Thursday, December 4, 2008

3 Weeks Post Op

So, once again, it's been awhile... Life has been a bit crazy since Jackson's palate surgery. Seriously crazy.

First, to recap surgery. We stayed the night in the Ronald McDonald House prior to Jackson's surgery Wednesday, November 12th. We arrived at CHLA at 7:30am and began filling out the necessary paperwork. And then we waited. And we waited some more... And we waited a little bit more...

Finally, at noon, they were ready. Now, keep in mind, Jackson hadn't eaten since 9pm on Tuesday night. And we can't feed him ANYTHING because he has to have an empty stomach prior to surgery. Poor guy was really hungry. So we spent those hours finding creative ways to distract our hungry son until the time they called his name. I suppose distracting our hungry boy helped us distract ourselves at the same time. Sort of.

At noon we were brought to another room where we waited a bit more. Thankfully, it was not as long as the prior wait. We changed him into hospital garb and soon our boy was wheeled away from us, having no clue what was about to happen. Handing him over broke my heart because I knew when we got him back, he would be in pain and out of sorts.

Then Daniel and I waited some more. Jackson had 3 procedures done, so we knew it would take awhile, but we weren't exactly prepared to wait for the next 5 hours. His surgeons came to update us occasionally on how it was going. First, his ear tubes were checked. The doctor thought he would need to have new tubes placed, but, thankfully, the tubes looked great! No need for new ones. Phew. Next up was the gastroenterologist. His G-tube went in with no complications. Finally, the plastic surgeons and his palate repair. This was the longest procedure of the day. And it took longer than they anticipated.

Around 5:30pm, they finally called us in to see him. And he looked awful. It is ridiculously difficult to see your 10 month old like this. Not the baby I had left earlier. I couldn't help the tears. He was in pain. And I couldn't do anything to help him. He was also having issues breathing following the anesthesia, so he was on oxygen. Scary. On top of this, Jackson had a stitch through his tongue taped to the outside of his face. This was a precaution in case anything went wrong and his tongue obstructed his breathing, so the doctor could pull his tongue out of the way if needed by way of the stitch. Crazy. And I'm sure very comfortable.

And thus began one of the worst weeks we've yet to encounter together.

Jackson had to stay in Surgery Recovery for over 24 hours because there were no rooms open in the hospital. NO ROOMS. Typically, children only are there for a few hours at the most. So we have a baby that has just come out of surgery stuck in a large room, separated by curtains. Beyond frustrating.

26 hours after he got out of surgery, Jackson finally got a room. We were so happy and relieved... until we arrived in the room. This room was not a large room, however there were 4 cribs in it. I cannot even express the rage I felt. Every 20 minutes or so, our exhausted baby would get woken up either by another baby screaming, a nurse who HAD to check his vitals right NOW, or other families in the room laughing, talking VERY loud, playing the TV at a HIGH volume, and the list goes on. And this lasted until we finally left on the following Monday. I was not a very happy Mama to say the least.

We were originally supposed to leave on Friday. Then Friday turned into Saturday, and Saturday to Sunday... As far as his palate was concerned, the doctors could've released him on Friday, but the G-tube was the primary concern. Prior to leaving, Jackson had to be up to his normal intake of formula. And this took days. Not because it had to, but because there was so much miscommunication between the doctors and the nurses, everything took much longer than it needed to. And meanwhile Jackson is not getting any rest. We just wanted to get him home where we could take care of him.

Well, long story short (or not so short), we arrived home Monday to a very clean house thanks to my Mom. And the saga continues...


Anonymous said...

Poor little guy, he's been through so much already :(
What a tough little fellow.

Robertson Family said...

oh sweet family! I cannot imagine what that must have been like...Jackson is such a strong little much stronger than he should have to be...We love you and are praying...

Joy Howse said...

Sorry to hear that things were so awful after surgery. I will never understand the whole hospital stay thing with multiple babies in one room (Aiden's room had SIX babies), the have to take vitals NOW thing, and RUDE parents or visitors of other patients. There is no place like home. Jackson and the entire family has and will continue to be in my prayers.

Lisa said...

I am so sorry. It sounds like an utterly exhausting week for all of you. I'm so glad the surgery went well. I'm so sorry to hear about all the miscommunication and the horrid conditions at the hospital. That is insane! I find myself feeling angry just reading about it, I can only imagine how you, as the mom in the situation must have been feeling. Even when trying to look at it with my nurse hat on, it seems ridiculous. Anyway, I'm glad you all made it through! You all are in my thoughts and prayers!