Now that I am thinking clearly, I figured I owed this story an end, at least an end to Part 1 of the action. Although, I am pretty sure most of my 15 or so readers are either on my text list or are my facebook friends or both, but whatever, here are the details.
The official name of the surgery was “gastrocnemius and soleus recession, bilateral”. The whole thing from them putting him to sleep to us being allowed to see him was just under 3 hours. Danny was brave right until the last few minutes, but then the anesthesiologist got his competitiveness going by asking if he could blow harder into the mask. And he could, until he was asleep.
The last hour of waiting was the hardest.
It also became abundantly clear that dealing with kids was somewhat unfamiliar to the hospital, because they let him wake up before they told us we could see him. So by the time we got there he was awake, terrified and screaming and the nurses hovering over him were nervously saying “Look, there’s your mommy! She’s here!”
I let Chris deal with the doctors and focused on hugging and soothing my boy. I know my presence helped, but the kid was scared and in pain. Through the hysterics it was hard to tell what was the biggest issue. I know over the next hour or so he did a lot of crying and screaming about the “castsess” hurting him and they gave him a lot of drugs. Nothing seemed to work. Aside from waiting to see him awake after the surgery, this was the hardest part. My boy was hurting and there wasn’t a damn thing I could do about it. But at least I knew the pain was temporary and that he was going to be okay, so the relief helped a lot.
During the screaming part of the day, the nurses kept trying to distract him. This boy has always been impossible to distract and yesterday was no exception. One of the nurses pointed at his gown and said “Oh, are those bears on your gown?” Danny gave her a death stare and said “Just give me the medicine,” leaving out the unspoken “bitch” that the look on his face clearly conveyed. Chris and I laughed and it helped.
Finally, they decided it might be muscle spasms and gave him some Valium, which did the trick. He fell asleep fitfully after that. When he woke up to complain about the pain he was whining and/or crying, but no longer screaming. Whining I could deal with. It was a definite improvement.
Because of all the pain he was in, the nurses thought we might want him to stay overnight, so they had a pediatrician come to talk to us. Once she made the overnight recommendation, my boy magically turned around. 5 years old and he’s already milking the system. I am so proud.
Long story short, after mix ups with the prescriptions (which Chris dealt with) and moving to a different recovery room, my boy was ready to go home that night. He was even joking around. I think the highlights of his day were peeing in a bottle (twice), farting on my hand while I was putting on his underwear and riding in a wheelchair. He pointed out the sites to the nurse as she wheeled him out and when I told the nurse that he only stopped talking when he was sleeping, he gave me a dirty look and said “Not funny, mom” and I knew my boy was going to be just fine.
He is going to need new casts and we (mostly Chris) have many sleepless nights ahead as he adjusts to his nighttime knee braces, but he’s a trooper with a good sense of humor, so we will make it through.