Thursday, May 23, 2013

Ethan's surgery!

 Pretty much since Ethan was born we have been fighting to get a diagnosis for his Darth Vadar breathing. We have seen the GP and After Hours GP dozens and dozens of time, the ENT Surgeon at least 5 times, a general paediatrician, a respiratory paediatrician and a children's sleep doctor (for suspected sleep apnoea). We have had a sleep study, blood tests, chest x-ray, a hearing test and a CT scan done.

The sleep study was negative for sleep apnoea, the blood tests showed low iron but no immune deficiencies, the chest x-ray showed an abnormal left top lobe, the hearing test showed lots and lots of fluid build up but no hearing loss/damage and the CT scan showed up bronciolectasis.

Three weeks ago Ethan had surgery to remove his tonsils and adenoids, insert grommets and to do a broncoscopy (to investigate the abnormal chest x-ray).

The surgery was a success and the broncoscopy showed up mild tracheamalacia (floppy trachea), however the surgeon was certain Ethan would grow out of this.

After the surgery we had another appointment with Ethan's respiratory paediatrician and as a result of the CT scan and broncoscopy we have some further tests to do and a 2 month course of antibiotics for Ethan.

Phew.... what a lot going on for a little boy! The good thing is it hasn't affected his development - Ethan is 97th percentile height and 95th weight, he runs, jumps and plays with the best of them. His speech was slightly delayed, but since the grommets have been in he has progressed in leaps and bounds!

Now onto the surgery itself! We arrived at St John of God hospital at 7am and found out we were first on the list (yay - I wasn't keen to try deal with a toddler and nil by mouth for too long).

We had about half an hour in Ethan's room to get him comfortable. Here he is playing cars with Dad.
After a little bit of playing we had to get into our gowns for surgery... as you can see Ethan was not happy at all!
So to distract Ethan we went to the play room and had a little play for 5 or so minutes.... it definitely helped!
Mum can you see my undies in this??
All too soon our time was up... and Ethan and I were wheeled on the bed to the Operating Theatre. Luckily Ethan had no idea what  was going on and just thought it was a fun ride with his mum.

After 10 or so minutes in the holding bay (where I was getting more and more anxious) we walked into theatre. I held Ethan while the anaesthetist held the mask over his face. It was awful.... he was struggling, kicking out, then his eyes were rolling and then he went limp :-( I had to place him on the Operating table and then walk out.... as soon as I left him I just burst into tears.... the nurse escorting me back to the ward was lovely and tried to reassure me... 

Then came the longest hour of our lives!

Jason and I headed to the cafe to try and distract ourselves but even though I knew surgery would be at least 50 minutes I wanted to get back to our room asap in case I missed the call saying he was out.

So we went back to the room and waited, and waited and waited.... after 1 hour 15 I was starting to panic as this was well longer than the estimated surgery time.... 

Not long after, we got the call and I rushed to recovery to be with my boy. As I arrived he was in the recovery nurses arms inconsolable. But the minute I held him he calmed down... he looked at me with such confusion though... as if to say - why am I in so much pain in this awful place. We lay on the bed cuddling for 15 minutes and then Ethan perked up a little. We then got to watch around 15 minutes of Nemo in recovery while the nurses observed Ethan some more.

Finally it was time to head back to the ward... I can't imagine how Jason was feeling just waiting there for us! If it was me, I would have been going crazy out of my mind!

Once back on ward Ethan tucked into yoghurt, toast and juice straight away! Which was a very good sign.

An hour later Ethan's lunch arrived (spag bol, chips, chocolate milk, ice cream and jelly). He ate an awful lot!
 But soon after needed a wee rest! Luckily we had the iPad to play some movies on for him!
So far so good, but the rest of the day pretty much turned to custard. I must have the only baby that does not sleep while recovering! For a while there Ethan was ok just lying in bed, but after 4 hours of it  he was ready for some action. So we walked round and round the ward while wheeling his drip behind him.... after a while Ethan wanted to run and I just didn't keep up with him and he pulled his IV line out it was a blessing in disguise in the end - but at the time there was a lot of blood!

Jason and his mum visited during the afternoon which was a welcome relief! However, during the afternoon Ethan threw a car at me, which split my lip.... then later on, once Jason and his mum had gone Ethan smacked his head up into my chin and I bit through my tongue! It wasn't a great day at all!

When it came time for sleep, out went the bed and in came the cot.... hmmmm not really very inviting if you ask me!

 Ethan didn't think so either! I had real trouble getting him down and rang Jason for some help! We finally got him settled and then of course its time for Ethan's hourly obs!

Ethan was woken during the night for medicine and it took me 55 minutes to get him back down... as soon as I got him down the nurse arrived for the next set of obs. By this stage I had had enough and told the nurse in no uncertain terms was she to go near my wee boy.... she scurried off and left us alone for a few hours! Thank goodness!

The next day we were discharged at 10 and we were both VERY happy to be heading home.  That was not an experience I wanted to repeat!

1 comment:

Meghan at MNM's said...

Surgery is NO fun with little kids - I think it is worse for us than it is for them though. So pleased to hear that Ethan came out of it OK. I can still vividly remember Noah's op at 14 months - sounds like a similar experience although we didn't have to stay in over night we did have to starve him till nearly lunchtime (from the night before) as he kept getting bumped down the list!