Saturday, May 24, 2014

In Which Connor's Doing Well

Connor was moved up to the pediatric floor today!  He's doing much, much better.  We had a rough couple of days; the night before last was especially horrible.  He was having some seizures and GI track issues, and in quite a bit of pain.  Thankfully things seem to be evening out now, and he's been seizure-free for nearly two days now.  Hopefully his GI issues will be straightened out tonight, and we'll be able to get him eating tomorrow.  Once that happens, he'll be able to come home!

He'll be on quite a bit of pain medication, and he still has a lot of swelling and bruising from the surgery.  His surgical sites still look pretty good, though.  He won't have his follow-up appointment with orthopedics until six weeks post-operation, so he won't be out of the brace until then.  It's been interesting learning how to manage the brace, since it makes moving the kiddo pretty awkward.  We've got a system down now though, and we're able to shift him without causing him much pain at all.  At the moment we mostly double team things, but hopefully by the time Jeremy leaves, I'll have figured out how to do everything on my own.  We're working on getting a sling for Connor's lift that will work well with the brace.  That should help me out a lot.

In addition to Connor's improvement, something else good happened: Loki came back!  He showed up the night before last on the doorstep four days after he went missing-- filthy, dehydrated, a few pounds lighter and extremely hungry.  I suspect he might have gotten stuck in somebody's crawlspace and it took him a few days to get out.  He frantically demanded petting, walked stiff-legged to his food bowl, ate the entire thing, drank water for about five minutes, and then basically conked out in the middle of the kitchen floor.  I'm so, so glad he's back; I was pretty sure after the first couple of days that we would be seeing him again.  He's shown zero interest so far in escaping back outside, so maybe he's learned his lesson.  I wouldn't count on it, though-- he's our troublemaker.  Crazy cat.


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!

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