Friday, March 8, 2013

Ear Tubes

Several years, numerous hearing tests, several different doctors, and we FINALLY reached a point where it was agreed that Connor was experiencing some hearing loss, which was determined to be the result of chronic fluid build-up in his ears. After 2 rounds of high strength antibitiocs and no real change in the fluid build-up, along with several weeks of "let's give it some time" (over the course of 3.5 months!), Connor was scheduled to get tubes in his ears.

Our check-in time was 11am, and we were put into a room around 11:30am. There was a fairly steady stream of nurses coming in to intruduce themselves, check Connor's name/birthday/procedure, explain different things, etc. prior to the 1pm surgery. They had this tiger gown already laid out for him before we even arrived toting Mali the tiger, so although Connor wasn't super enthused about the gown, he was impressed that it matched Mali. LOL
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We spent the time in-between all the nurses coming in playing some games on the iPad.
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At about 12:40pm, the anesthesiologist came in and fitted Connor with a face mask which would be used during the surgery. He gave Connor the choice of having a scented spray put in it and Connor chose bubblegum. Connor spent the next 20 minutes happily sniffing the bubblegum scented mask while the nurses rigged him up with heart rate monitors, blood pressure monitors, IV lines, etc. Connor was really proud of the fact that he let them put in the IV without a fuss (they did use a bit of numbing cream first, but I saw him wince a bit when it first went in and he said he felt a pinch, but he sat there and held his arm still)
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At 1pm pretty much on the nose, two nurses came in and squirted something into his IV line to relax him. They said it would take about a minute to start working and I should hurry up and give him hugs and kisses because he wouldn't remember much of anything very shortly. I gave hugs and kisses and told him I'd be waiting for him, and he was right in the middle of saying "I still don't feel anything" when he started slurring his words and had a blank look on his face. Pretty funny!!! I asked for another kiss and he looked down at my lips, but his lips didn't move at all in response. Dan had gone to work ridiculously early in the morning (left the house at 1:30am!) in order to get a day's work in and still make it to see Connor in the recovery room. He ended up showing up JUST after Connor zoned out, but he got to see Connor before he was wheeled away to surgery.

We were told it would be a ten minute procedure and the surgeon should be out to talk to us within about twenty minutes. I'll admit to feeling a bit anxious when it was hitting the 30 minute mark and the surgeon hadn't come out yet, but thankfully I had my very dear friend Stephanie, along with Dan, to help pass the time while we waited! The surgeon ended up coming out after 35 minutes and said that they'd had to spend a lot of extra time suctioning out his right ear because the fluid in that ear was so thick is was more like glue. He had they had to bring in the big suction machine (not sure if he was joking or serious...)! Otherwise, things went fine and we were given recovery/treatment instructions and asked to wait a bit longer for Connor to wake up some more before they took one of us back.

It was probably another 10 minutes before a nurse came and took me back to Connor. He was curled up in a ball on his side, layered under blankets and surrounded by pillows, and was a very pathetic sight. He glanced up and gave me a quick smile before tucking himself back into a ball. The nurse had me climb in the bed with him and snuggle him. It's hilarious to me that he's smiling and looking alert in this picture because he was SUPER out of it, still. Rallied for the two seconds it took me to hit the camera button on my cell phone then slumped down again. ha!
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He was really trying hard to wake up, but it was slow-going! He was slurring when he tried to talk, and was really restless. The more restless he was, the more agitated he got because of all the wires/cords all over him getting tangled and pulling at him. He was definitely more asleep than awake at the point he started slurring in a fairly loud volume that he just wanted to "GO HOME!" and "WHAT IS THIS STUFF ALL OVER ME?!?". (He was acting drunk and disorderly! ha!). This picture got taken accidentally (I was trying to shift the screen to send the previous picture to Dan but snapped a new one on accident), but shows how he kept looking down at himself and trying to see what was all over him.
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Then he was really crying about his right ear hurting. It concerned the nurses because he wasn't even very awake yet and already complaining about the pain, so they tracked the surgeon down in another surgery and worked out an oral dose of pain meds, in addition to what he'd been given in his IV. They also got him set up with a heat pack for the sore ear, and I asked if it was okay to give him a few sips of water (anyone who knows Connor knows he needs to be fed and given fluids at fairly regular intervals or behavior/attitude take a nosedive and he hadn't had anything pretty much all day). The nurse came back with some ice chips and I spooned small bits into his mouth at a time. He was definitely coming around a bit more at this point, and perked up quite a bit after getting through the cup of ice chips.

He was happy to see that Mali got to wear a mask during surgery, just like him (they even let him keep it!)
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It was probably 2:15 when they felt he was ready to move into the room we started out in, where Dan could join us to finish out CJ's recovery. At this point, he was fully awake and no longer "yelling" or crying. Hard to be upset at the yelling/crying behavior when the kid wasn't even really awake at that point, and was clearly disoriented and stressed. It was hard to see him that way, but definitely had a humorous side to it! Once we were in the other room and Dan joined us, they gave Connor apple juice, some graham crackers, told him he could get dressed, and sent us on our way. He enjoyed the wheel-chair ride out to the car!
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We were home around 3:15pm and you'd never even know anything had happened at that point. He ate half the house once we brought him inside and would have kept eating, but I made him take a break so he didn't overwhelm his stomach after it was empty all day!

Doctor said there may be a little swelling for another couple days so we might not see results in his hearing ability immediately. My fingers are crossed this does the trick!!!! Will be nice to have no more "what??" a zillion times a day!!!


Betsy said...

I am so glad to hear that it went well. I still remember when I got my tonsils out (I was 13 or so) how coming out of the anesthesia felt. Strangely like being drunk lol

Kaci said...

So glad he's all better! XO

Lexie Loo, Lily Boo, and Dylan Too! said...

I'm glad it went well. I hope he feels better quick!

Cindy Lou Who said...

what a trooper, my kids are the same way with anesthesia. Cracks me up