January 4, 2014

Surgery Day


With the three oldest kids off to the in-laws and the three youngest loaded up into the car, we drove the three hours to Salt Lake.

Alayna only asked if "we were there yet" about every six minutes of the whole trip.

Oh, and she threw up on the way.

That too.

It was strange, I had been fretting and worrying about Jackson's surgery for weeks. And yet, from the time I woke up that Thursday morning, I felt such a sense a peace. I felt calm the whole day, as though the very prayers people were generously offering in our behalf were sustaining me.

It was so very humbling.

We dropped the girls off with my sweet sister-in-law, then proceeded to Jackson's appointment with the people who will make his helmet.

The man who scanned his little head showed us several before and after images of other children who have had this surgery and worn the helmets.

I'm not going to lie, the differences were astounding.

He also said that since they've started doing this method of surgery to fix craniosynostosis roughly seven years ago, he has easily seen over 200 children.


After that we drove to Primary Children's where we registered and they drew his blood in case a transfusion would be needed.

He took the blood draw like a champ.

I soon received a phone call to inform us that his estimated surgery start time would be at 9:00am the next morning.

Later that evening, I received another call to inform us that Dr. Siddiqi needed to rearrange his surgery schedule so ours was moved to 10:15am.

I didn't sleep well that night, between a restless Claira, a tossing Alayna, a hungry Jackson, and Hubby shifting on the other side of the air mattress, morning came far too soon.

After hubby and I rather groggily got ready for the day and were almost ready to leave, I received yet another phone call informing us that Jackson's surgery needed to pushed back again, to 11:45am.

Not fun at all.

But when the chief pediatric plastic surgeon at a major children's hospital is doing your surgery, there are bound to be serious cases that require his immediate attention.

I only hope whomever needed his attention right away is okay.


But as it was bound to, the time came to leave and go to the hospital.

You know, men don't often express or show emotion as much or as strongly as women. But I caught Hubby's misty eyes on Jackson on more than one occasion. I know this was really hard for him too.

Jackson was so good, even though he did get a bit fussy and let us know he was hungry.


I held up okay, until that horrible moment when I handed little Jackson over to the anesthesiologist.


I could only turn into Hubby's chest and cry.

We were told it would take about two and a half hours from the time they put him under to the time they woke him up.

Not bad considering we had to wait over five hours with Alayna's procedure.

About two hours later, Dr. Siddiqi (pediatric plastic surgeon) and Dr. Riva-Cambren (neuro-surgeon) walked into the waiting room and told us that Jackson's surgery went perfectly and no blood transfusion was needed.

I started crying all over again.

Hubby asked why I was crying? Things had gone so well! But that was exactly it. I just felt so much relief and gratitude.


About half an hour later, the call came that "one parent of Jackson" could go see him in recovery.


In truth, if I had known what I would find, I may have sent Hubby.


I suppose I expected to see something like what Alayna looked like. Still pretty sedated, doped up on pain killer, laying there all wrapped up in clean, white bandages.

Instead, I could hear him screaming from down the hall. I found him crying and crying, being held by a nurse who was trying to console him with a bottle of water, the bed and blankets he was wrapped in was smeared with the orangey-red iodine they had used on his head. It looked so much like blood.

They handed him off to me, hoping I could calm him down and possibly make him eat.

But all he did was scream and scream, and all I could do was sit there and cry while feeling to utterly helpless.

I hated it. So much.

They gave him a couple doses of pain meds but it didn't seem to make a dent.

After what felt like an eternity, they told me they were going to move him up to his room. I set him back in the bed and we walked out to the hallway where we met up with Hubby and a dear childhood friend of mine, Seth, who had stopped by.

Even though it was obvious, all I seemed capable of doing was to stand there and repeat over and over that Jackson wouldn't stop crying. I couldn't do anything to help him, he just wouldn't stop.

He screamed all the way to the room where I once again held him, trying to calm him as they gave him some oxycodone.



When they fed him the oxycodone, he seemed to realize he was hungry and I was able to feed him while the drug took effect and he finally, blessedly, calmed down.


He continued to whimper or burst out into sudden fits of pain or discomfort. It was always bad when they had to draw blood or check vitals.

Hubby and I took turns holding him for hours at a time, not wanting to put him down.




At some point in the early morning hours, he was calm and comfortable enough to lay in his bed so all three of us could get a couple hours of sleep.

TO BE CONTINUED...

14 super cool people speak:

Lalani said...

Your family was in my thoughts all day. Praying for your comfort and Jacksons peaceful recovery.

Marcie said...

Thanks for posting. I've been anxiously awaiting to hear how it went, checking your blog every few hours to see if you posted. We are thinking and praying for you too. I hated the part about Jackson screaming and not being comforted. It totally made me cry. I can't imagine that. I hope he's eating and sleeping well and heals quickly.

Anonymous said...

He is STILL the God of Miracles!!
Thank you for taking time to share. All of you are in our constant thoughts, hearts, and prayers.
Love Maria

Katie said...

Oh the iodine! I remember thinking after one of Josh's surgeries that if we could just give his head a good scrub it would all be so much better! So glad to hear things went so well.

Lisa S said...

My prayers are with you.

Sue said...

Reading this post, I was crying right along with you…and praying for quick relief and healing for your little Jackson.

Hugs.

Michelle N. said...

Brings tears to my eyes just reading your post. Hope he continues to get well.

Raelyn said...

Serene....
"He also said that since they've started doing this method of surgery to fix craniosynostosis roughly seven years ago, he as easily seen over 200 children.". Wow. 200 children?! Well, that should ease a mother's nerves.... Correct? ;)
"He took the blood draw like a champ.". That's because. Jackson is a champ!! ;-D
Jackson's craniosynostosis reconstructive surgery jumped from 9:00 AM to 10:15 to 11:45?! Now that sucks!! It only means more restless waiting!! :-(
"But when the chief pediatric plastic surgeon at a major children's hospital is doing your surgery, there are bound to be serious cases that require his immediate attention. I only hope whomever needed his attention right away is okay.". More waiting!! Oh no!! I would have been considered a more "serious" case!! Mom just told me the other day that my craniosynostosis was so very severe that I'd been suffering from terrible migraines, according to Dr. J., so I shut down, stopped sucking her breast milk, and lost weight!! I just quit!! Then, Dr. J. went in, reconstructed my skull, and all was well!! Yeah, by God's Grace, I'm "hard to kill"!! ;)
"Jackson was so good, even though he did get a bit fussy and let us know he was hungry.". Poor baby!! :-(
"About two hours later, Dr. Siddiqi (pediatric plastic surgeon) and Dr. Riva-Cambren (neuro-surgeon) walked into the waiting room and told us that Jackson's surgery went perfectly and no blood transfusion was needed.". Thanks be to God!! ;-D
Oh, Friend. Your situation of Jackson's post-op reaction pained me to read!! Break. My. Heart!! Poor baby!! Poor Mama!! Poor Daddy!! :-(
Hugs and prayers!! Keep us all updated, please!! ;)
--Raelyn
PS. I am going to post an update on Jackson on my main Blog, Beautifully Unique. Either today. Or tomorrow. I will let you know when. ;)

Holly said...

Serene, I have been stalking your blog for quite a while now, and feel like we're friends. I am so happy Jackson's surgery went well, but so sad about the aftermath. Hopefully you guys are able to get some sleep and recovery will be better from here on out. Love from Michigan!

Joe and Heather said...

Praying for strength for you and comfort and healing for your sweet little one.

balloongal said...

I understand the mixed feelings, some good things, some hard things. Continued prayers for you.

Larsen said...

hang in there!

Raelyn said...

Serene....
I did an update on Jackson on my main Blog, Beautifully Unique!! In your words. With purple font because, apparently, that is the Craniosynostosis color!! ;)
--Raelyn

Kourtnie :) said...

So glad it all went well. Continued prayers for a smooth recovery.

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