Monday, November 14, 2016

Surgery Day

Living far from the cochlear implant center means a significant amount of planning is involved for each appointment. For Nolan's surgery, the boys' grandma flew in to take care of Matt while we were in New York City. Surgery was planned for Friday (Veteran's Day), but we needed to leave on Thursday. The boys had a half day of school on Thursday, so the plan was to let Nolan go to school and leave directly once school was dismissed.

Unfortunately, that same day, a man shot his wife and went on the lam in our local area, causing all of the schools to go on lock-down. The schools are fantastic about keeping our children safe, but this was quite stressful as we worried about where the man could be and wondered how long the lock-down would last. In addition, Dennis is leaving for a business trip in China shortly and was trying to get Visa documentation through as the trip and the Visa deadline are in close proximity. I managed to get the boys and Dennis managed to fax the necessary paperwork through by 3:00 pm, which is when we left. We made it to our hotel in Secaucus, NJ at 10:00 pm - which was a pretty fast trip! The benefit of leaving later was the total lack of traffic late at night.

Nolan's check-in time was 8:00 am for a 10:00 surgery, and we knew we needed to get through the Lincoln Tunnel. We left early and hoped the traffic wouldn't be too horrible - it wasn't and we made it to the hospital early.

 Driving into NYC in the morning

Nolan is not a morning person

We checked in and they took Nolan back immediately - which was fantastic. It wasn't long before he was weighed, checked, and allowed to watch a little T.V.

Watching college football

The anesthesiologist stopped by and we went over his history, and we opted for the pre-surgical Versed to help ease any anxiety prior to surgery. Nolan can sometimes become very anxious prior to surgery due to his past experiences, so the Versed was a good choice. It did help him remain relaxed through the rest of the morning.

Dr. Roland stopped by to mark the ear undergoing implantation, and Nolan was dressed for surgery and ready to go.

 Ready to go

Marking the ear

I was allowed to go back with him and he was soon asleep. Dennis and I went down to the lobby (Child Life is fantastic at NYU and escorted us down to the lobby to show us where the cafe was located). We ate quickly and then went back to the waiting room, where we were updated frequently as to Nolan's status. The surgery took about an hour and a half, and Dr. Roland came out to tell us the tympanoplasty was done and the cochlear implant was in place and working perfectly. Everything went as smoothly as it could have gone. 

It took a little while to see our guy, as the recovery room was a little overcrowded that Friday. They moved him to recovery and we finally saw him at around noon. He was given a little extra fentanyl as he was in some pain at that point of the day.

Sweet buddy

For other parents who are going through the same thing, the first couple of hours in recovery were pretty rough. Nolan would wake up whimpering and was in considerable pain. He received a little more fentanyl and then returned to sleep. We had to do this twice, and it was hard to see him struggling those first couple of hours. We are very grateful to the nurses, who took fantastic care of him and also recommended the fentanyl, as when he finally woke up from the final dose, he was MUCH better.

By 3:00 pm (just four hours post-surgery), he was awake, talking, hungry, and thirsty. The turn-around was dramatic and he was doing amazingly well! He drank a good deal of ice water. He requested a popsicle. Unfortunately, there were no popsicles to be found. He did get a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but continued to ask for a popsicle. Child Life stopped by to check on him (did I mention how wonderful they are?) and immediately went on a popsicle-hunting mission. A few minutes later, he was all set.

Popsicles make everything better

Child Life also gave him this adorable teddy bear - so cute!

A friendly bear is always good

Nolan was doing well and was released at 4:00 pm. Right into rush hour traffic in Manhattan. Oh, and the new security measures around Trump Tower. And also? Trump protesters. A perfect storm of awfulness for driving in a city that is known for its "normal" congestion. 

Manhattan traffic chaos

We needed to get to the Lincoln Tunnel. We wanted to get OFF THE ISLAND. So many streets were blocked and we could not get down many of the streets that would lead to the Lincoln Tunnel. In 1.5 hours, we had gone three miles.. in a circle. It was a nightmare! Nolan was a real trooper and was entertained by his Kindle in the backseat. He was really hungry, but we were stuck in traffic and there was nothing we could do.

We finally managed to make it to the Lincoln Tunnel. I was never so happy to see a tunnel in my life!

O, Lincoln Tunnel, I adore you

We made it to our hotel and Nolan was so hungry he was nearly in tears. We walked into the lobby, but it turns out the chef had called in sick that day so there was no food available at the hotel. With the traffic outside, we couldn't get to the restaurants on the other side of the freeway, so we went to the only restaurant within walking distance from the Hilton Garden Inn - a Dominican food place. The food was good, but Nolan was really tired and decided he wasn't very hungry after all. 

Not very hungry after all

After dinner, I carried him back to our hotel room and Dennis went to the car to get our supplies. Nolan was really wiped out, but was absolutely delighted to find a cookie bouquet waiting for him in the room from this amazing family. 

After a really long and stressful day, it was such a sweet and lovely thing to find!

I managed to get Nolan into his pajamas and he settled in to watch Shrek on the television. He seemed to be OK and fell asleep around 9 pm.

Resting after a long day

He was really unsteady and dizzy that evening, so I was grateful that he settled in and fell asleep. He did wake frequently through the night, but we finally just turned on the TV and allowed him to watch it as needed throughout the night. We don't allow much television at home, so this was a treat for him.

We were able to remove his bandage in the morning. I wasn't sure what to do about this, as we didn't have scissors with us. We tried using toenail clippers, but we were never going to get through it with clippers! We found scissors at the front desk and managed to snip it off. 

Ready to go home.

We were very grateful to head home. We stopped for breakfast somewhere in the Poconos and for lunch in Corning, NY. We made it home by 3:00 pm.

Nolan has been doing really well, though he is sore and still a little dizzy. Every day seems to be a little better. He is doing really well this evening and is a lot more talkative and energetic, so I think he will probably be close to "normal" tomorrow. 

He has been loving the special presents and treats. His aunt and uncle sent him a massive teddy bear, and he is pretty happy about the gift.

Giant bears are full of awesomeness

I am sure he will be back to school soon, though I am worried about roughhousing or Nolan falling, so we may keep him home this week. He has two half-days this week, anyway, so I'd rather he be fully recovered before sending him back to the germ-filled school (strep and everything else is going around at the moment).

We only have three weeks until activation day. I can't believe how quickly time is flying! We are very excited for him to get his new "ear!"

1 comment:

Herding Grasshoppers said...

What an adventure! So sorry Nolan had more pain than expected - maybe the double whammy of CI and tympanoplasty - but still praying for his recovery and adaptation to the CI! So excited for him!