Monday, August 10, 2009

our day at Children's

all in all, i'd say that surgery at Children's was a very pleasant experience. there were just slight differences in her care, and only one disappointment which i'll get to in a bit.

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they are currently in the midst of a major addition over there, so the parking was limited to the parking garage. no big deal, but we drove in circles and circles until we eventually landed on the top deck. in the blazing sun. made it real fun when it was time to leave, crawling into a hot car. but, it also made for some fun (shadow) distraction while walking to the elevators to make our way into the hospital.

once we walked a mile, made our way to the surgical unit and signed in, we waited for about 30 minutes. entirely too long for a kid going into surgery, in my opinion, but she was perfectly content. i could see where it would be an issue if you had an anxious child though.

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she was happy to play Connect 4 over, and over, and over.

the disappointment came when she was called up to get her ID bracelets on. the only ID they asked for was an insurance card---i guess they assume we have the right child if we have their name on an insurance card. but, then once they put the identification bands on her and us, that was the last time anyone (pre-op nurse, PA, doctor, post-op nurse, transport......) looked at them on our arms at least. EVEN when we left the building to go home! WOW. i'll be voicing my opinion on that whole process when the survey comes for sure. i mean, i really wouldn't want to leave with another kid, but there are some whackadoos out there that thrive off that kind of stuff.

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the staff was extra sweet to her and couldn't believe how happy and content she was, showing no signs at all of being timid or scared. they explained everything before they did it and even let her listen too---taking precautions to sanitize in between.

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we were in the pre-op room for almost 2 hours, but it went quickly with all their pre-op assessments that had to get done. the time passed quickly thanks to the bookbag full of favorite things that she helped me pack the night before. i threw in a few fun surprises when she wasn't looking.

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just as soon as she'd get bored coloring in the magic coloring book one of her daycare teachers gave her, it was time for another nurse to come in and do their thing. this time they pretended she was a glo-worm. she thought that was supercool.

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then it was back to watching Tom & Jerry and coloring some more. until.............

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she got to take a walk through the maze of the surgerical unit, following the Nemo fish trail that ended in the Nemo room where she could pick any toy she wanted.

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then of course we had to come back and play with it. i was certain those batteries would go dead before surgery even happened.

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daddy convinced her that playing some bouncing ball game on his iTouch would be cool, but that lasted all of 5 minutes before she lost interest.

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then..............it was time for the doctor to pay a little visit. she tried to convince him that she needed a little work on her nose instead of her throat. and they all had a good laugh.

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before long, she was swallowing the happy juice and laying back to watch a cartoon and snuggle in with her baby for some thumb sucking.

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then she was wheeled away and my heart sunk. not because i felt scared for her, because i knew she was in good hands, but because i knew she'd wake up, in pain, and i wouldn't be able to make it go away. it's so hard to put your child through pain and try to explain to them that this is the better option in the long run. we've had a few great months with no sickness so she's long forgotten about all the sleepless nights with strep throat (6 times since October).

we went off to the waiting area and before i even got myself settled into the rocking chair and opened my book, the surgeon was out to give us a report and answer questions, and said we could see her in about an hour after the first stage of recovery.

while waiting, we grabbed a quick bite to eat and then made our way to her post-op recovery room to meet her there.

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about 20 minutes later she made her way over. doesn't she look pitiful. i couldn't get over how swollen her tiny features were. she was still pretty out of it, totally still with her eyes darting back and forth trying to figure out where she was and what was happening. confused most by the IV and all the bandaging----and the fact that it was all attached to her comfort item of choice---the thumb she sucks. darnit. apparently putting the IV in her right hand wasn't a success.

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another 20 minutes later and she was working with all her might to eat part of a popcicle, barely sticking her tongue out to lick it.

and that orange/cream afghan you see there. after surgery, she tells me she was cold, so one of the nurses let her pick a blanket to keep forever. a donation to the hospital by a volunteer through Project Linus. such a wonderful non-profit organization full of people donating their time and talent to make blankets for sick children.

their misson:
  • First, it is our mission to provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer “blanketeers.”
  • Second, it is our mission to provide a rewarding and fun service opportunity for interested individuals and groups in local communities, for the benefit of children.
she has carried that blanket everywhere with her from the time she got home.

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anywho...another 20 minutes and she was completely alert and found a new love of slushies....much easier to eat than having to open wide for a popcicle.

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i think we got her to eat 2 cherry slushies and 1 orange slush and she had the permanent red lip stain to prove it. she was happy as could be to get wheeled out of the hospital on a wheelchair to wait for daddy to bring the car to pick her up.

the first evening at home was a breeeeze. not so much the two days following, but i think we've hit a rhythm and she's taking pain medicine now without much creative energy spent on our parts to get it in her. the next few days the scabs will be falling off and her pain will intensify for a few days. i'll keep you posted.
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4 comments:

  1. DEFINITELY - they should be checking ID bracelets constantly, each time they were to do something to her. As a retired X-ray tech, we checked bracelets each time we took a patient for an xray.
    But I have to admit, everything looked super CLEAN in there.

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  2. Aaaw little sunshine!
    What a brave little girl. I would be proud if I where here mom =)

    I agree about the ID. They allways check that stuff, like 4 times, here in sweden. You also have to say your ID number and they check if they have the same numbers on their papers.

    I hope this will help her get better! Many hugs from Clinen (in Sweden)

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  3. After watching my husband go off to surgery a couple years ago I decided that it was much easier being the one having the surgery then being the one left in the waiting rom to worry.
    Glad to hear her surgery went well. It's always hard for children to understand the pain & discomfort & much harder for the parents who want nothing more then to "make it all better".

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  4. This is the first time I have visited your blog and what a day you have had. I am old enough to be your daughters grandmother and I remember having my tonsils out at 4. I remember wearing my pj's to the hospital, the ride in the elevator, counting backwards, popsicles, and the neighbors viists. All togehter not a bad memory. Hope all is well for your angel and your family.- Gayle

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