Emmett’s Surgery Update

Am happy to report all went textbook smoothly this morning at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. Emmett is now home with some swelling around his eye and some blue dye still draining. But his tear duct is now open. I don’t have to obsessively clean his eye 11 times a day. He is probably more thrilled than I.

When I first got there at the brutal hour of 5:45 a.m., I spoke with the anesthesiologist.  He explained that first they give babies an oral sedative, so they don’t freak out when the gas mask goes on. It makes them fall gently to sleep. But he did give me the option to skip that step and go straight to gas. Thinking the less medicine the better, I said no to the oral stuff. I knew a cousin of Emmett’s had a reverse reaction and became very agitated.

However, that meant either Phil or I had to go back with him to keep him calm when the mask went on. The doctor warned me that he might start breathing really heavy, with his eyes rolling back. He wanted to make sure I could handle it. I quickly elected Phil.  I know my limitations and if I had to, I could do it. But I knew Phil would have an easier time keeping calm.

Phil and Fia showed up at 7 and by 7:30 Phil was back there while Emmett went down. He came back shrugging his shoulders. “He’s fine.”

“But how did it go?” I asked.

“Fine,” he said again. Typical guy response. No details.

About 20 minutes after that the little man was in post-op. That’s when things got a bit ugly and I began to doubt my wisdom of skipping the oral sedative.

What the anesthesiologist didn’t tell me was that the oral sedative often allows them to come out of the fog a little more gently. At least that’s what the post-op nurses told me. Instead, Emmett was a mess. He was screaming, writhing his body around, and crying. His legs kept getting caught in the IV and blood pressure tubing and Phil had to mostly take over and just hold him tight, as I kept losing my grasp. Much of the time Em was doing it in a half-sleep daze, with his eyes partially shut. It took the better part of an hour for the gas to wear off enough for me to take him in my arms. I just brushed his hair with my fingertips and sang him into a deep sleep. Then we went home.

Once awake again, he remained agitated and irritable until he had his bottle. Things started getting back to normal then.

Now he is taking his usual afternoon nap and I’m decompressing. I’m so glad this procedure is over with. I’m lucky it was a simple and smooth operation.  I can’t imagine having a chronically ill kid. Being at a hospital for children gives you great perspective.

 So now he looks like a tough guy. I’ve always said he’s a bruiser. This is proof.

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