you are expected to come in ASAP. We got the call around 11am while we were en route from Corpus Christi to Houston. London was admitted at around 2pm but his drip wasn’t scheduled to be started until the evening time. This meant we had lots of time to get to know TX Children’s inside and out. The first thing I tend to do when we are staying over night at any hospital be it for an MCADD hospitalization or in this case a surgery is unpack our necessities.
We always bring the important stuff like London’s beloved “Scout” the dog and lots of books to read. After we got unloaded in the room we decided to go grab something to eat. The only thing open at TX Children’s hospital on a Sunday is the McDonald’s located on the first floor. On the way we stumbled across the most impressive train display in the world. Since we haven’t seen all the train displays in the world our opinion is a bit intense but seriously this thing was amazing. We ended up spending almost an hour watching the trains and checking everything out.
After getting our train fix and grabbing some burgers we went back to the room to hang out. The view from our room was gorgeous. London loved standing on the fold out couch and watching all the cars below.
Putting a toddler in a room and expecting him to stay entertained is wishful thinking. After a few hours London was bored with his “Scout” and had read and re-read all his books. The nurses noticed this and brought in a goodie bag full of fun stuff for Wee Man. He got some stickers, crayons, coloring sheets, bubbles and a rubber ducky….the essentials obviously. We ended up spending quite a while coloring and trying to keep London from drawing all over the hospital walls.
Before they started his IV his genetics team came to visit him and talk to all of us about how everything was going to go. The crazy thing is the genetics team are the only doctors London didn’t scream at.
After hours of being confined and bored the time had come to begin the dreaded IV. As per usual London threw a Hollywood worthy fit and gave the nurses a run for their money. The kid gains superhuman strength when and IV is present. Once the IV was in and all that drama had gone away Little Man was exhausted and sleepy. HALLELUJAH! Not only did he need the sleep to strengthen up for the surgery but Daddy & Mommy were beyond tired. He ended up falling asleep for the first time on his own in a hospital crib.
This didn’t last too long. An hour later or so he woke up and wanted snuggles so we all crammed ourselves into the fold out bed/couch. It took some precise placement to fit all three of us. With nurses coming in every two hours to check vitals and check his IV a good nights sleep was not possible. By the time we all drifted off into a good sleep it was time to head down for surgery.
Once we got to the surgery floor London had a bit of a wait before the shindig went down so we filled his time wisely and practiced his engineering skills with Lego’s. On a totally unrelated note: London’s hospital gown ironically had giraffes on it. If you’ve read our blog for a while you know that London LOVES giraffes. Every hospital stay he’s ever had he is gifted a stuffed giraffe. They are like his spirit animal!
Wee Man went into surgery at 7:30 and we were told it would take around two hours or so. Figuring we had time to spare the hubs and I went in search of some coffee. We found a cute cafe in the Women’s tower and sat down for breakfast. We hadn’t even fully settled into our booth before my phone rang. It was the surgery floor assistant. “You need to come back to the surgery floor ASAP. Your son’s surgeon needs to speak with you and your husband.” Those words made my heart drop to my stomach. All my “what if” worries seemed to be coming true. We ditched our meal, grabbed our coffees and practically ran back to the surgery floor. When we arrived London’s surgeon was standing there waiting for us. One of the scariest things in my life was seeing her standing there waiting for us. “London’s perfectly fine. He’s responding great to the anesthesia.” Her words instantly comforted. Then my husband and I were ushered back to a private room. I’ll skip all the doctor lingo we were told but we were informed the full surgery wasn’t necessary. We got some unexpected news that is too lengthy to post about. The only incision they actually had to make on London was a tiny one in the belly button where they went in with a camera. We went in expecting an orchiopexy and ended up finding out we would need to meet with an endocrine specialist to discuss testosterone replacement treatment. While we were over the moon that he was ok and didn’t need the full surgery we were a bit shaken up about the news of adding yet another specialist to our son’s medical team. “I’ve got my team getting London taken care of and they will come get you once he is in recovery.” Just like that the surgeon was gone and we were left to wait in the private room. After what seemed like an eternity we were called back to the recovery unit. Once we got through the doors we saw the cutest baby boy laying so peacefully in a crib. His crib was surrounded by tons and I mean TONS of other beds and cribs with children resting in them. Beside each bed were parents waiting anxiously for their kids to wake up. London woke up within 15 minutes of us getting to his bedside. When he woke up he was so loopy. My husband explained it best. “He’s like a drunk college kid trying to walk home after a night of bar hopping.”
Here you can see London in his dazed state and me laughing like crazy because honestly it was really like holding a tiny drunk man. We had to stay in recovery until Wee Man ate something, geneticist orders. While we were waiting on that life was put into perspective real quick. Here I was holding my healthy son who will need a bit of medical help throughout his life and the room was filled with gut wrenching things. One kid wasn’t waking up, another was having decreased brain function, there was a sense of sadness. I overheard one family saying this was their last chance. To think some of these parents are going through a situation where they are watching their child slip away and I was freaking out over something much less severe made me feel awful and relieved all at once.
Once London had eaten we were taken back to our room to rest. His recovery nurse even let him keep his oxygen mask. They had scented his oxygen! The kid was breathing in root beer scented oxygen. How cool is that?!? London must have enjoyed the smell because while he resting he kept holding his mask up and sniffing, lol.
By 4pm the day of his surgery Little Man was released. The only restrictions he had was to not get his incision wet for 48 hours and not to submerge it for 10-14 days. I was worried he would pick at the incision but he never did. Here we are now 8 days later and he is practically fully healed. Only two more days and then he can be his water baby self again. Thank you all for your prayers, emails and kind words. Your support helped this Mommy hold it together when she was stressed to her max. London is one tough cookie and made that surgery experience look way to easy!