Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Little Monkey Update (We made it!)

On Monday, we went in for a pre-op appointment, and aside from getting cranky when he was stabbed in the hand for a blood-draw, Little Monkey was just fine. They looked at all of his vitals and weight and whatever and determined that yes, indeed, he was ready to be cut on the next day. Whee.

Monday night, we packed up blankets and pictures for the hospital, and made sure we had something fun for Rorysaurusto do the next day (thank you, Amber). We picked up God-mom from the airport and then had dinner with Lisa (hi, Lisa). Then, right before we headed off to bed, we gave Little Monkey a good scrub so he’d be clean for the next day.

We went to sleep, and Little Monkey stayed in bed, snuggled up between Tuffy and I, all night. We woke up around 7, got Rorysaurus dressed, ate breakfast with God-mom and then we took a Sharpie to the back of his head again. This time, we wrote “Fragile.”

We had to stop feeding Little Monkey at 8am, and so by the time we got situated at his pre-op appointment, at 11am, he was a cranky, hungry boy. He asked for “teta” twice, and I had to tell him “no.” Then he started chanting “Mama, Mama” at me, and I felt awful, so I gave him to Tuffy to hold (since Tuffy is not food and is less distracting to Little Monkey). He was not amused.

We sat in the waiting room with a few other families, and met one whose little girl was in for a laproscopic cranio surgery for just the sagittal suture. It means a couple of tiny, tiny holes and a helmet for 3 months, and no one had told them what to expect in terms of swelling, discoloration, pain or care. We talked for an hour or so, and they seemed much more relaxed afterwards.

Then, the surgeons came in. I know that our surgeons are world class, but they are the oddest men, both in entirely different ways. Anyway, they were still arguing about whether the most important aspect of Little Monkey's surgery was repairing his little front bumps or opening up the back of his head, since that hadn’t formed quite right. I couldn’t believe they were still disagreeing, on the date of surgery, in front of us, but it turns out they both just have very strong feelings on how much they could fix in one surgery. They decided to focus on the back and see if any of the front could be fixed this time, but to not be too surprised if we ended up with one more surgery. Bleh. I was so hoping we were done.

Little Monkey played happily on the floor, surrounded by other nervous pre-op parents and kids. We filled out more official paper-work (ick) and read up on how this was going down again. This time, Sue (Dr. Sun’s fantastic nurse) wasn’t around, so we met the male nurse who was doing her job that day. He seemed very nice.

Then we were shuffled off to pre-op, where we waited with the same creepy plaster dinosaur we see every time. We met the nursing team and the anesthesiologist (same one who took care of him last time), and then, somehow, managed to hand him over to them at 1pm.

We walked slowly to the cafeteria, brought out our meals from Home On The Range, heated them up in the microwave, and sat down to eat. Then, we updated Little Monkey's page and worked on Rorysaurus’s page, read Cheers and Jeers and tried napping in shifts. The nurse called once to let us know it was going alright, and of course, we missed the call.

However, our beeper went off at 5:20 pm, a full hour and then some before we were expecting to hear from them. Tuffy started to pack up and I raced up to the 3rd floor to check on Jules. Dr. Toth was there to let me know the surgery had gone beautifully. They only were able to fix the back, but without that added pressure, the bumps in the front had retracted somewhat, so maybe a third surgery wouldn’t be necessary. Little Monkey had needed one unit of blood, less than last time, and the surgeons were all pleased. “He’s a really cute kid,” the surgeon said, smiling, and left.

I went back and got Tuffy, and then we waited around in the staging area until they were ready to let us back into Recovery We got in, and we found this:

Awww, there’s my little bandaged angel. Tuffy then went out to the car to go get Rorysaurus and Rorysaurus’s Godmother, and brought them to the hospital so Rorysaurusvcould see Little Monkey before he got too swollen (although he was much puffier earlier this time than he was last time). While I waited, I made a collage on his hospital crib of his “before”, “surgery” and “after” photos.

Then, in came my hubby, darling little girl, and our magical, beautiful help for the week, Godmom.

Rorysaurus insisted on kissing him over, and over, and over again. She was thrilled to see him…genuinely happy. It did me good to see her so pleased.

Anyway, now the three of them are home, and I’m in the ICU with my sweet little boy, who is alert and loving and beautiful. He’s not quite swollen to blimp-like proportions, so he can still see, but he’s loving being touched and petted and talked to.

Thank you all for your support and prayers. You have no idea how much they mean.