All went well today. If by “well” you mean that there is now a wire poking out of the top of my son’s head. Despite how squeamish that makes me, we are handling it.
We hit the ground running at 9:30 this morning with a visit to the blood-work lab. I didn’t want Gav to get any more upset than he needed to, so we withheld that information until the last possible second. With every poke Gav gets from a Sick Kids phlebotomist, I radiate gratitude that they are so very slick and so very good at their jobs. That hardly hurt at all! said the relieved Bean.
We were soon upstairs changing Gav into his OR jammies, and then killed a good hour playing on the gaming console. He had one round of unwellness, but after lying down for a couple of minutes he was back at it.
All of this is somewhat familiar to us, but it has still been two years since the Bean has had any kind of surgical procedure. So for Bean, it is right outside his comfort zone. He doesn’t even really remember being sedated – as the last time he had that done in MRI was early 2012.
Yesterday, he and I talked about what to expect, and what would happen. I don’t want to do it at all. I wish tomorrow would never come, he told me. I feel like I’m gonna cry. We both shed a few tears together, and I did my best to reassure him that all would be well, that he wouldn’t be in pain, that we would let him know what was happening every step of the way.
The anaesthesiologist and I discussed how he would be put under. (Gav has a past history of bad reactions to some drugs) He agreed that I would be allowed to accompany Gav into the OR – so after donning a sterile suit, booties and cap, he and I were off.
As always, I was amazed by my little man’s curiosity and charisma. He chatted with the nurses, doctors and surgeons and made his usual astute observations. Then the mask was placed over his face, complete with “strawberry” scent, and he began breathing. After a minute he said his eyes felt all weird, like they’re looking everywhere. He then slipped into sleep, and I was escorted out.
It was over quickly – the whole thing took only an hour before one of the neurosurgery fellows had arrived to tell us we would soon be seeing Gavin in recovery.
If you have ever seen a loved one wake up from anaesthesia, you know it can sometimes be a bit bumpy. You expect grogginess, some confusion, but may also see agitation or downright anger. In the past, I saw Gav turn into a raging little beast, kicking his feet uncontrollably and screaming nonononono over and over. So I was ready for something similar, but luckily, he’s now old enough to express what’s bothering him, and he immediately launched in, Ow, ow, my IV hurts, it hurts SO much, ow, mama take your hands off me, they’re too cold, MAMA you’re supposed to wipe my tears away, oh my nose is itchy, rub it for me, NO not there, here. And then closed his eyes for a bit. And then, I’m totally bored here, this is so BORING, when can we LEAVE. I’m starving, when can I eat? I want a bagel with some butter.
It sounds bad, but it wasn’t. I knew my little guy was doing alright, and I’ll take the complaints over incoherent screaming any day. The nurses were with me – and we got out of there and into our room fairly quickly.
Upstairs, Gav demanded crafts, games and entertainment. And food. After inhaling a juice box he felt ready to eat, and then chastised Craig for not breaking his bagel into little bits properly.
The wire is hooked up to a monitor which gives us some info about the pressure in his head – intracranial pressure. We are hoping to discover what his shunt is doing (or not doing) over the next couple of days. Gav will have to be fairly immobile but so far is handling all of it like a champ.
The biggest task will be to keep him entertained, but with some visits lined up and a bagful of craft supplies from Dollarama, I think we will do okay.
It isn’t great being back on the unit where we once suffered so many sleepless nights, and had so many vomit-inducing conversations with medical staff. I still feel a terrible jolt of anxiety when someone’s monitor beeps off, although I know it’s not my kid who is desatting or whose heart-rate has plummeted far below normal.
My intention now is for a smooth, smooth ride through all of this, with some sort of resolution at the end of it. We just need to know what it is that is at the root of this ongoing problem.
As always, my thanks to my friends and family for prayers, love, positive thoughts. It means so much to know that so many are with us. So many special people have given so generously to us, and for that I am filled with gratitude.