Tuesday, May 20, 2014

In Which Connor Has Surgery

Today was the big day for Connor's surgery.  We had to get the little guy up at 4:30 in the morning, which was not particularly fun.  None of us had slept very well, not only because of the surgery but also because we were worried about our beloved cat, Loki, who had made a bid for freedom the night before and, as of this writing, is still somewhere at-large in our coyote-infested neighborhood.  I really hope he turns up soon.

Anyway, we arrived at the hospital around six in the morning, met with the surgical team, and Jeremy walked Connor back for his surgery around 8:30 or so.  The anesthesiologist and surgeon carefully explained what was going to happen to Connor via demonstration on Hospital Monkey.  As a general rule, Connor does much better for procedures if he understands what's going to happen, and this was no exception.  He was quiet and interested in the whole process, and he didn't fight the mask when they put him under.  We've been discussing the surgery with him for a couple of weeks, and I think that helped as well.  Jer met me back in the pre-op room, and we prepared for our long, long wait.  We were told to expect the surgery would take at least six hours.

The OR nurse was going to be updating Jeremy and I by cell phone, and we didn't get any reception in the surgical waiting room, so we couldn't stay there.  To tell you the truth I was a bit relieved by this anyway, as surgical waiting rooms are pretty dang depressing.  We popped our heads in and even though there were probably twenty people in there, the room was absolutely silent.  Everyone looked like they were having one of the worst days of their lives.  While Jeremy and I were not having a particularly fun day, there was no way we were going to sit in a room for six hours and not say anything to each other.

So instead we ate breakfast and then wandered around outside the hospital for a while, amusing ourselves by watching various small children try and sneak as close as possible to the swan hanging out on the lawn next to the pond before their mothers realized what they were up to and yanked them back out of reach.  Then after lunch, we read on a bench for a while in a tucked away corner of the garden with some soft music playing on the iPad.  It was a much less stressful way to spend the time, and even if we were still anxious about the little guy's surgery, we were at least not shut up and sedentary.  I find that when I'm worried, getting moving helps me out quite a bit, and it was a beautiful, sunny day.

So the kiddo's surgery went smoothly, and he got back to his room in the PICU around three in the afternoon.  The doctor repaired Connor's right hip socket, and readjusted the angle that both the little guy's femurs entered his hips.  Because the doctor needed to saw completely through both of Connor's femurs to do this, our boy will have a pretty long, painful recovery.  Right now he's resting completely comfortably though, as he has an epidural in.  They'll probably keep that in place for a day or two, and then they'll transition over to other pain medication and move Connor to the pediatric floor.

Jeremy and I will be switching off who spends the night at the hospital, as only one of us is allowed to stay and of course we have another kid who needs attention too!  Jer is spending the first night at the hospital, and it will be my turn tomorrow.  When I last checked in, Connor was still asleep but had woken up for a while in the evening.  He was a bit groggy and confused, but didn't seem to be in a lot of pain.  He has on some silver-coated bandages to help prevent infection, and he's in the brace he'll wear for the next four-six weeks, which spreads his legs out wide and elevates them a bit.  I was actually surprised by how good he looked; I'd expected a lot more swelling, but there was very little of that and he wasn't even very pale.  They didn't even have to give him a blood transfusion, which is pretty amazing for a six hour surgery!

Eden had the chance to pop in and see him too, which I think was pretty important.  She was very worried about her brother all day-- she even called from school to double-check on him during her lunch-- and so it was really great that they allowed her to come back and see for herself that he was all right.  She's a pretty fantastic big sister.

I'm so glad that things went well, and hope the little guy has a smooth recovery.  He should be spending the next five to seven days in the hospital and we have no WIFI reception there, so I'll keep you all posted as often as I can.

I'm so glad that's done and over with!



Sarah said...

I'm thankful for good news from you! Here's hoping the rest of his hospital stay will be boring and he's able to slide through recovery smoothly.

Anonymous said...

Good to hear that the surgery went well. Now the healing phase... slow and healthy are the watch words.

Lin said...

Wishing you all well...and that the silly cat comes home. Hate it when they do that to you at the most inopportune times. Ugh.

Anonymous said...

I hope Connor's recovery is swift, uneventful, and pain-free.

Thinking of you all, especially Eden, who sounds like such a caring big sister. :)

I'll tell my roommate's cats to send good vibes to the Feline Powers that Be to bring crazy Loki home safe and sound, too. Silly cats.

Simply, Sarah said...

I'm glad the surgery went well, and wish you all a fast recovery time.

sara at inaflashlaser.com said...

I'm glad everything went smoothly.

A trap borrowed from the SPCA and baited with canned food can work well for finding escaped indoor kitties. A lot of times they are too scared to come out but aren't far away.

Anonymous said...

I'm SO glad the surgery is behind you and he did so well! I hope for a smooth recovery! Thinking of everyone!

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