Monday, July 23, 2012

Surgery Day...

Surgery Day - Updated in (almost) real time...

7:45am:  Mommy was attacked and bitten by red ants in the parking lot and brought an ant family into the hospital with me that had attached to my purse.  Of course I did.  

Dear God, please don't let this be a preview of our day. Amen. 

 Gavin slept for some of the ride and is happy as can usual! We are waiting to be called back. I will continuously update this entry throughout the day with his progress, so keep checking back!

8:30am:  Gavin was patient, sweet, giggly and flirtatious in the pre-op area while we met with the nurse, the ENT surgeon, the Operating room nurse and then the anesthesiologist.

We opted not to give Gavin Versed, the amnesia sedative, which they often give kids before they take them back to the O.R.  We realized during Gavin's last round of surgeries that the drug is mainly to help kids to separate from their families - often a traumatic moment for them.  Gavin is always happy to get away from us... just kidding.  He really never had any separation anxiety - but he does have issues with sedation.  So adding extra sedatives for no reason doesn't seem smart to us.

The only important question I ask on Gavin's behalf before they wheel him away?  Do you know the words and tune to "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and "Twinkle Twinkle?"  

Gavin was brought back around 9am.  We had a report at 9:15 that he went to sleep very easily under anesthesia.

Dr. O'Reilly just came out to talk to us - the surgery part was over at 9:30!  Gavin did very well.  He said he was quiet and cooperative (as expected!) before he was put to sleep.  The doctor said, "He was just looking around - acting like he was there for a haircut!"  He placed the tubes without issue - and when he moved onto the adenoids he remarked that they were HUGE.  He thinks the surgery will help Gavin with breathing, snoring, eating, etc.  But he also cautioned that he has an abnormally shaped pharynx, so we'll have to wait and see if removing the adenoids makes as big of a difference as we hoped.

They started the ABR (hearing test) immediately after the surgery.  We are hoping, praying and thinking positive that it will come back with the same news as before - that he doesn't need hearing aids.  It would be quite a bummer to us if we got different news.

Stay tuned!

11:15am:  Just met with the audiologist who completed Gavin's ABR.  Thank GOD - his hearing is still considered normal.  He has the mildest, slightest loss in his left ear, but it's so slight that he does not require hearing aids.  They suggested we always ask for "preferential seating" when he's in school - but he isn't considered "hearing impaired."  I'm so relieved.

They should be calling us back to see him soon.  He's getting set up in recovery.  This is when it could get tough - I'll keep you posted!

12:10:  We just got word that Gavin was taken straight to the ICU - skipping the recovery room - needing breathing support.  It doesn't appear that he's in danger - but we haven't seen him yet.  Please keep him in your prayers.  We're getting anxious waiting.

12:20:  Gavin is not doing very well at the moment.  I knew when the clock kept ticking...ticking...ticking away with no word about him that something was up.  I was right.  While we sat in the waiting room, they were trying to help our little boy who was struggling to breathe.  After some reported worrisome moments, they finally got him settled on a BiPAP machine and a nasal tube into his airway to help him breathe.

He's sleeping now, thank God, because they said they had some issues trying to get his pain under control.  He was obviously uncomfortable, but they didn't want to give him Morphine or any other sedating pain medication because of his respiratory distress.  He's now on Tylenol and Nubain by IV around the clock.  They put a soft neck collar around his neck to keep his head positioned in such a way that his airway won't close on him or become obstructed in any way.  

I knew to pack a suitcase...who knows how long we will be here.

Ed and I are nervous, as I'm sure you can understand.  We'd appreciate any prayers and positive thoughts sent Gavin's way.

2:30pm:  It's been a rough few hours.  Gavin has been in and out of sleep, but very agitated and uncomfortable when he's awake.  At one point, while Ed and I watched him crying and shaking in pain - I begged the doctor to give him something extra.  She agreed to give him a smidge of morphine and that really seemed to take the edge off.  He fell asleep and missed a visit from his Occupational Therapist, Miss Stephanie, who works in the hospital and stopped in to check on him.

The doctor suspects that it will be a few days before Gavin is weaned off all the respiratory aids.  I packed accordingly with an extra bag filled with hope that he surprises everyone with a quicker recovery.

Thank you for all of your encouraging notes, prayers and get well comments.  I'm relaying them all to Gavin.

8:20pm:  This will be my last entry for the day.  I'll start a new entry tomorrow.  

Man, it's been a rough afternoon and evening.  Gavin had several bouts of agitation and crying spells.  Each time they decided to suction him.  Suction is tricky since they can't go too deep where his surgery was.  He has a lot of swelling that is very tender and painful.  But he also has a lot of secretions that make it uncomfortable and difficult to breathe.  Suction is also scary.  In order to get the tubes down his nose and throat, they need to remove his BiPAP mask.  When they do, his oxygen saturation plummets.  Tonight it was into the high sixties.  Not good.  So they suction - quick put another mask with a bag attached on him and breathe for him, essentially - and then suction - repeat - until they can put the BiPAP mask back on.

Ed and I are very grateful to Miss Sara.  She spent the night last night so she could get up with Brian this morning.  We were gone by 6:30am!  Then she took him to school...picked him up and gave him a new Angry Bird ball...

fed him lunch...they made a "Get Well Soon" banner for Gavin...

and then they played some backyard golf! 

 She even fed him dinner and put him to bed, all so Ed could stay here with Gavin and me all day.  He went home after dinner and will be back tomorrow.

Tonight I'll continue to stay parked next to Gavin.  Sometimes his mask loses it's seal and air whooshes up into his eye - usually his fragile eye.  If that eye gets dried out at all, his cornea could easily tear.  I have strict instructions from his eye surgeon to make sure that eye stays lubricated and protected.  So I'm "that Mom" when anyone comes in to fiddle with him.  Gavin is uncharacteristically clingy, which I love - but not under these circumstances.  

He has been holding my hand nearly the entire day.  And, if I'm lucky, he won't let go.  

Thank you so much, as always, for loving my little boy and sending well wishes his way.  It has meant a lot to us today.  And always.


  1. Kate, I am so happy that things are going well today. I want to thank you for the frequent updates on the blog. Praying for a speedy recovery for the little super hero. God Bless

  2. Praying for the world's shortest stay in the ICU for Gavin. Thanks for the updates!!!

  3. Poor little guy!

  4. Dawn (mommy101702)July 23, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    Saying prayers for your little superhero!

  5. Praying for a restful, HEALING sleep. Tomorrow will be a better day, I just know it! God bless your whole family!

  6. Thinking of you all & hoping Gavin has an easy night.

  7. Thinking about you both & hope you each get the rest you need.

  8. Kate, I sincerely hope that the morning brings a better report. Gavin will get lots of prayers from all your supporters tonite I am sure (me being one)! You need to get some rest as well! Best wishes, Corliss

  9. Sending you love and hugs and all good things!


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