Saturday, January 14, 2012

post-op: days 1-2

Elan doing his impression of a giant-eyed wood elf, January 2012

First off, Elan's T&A surgery went fine. The surgeon told us afterwards that his adenoids were big, and that she thinks the surgery will correct the sleep apnea. So that's the good news, and it was a big relief to hear after what was, for me, the worst part - the time during the actual surgery. I have an overactive imagination, and I've watched a lot of Grey's Anatomy episodes.

The bad news is that the recovery is rough. We knew this would be the case. Every parent who had been through it told us that it's awful while you're going through it, even as they celebrated the results. At the end of Day 1, Elan was doing better than we expected. He tucked into several bowls of pasta with an enthusiasm we rarely see him show for any food.

Night 1 was a parenting comedy of errors, one of those nights we'll look back at some day when our kids are grown, while we're sipping pina coladas on some tropical beach and reminiscing about the diaper days, and laugh. Mikhail put Elan to sleep in our bed while I was out at a kindergarten information night. That was our plan, so one of us could keep an eye (albeit closed) on him while we slept and to keep him further from Emry so that hopefully we wouldn't have them both up screaming at us at the same time.

Getting into bed, I knocked over the humidifier next to the bed and spilled water all over the floor. After cleaning that up, I got into bed, careful to not wake Elan, and pulled the sheet up. The sopping wet sheet. In my exhausted state, I couldn't figure out how I had managed to spill humidifier water into the middle of the bed. Then I realized my son had wet the bed. FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER. Really. Mr. Iron Bladder was laid low by a combination of IV fluid, the anaesthesia still in his system, and the morphine the hospital gave him before we left that afternoon.

I notified Mikhail, who was just getting into bed in Elan's room, that the plan had to change. Screaming commenced, as we woke Elan by taking off his wet PJ bottoms and moved him into his room. Then, while Mikhail tried to soothe Elan back down, and Emry, woken by his brother's yelling, cried in his crib, I quickly stripped the bed, mopped up the pee from our expensive latex mattress topper with cloth diapers, sprayed BioKleen (love that stuff), laid down every beach towel in the house, remade the bed, nursed Emry back to sleep, and then collapsed on the half-size camping pad next to Elan's bed. For a half hour. Until Elan woke up again, pee-soaked in his bed (also with no mattress cover - when will I learn?). We did the whole thing again, with Elan back to sleep in our bed (after insisting on a bathroom stop - I do learn some things).

Then during Day 2, he really stopped eating or drinking pretty much anything except his medicine. It's painful to swallow, that's clear, but we also saw him click into a war of wills mode, where he just seemed determined to stick to his guns, even as he felt worse and worse from a combo of hunger, dehydration, and worsening of his throat from not drinking. We made it very clear that, come Day 3, if he wasn't drinking, he'd have to go to the hospital and get an IV. You know that big needle that was in your hand when you woke up from your operation? That, for four hours! But still he refused.

Parenting (and grandparenting, from my very brave parents) skills worn out, we put him to bed. He came around in the middle of the night, after quite a long time of screaming and carrying on, and finally we got him eating and drinking.

Jello and Odwalla party - our bed - 3 a.m.


  1. Wow, what a memory of emotions I've just experienced after reading your post! My youngest had the same surgery, and I remember wanting to run after him as he was going into surgery, so I don't think you are alone in feeling such strong emotions. Hang in there ~ and thanks for sharing.

  2. Glad that the surgery went well. Hang in there. It's all about to get much better, Im sure! xo