Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Elijah's Surgery

Elijah had minor surgery last Thursday. He needed to have his PE tubes (in his ears) replaced. He also had his tear ducts probed and tubes installed in his tear ducts. We thought we might need to reschedule the surgery since Elijah had a runny nose, but the doctors examined him and then gave the go ahead to proceed.

Elijah was great. We had to arrive at the hospital at 6:30 a.m., which meant we both had to get up earlier than usual to make the 45 minute drive and arrive on time. Elijah wasn't supposed to eat anything before the surgery, but he was in a remarkably good mood for a tired and hungry kid. The surgery was scheduled for 8:30 and didn't actually happen until closer to 9:00, so we had a long wait. The nurse was very concerned about Elijah's runny nose and spent time on the phone with our ENT (Ear, Nose & Throat doctor) and other doctors. Elijah spent the time exploring the room (opening every door and drawer and trying to toss medical supplies around the room), taking off his slippers over and over again and riding in a wagon the hospital had available for the younger patients. I spent the time wiping Elijah's nose, keeping Elijah out of drawers and pulling a wagon around the halls (and around and around and around...)

The surgery itself was pretty quick. Our ENT, Dr. Marra, is really fast. I didn't have time to finish reading more than a few pages in my book when Dr. Marra came into the waiting room and tapped my shoulder. The first part of the surgery had gone well. Elijah had new tubes, clean ears and all of the extra fluid that makes it hard for him to hear had been drained. The second part of the surgery (his tear ducts) took a little longer. Even so, Dr. Ticho (the eye doctor) came out for me before I finished reading my chapter. Elijah's eyes were fine and his tear ducts were free from obstruction.

Within a few minutes I was called back to the recovery room. Elijah was very upset. He had gone into surgery smiling and complacent, but now he was wailing. As soon as he saw me he stretched his arms out towards me. I dropped my coat and bags and rushed over to hold him. For the next hour he cried and I held him. They moved us from the recovery room to a private room and Elijah had to get into the crib for the transport. He did not want to get back in the crib and I had to keep my arm around him for the entire trip.

They wanted Elijah to drink something before they removed his IV. Elijah wanted them to get rid of the IV before he did anything. His right hand and arm were taped to a plastic board with the IV in his hand. He couldn't hold a cup or use his signs to communicate. He was very frustrated and batted away every cup we offered him and refused to eat the Popsicle. I finally pulled out some banana flavored puffs (one of his current favorites) and he calmed down enough to eat a few handfuls of the puffs and take a few sips of water. Soon after that they took out the IV and told us we were free to go home.

I'm thankful the surgery went well and that, other than the first hour, Elijah's recovery has been a breeze. Now I just need to get ready for Josiah's kiddie root canal tomorrow...

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