Wow, attempting to cover the last several days seems impossible, but I will try.
I did get in touch with the nurses at Dr. Beck's office finally, on Wednesday, and found out that we were to report at the hospital at 9:15 for registration and pre-op stuff. On Monday the Tricare liason for their office had faxed the request for the surgery to be authorized in the morning and it had been authorized by 1:00 that afternoon. That's seriously fast for Tricare. His therapist said that the whole thing just feels like it was supposed to happen, the way everything fell into place. As for the deposit, I had a $65 credit with her office, from a billing thingy in a previous post. The Tricare liason who I have been dealing with said they would just use that as my deposit. I almost cried, it was that big of a relief!
We dropped Oren off at Amanda's house on Wednesday night, and drove over to Mom's to spend the night. William stayed with them while Mark, Nathan and myself headed to the hospital in the morning. We got all checked in, headed down to the surgery clinic, and got Nathan into pre-op. They gave him a sedative/tranquilizer sort of stuff, to relax him before taking him in for his IV. It was supposed to take 5-10 minutes to kick in. They came back after 15 to see if he was relaxed yet. Problem is, he is easy going and mellow as Mark is, and had been watching tv the whole time. We couldn't see any difference between the "sedated" Nathan, and the Nathan that had been sitting there before! :-) They took him back and we headed to the cafeteria for lunch, the surgery was at 11:15 and we were hungry. Plus, it took some time off the waiting and provided a distraction. When we got back it was only about 45 minutes until the nurse came out and said the doctor was finishing up and then they would take him down to post-op/recovery.
We waited. Then they came out again and said he was in recovery and should be waking up soon. We waited. Dr. Beck came out and told us how the surgery went. She was able to get some muscle into the flaps she constructed, which from her tone we deduced is a good thing. It went great and she said we may see an imediate improvement with some sounds and that she fully supports the therapist doing 3 sessions a week once he is cleared in 2 weeks.
We waited some more. We were told that he was having some trouble coming out, was very groggy and just kept going back to sleep. Nothing to worry about, it was just taking a while. They got us a room assignment up in pediactrics, where he would be staying the night, and sent us up. He wasn't there yet, and in fact, the room didn't seem ready at all. There was a crib and a bed shoved in at odd angles. A nurse asked us if she could help us and we informed her we seemed to have beat our son there. They didn't even know someone was coming to the room! Let's just say that they had it ready in about 5 minutes. We waited, and waited, and waited in the room, but no Nathan. We asked around and it seems that he really did not want to wake up, but should be up shortly. We waited some more and finally they showed up. The surgery was at 11:15. It was over around 12:30 ish. We didn't see him until around 3:30. They had giving him some morphine and he was pretty much out.
That was a long day... He would wake up a bit and cry and cough and gag on mucous. Then he'd go back to sleep. Then 15 minutes later we would do it all over again. He got some more meds a couple times. They came in a lot to do his vitals, which he didn't like, and it would drop his oxygen levels some. I told the nurses that we had gone through 2 NICU babies and all the moniters and readings and beeping alarms didn't phase us at all. They left us to adjust his humidifier mist line, and his oxygen blow-by as he needed. The oxygen was just to bring his levels back up after a coughing, gagging episode, he rarely needed it. They appreciated that we didn't freak out when something went off. Occasionally his heart rate monitor would pull off his finger, so I would just rewrap it, no biggie.
Night time was equally fun. Mark went back to help with William, and I stayed there with Nathan. They have a "bed" of sorts for the parents there in the room, with sheets and everything, so there was a place to sleep. He still cried frequently that night, and calmed down rapidly if I was there to soothe him. The once time I didn't get up right away, he fussed until I did and smoothed his hair and face. Poor little guy. Between that and the nurses coming in all the time it was a long night.
By morning he was so much better. He went to the bathroom, a good thing, and requested breakfast. I ordered from the room service for patients and hopped in the shower. Just as I was drying off an alarm went off from one of his machines. I poked my head out and had to laugh. "The man brought my breakfast and I want to eat it!" as he was was trying to pull his hand out of the tape that secured his arm to the board, that stabilized his wrist that the IV went through. He had pulled up the heart monitor from his finger too. Of course, then the IV alarm went off and they came in as I was trying to get his hand repositioned on the board. He had actually pulled the IV out! They figured if he was feeling frisky enough to do that, and since he had already eaten some of his breakfast before getting mad at the monitors, they wouldn't bother putting it back in. He ate most of his breakfast, and was cleared to go home.
Mark got there and we did all the discharge stuff. We had to wait for transport, but finally made it back to Mom's about 12:30. He had some tylenol with codiene at 11:30, right before we left, so he passed out in the car on the way back. We let him sleep and William crashed too. We didn't leave Mom's until just before 5. His medication was waiting at our Walmart, so we had to stop there before heading home. His mouth was finally starting to hurt, and we gave him some more tylenol with codeine at 6:00. He was feeling well enough to go trick-or-treating with Mark and William for the last 20 minutes of the alloted base time. (6-8pm) I'll post pictures and all that later.
I have been astounded at his rate of recovery! He had pain meds Friday night, at 6:00. Then another dose Saturday morning. He didn't need any for the whole rest of Saturday! He needed a small dose this morning, and hasn't asked for any more yet today either! He was wanting pizza on Friday night, but we talked him into macaroni and cheese, since he is supposed to be on a soft foods diet for at least 10 days. This should be fun... Several sounds he makes, especially "s", "g", and "c" are already better. Not perfect, but better. He is healing quickly and I am so happy that he is doing so well.
What's funny is that William threw up Friday night, twice. Then again late last night. Mark was up all night alternating between throwing up and the other forceful ejection of fluids. What fun! So today, my son who just had surgery is up running around, eating and drinking, making messes... And my husband has been lying on the couch, bed, or chair whining that he's so sick, it's something serious, it couldn't be just the bug that's going around the base. I finally got him to start eating and he seems to be feeling better. And William has been lying around being slightly fussy too. At least they both look better now.