Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Long Day, Part I

Hanging out on the 9th floor of Buffalo Children's Hospital is generally a tense time for Nolan, especially now that he's getting older and understands what admission to the 9th floor means. He refused to stand on the scale to get his weight, so we had to get his weight while he was sitting and pouting on the scale. He refused to stand to take his height, so we sort of propped him up against the wall and got a close approximation (he's 28 pounds and 36.5 inches tall, for anyone that is interested).

We were very fortunate to be in the waiting area when a clown came in to entertain the children. We've never been on the same-day surgery unit when the "entertainment volunteers" were there. This took a great deal of stress off Nolan, and he really enjoyed interacting with the clown. He did a magic trick or two with her, and was able to keep the little police car from the magic trick. It is amazing how 10 minutes of fun makes the day so much more bearable.

Things actually moved rather quickly, and we were taken back to the surgical waiting area. Nolan refused to remove his shoes, so we left them on. I did have to take his hearing aids away just before he went into the OR, and he went ballistic. He equates the removing of his hearing aids with painful medical procedures, and screamed to keep them on. It was really tough handing him over to the nurse this time- it gets harder as he gets older and is aware of what is happening.

They used as little sedation as they could get away with, due to his central apnea. This is good, because it preserves his breathing. Unfortunately, it also means that he isn't as knocked out as a typical child would be, so his anxiety level is fairly high before and immediately after the procedure.

After the procedure, the ENT came to talk with me about what she found. His ears actually looked pretty good- the fluid we had seen a week ago had cleared up. She proceeded with the tube insertion since clear ears are a rarity for Nolan. I received Nolan's Floxin drops and pamphlet on the long-term care of PE tubes. Since this is his fourth set of tubes, we're old pros at taking care of them.

She then whipped out some pictures and talked to me about Nolan's laryngoscopy/bronchoscopy results. We have some answers, for at least one or two of his current issues. I'll save the details for Part II, but Nolan is going to have at least one or two more procedures in the near future. This finding could explain why he has such severe gastro-esophageal reflux disease, obstructive apnea, and poor weight gain/slowed height development.

I had a lot to digest, and went to comfort Nolan in the recovery room. He was beyond angry, screaming in his post-anesthesia rage. Once we got the all-clear to remove his I.V. and we were able to take him to the 9th floor recovery area, he was starting to calm down. I put his hearing aids back in, we gave him a Popsicle, and we let him watch Wow Wow Wubbzy on the hospital television. We were released at 2:00pm, and Nolan was quite happy to get buckled into his car seat for the ride home. When I pulled his earmolds out that night, they were coated with blood- the first time we've seen that side effect from tubes.

He is absolutely fine today, though he still hates the ear drops required after tubes are placed. His ears are clear and he's playing quite happily. We will return to the ENT on November 15 for our follow-up visit, so we will have a little break from the medical whirlwind. Goodness knows, we need it!


Herding Grasshoppers said...

Oh Leah, my heart goes out to all of you. Nolan is one smart little cookie, and that makes the whole process harder sometimes.

Praying for his recovery,


rouchi said...

My heart was melting at all that you have gone through.What a heart a mum has to hold in her chest, only mums like us can understand.Wishing all of you peace and more smiles.Kudos to you for even writing up after all that procedure.

Joey @ Big Teeth and Clouds said...

This is hard even to read. You are a strong woman!

xraevision said...

I feel for you and Nolan! It certainly is getting harder to go through these medical experiences as they grow older and more self aware. There is only so much a parent can do to explain and soothe. I often wonder if there is anything else I can do to make things easier for X. Does Nolan ever get sedated for the papoose board? What a misleading name!

I'm anxious to hear Part 2.