The boys were being a bit recalcitrant about getting into bed tonight so I chased Little Man up the stairs while he shrieked and waved his DS out of my reach. Knowing that his own bedroom door didn't lock, he ran into the girls' room, slammed the door shut, and locked it. I stood outside the door silently, just waiting, and because he's 9 he's impatient and sure enough, after about 15 seconds he popped the lock but didn't open the door, but rather pushed on it with all his might. He's a little guy, I'm not a little woman, so I pushed the door open enough to wedge myself in shoulder wide and just looked at him pushing and grunting and clearly using all his strength to try to push me out of the way without success. Trout glanced over her shoulder down from her upper bunk and ever so nonchalantly asked "Need a lil' backup down there, junior?"
I didn't sleep much last week. If you can imagine any eye-surgery-on-a-four-year-old worst case scenario, I certainly did, and between that and our efforts to be extra loving to Nemo in the days leading up to his surgery just in case one of those horrible things actually came to pass, sleep kept itself safely just out of my grasp. Who knew the worst part of all this would be keeping the child from eating or drinking anything before the surgery?
Wednesday the doctor's office called to say another child wasn't able to have surgery so they were changing the schedule and could we do surgery at 11, which would have meant getting to the hospital by 9? If I had more notice than an afternoon I probably could have, but we had to get our bigs on the bus at 8:30 and then battle rush hour traffic to get to the hospital, so I couldn't guarantee that we'd make it. The nice woman then called one of the other patients and they were better able to switch, so we were on for 12:45, actually a half-hour later than we were originally scheduled. Great, anxiety for an extra 30 minutes.
Thursday morning morning we had a brief panic attack when someone from the hospital who clearly didn't have the updated schedule called us to find out where we were and to make sure we were on for 11. Actually they called my husband's phone. But not mine. And mine was the contact number they were supposed to be using. And they didn't talk to him, just left a voice mail. I called them back absolutely freaked, because we had let Nemo drink some gatorade for breakfast to try to keep some of his requests for milk and cereal and cookies at bay, gatorade being one of the "clear" liquids he was allowed up until 3 hours before scheduled surgery time. They told me that they just then noticed that the doctor's office had called the day before and everything was resolved already. Thanks for the freakout for nothing.
Turns out they aren't so good at relaying information, because when we arrived at Registration the first thing they said was "Do you know you're having surgery in 15 minutes?" and then we explained, and then they said the same thing once we arrived at the surgery center desk. Nothing like a little confusion to ease a stressful situation, I tell you.
We didn't have to wait very long and at each step along the way they had lots of toys and television screens showing Disney channel or Nickelodeon and Nemo was thrilled at these distractions, which is good because he only asked us for milk or cookies or anything about half as many times as he had been. He tried negotiating "Okay, I'll just eat one bite of cookie, not a whole cookie, okay Mom?" Nope, not okay buddy.
We waited forever for all the paperwork and pre-op readings to be done, and then it was time. We gave Nemo the choice of who he wanted to go into the OR with him and he picked Daddy, so BigDaddyFish got all suited up. He said he wanted me at the last second, but it was too late. He took it well, I...well, not so much. But I held it together until they were out of the room. BDF came back less then 5 minutes later, saying that Nemo was shaking but he didn't cry or anything, he was brave.
Then, we had an hour and 15 minutes to kill. One of our wonderful friends had offered to come sit with us while the surgery was happening, and originally my instinct was to say no. It's not something I ever would have asked anyone for, BDF and I could handle it, but then I thought how nice it would be so I said yes. She told me "Okay, they have a waiting room at this spot, and I won't be able to be back with you, so if his surgery time is 12:15, I'll meet you in the waiting room between 12:30 and 12:45." She knew more about what to expect than we did, and it was a Godsend. We came out of the surgery area, I went to the rest room, and before I was back she was there.
We went to the cafeteria and ate lunch, and then I showed her my Kindle that I got for Mother's Day, and it helped to pass the time. I did well, I think, holding it together, until the time the surgery was supposed to be done came and went. Fifteen minutes, then fifteen more. She kept us talking, distracting us, and I honestly don't know what I would have done without her. We jumped every time someone came out, hoping it was for us, wondering what was wrong. I kept digging my fingernails into my hand, it was clenched so tightly into a fist. Finally, 45 minutes after the surgery was supposed to end, the doctor came out to talk to us and our friend hugged us and left. Carol, you are amazing, and I don't know how we can ever thank you enough. We are so grateful to have you in our lives.
The doctor said it had gone well, Nemo was doing well, and gave us our post-op instructions. After another 10 minutes or so we got to go back to recovery with him. He was coming out of the anesthesia still and was crying hard, those wracking sobs that shake the whole body. We tried rubbing his head and back but he was inconsolable, so I curled up in that blue recliner chair and held him while he faded in and out between napping and crying. They have two recovery areas, the first for when they are immediately coming out of anesthesia, and the second for the rest of recovery. He was mad, he just wanted to sleep, so we let him. He's a big kid, but I don't think anything quite prepares you for how small and vulnerable your four year old boy looks lying on that hospital bed in a ball, wracked with sobs because he hurts and he can't see. I think it hurt me as much as him, but I knew I had to be strong for him, so I just hugged him and held him and rubbed his back and told him I loved him and he'd be okay.
Once they moved us to the second recovery room, all he wanted to do was sleep. The nurse let him sleep for about 15 minutes, but then she wanted us to wake him and get him to eat or drink something. He wasn't having any of it. We offered popsicles, slushies, water - he wanted nothing. Vehemently. So we let him sleep. He got a whole bag of fluid, and then the nurse let us go home, because he was doing well and he hadn't had any nausea or vomiting at all. He just wanted sleep. So we took him home. He had his surgery at about 1pm and we were home by 5:30. He slept off and on for another couple of hours, then sat up and drank milk and ate a cookie, half a piece of bacon pizza, and half a donut. So much for not handling the anesthesia.
And other than having bloody eyes, (seriously, he looks like a little zombie boy, but I'll spare you the pics because it's gross) he's doing great. We have to put ointment in his eyes twice a day and he's....reluctant. He puts up the fight of a tasmanian devil. I have the bruises to show it. He doesn't care that it'll make his eyes heal faster, he doesn't like it and he won't have it. We've been to one post-op visit and he's healing nicely. We'll go back in another two weeks to get a new glasses prescription and see if we need to patch anymore. She warned us we might, because the surgery is a big fix but then they use the patching to fine tune things. But if he continues the way he has been, it won't be necessary. The difference is noticable, and already he's not as clumsy as he was, and I think it's because he can see better. He says he can see better.
So we're somewhat confined to the house for another week, because he can't get his head wet so he can't have a real bath or shower and he's a 4 year old boy. Dirty is his middle name. His last day of school is next week and we'll probably sponge bath him up enough so he doesn't stink and take him, because I don't want him to miss the little program they do for the parents and the friendship fruit salad that they make. At least now, he'll be able to get it in his mouth without quite so much difficulty.
I think my dog needs glasses.
Or maybe he has a similar affliction to mine - I'm short, and tend not to see things above my head. You want to keep something from me? Put it on top of the fridge. Or in the tallest cabinet. Cause I totally won't see it.
Last week, on our walk, we saw this:
The stupid dog almost stepped on it twice, and he totally didn't see it AT ALL. I guess toads don't have a smell, because he seems to smell everything else - certainly every single bird in the tri-state area, which he keeps trying to get me to let him try to catch, but he had no idea the toad was there.
Oddly enough, the toad didn't move a muscle either. I thought it might be dead, so I picked up a piece of a leaf and lightly touched it on the top of its head, and it blinked at me, so it was alive. I know if I was the size of half a tennis ball and a 30 pound, 18" tall, four legged beast was dancing around wildly over my head and all around me, I'd be trying to get the heck outta dodge. But the toad never moved, so we went on our merry way, after another photo.