Thursday, February 3, 2011

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Pre-Surgery Fun...





We're home from Shriners Hospital in Philadelphia. It was a rough day. We got up at 12:30 AM, left home at 1 and arrived at Shriners (with the help of our terrific Shriners chaffeurs) at 5:45 AM. Aaron's surgery was scheduled for 11 AM, but the OR staff asked us to be there at 6:30 in case we got bumped forward. As it turned out, we were: whoever had the first slot was a no-show, and Aaron went into surgery around 8 AM.


Aaron went into the hospital happy and trusting, ready for another routine trip to the doctor's office. We tried to prepare him for what was coming, but it was difficult because the whole thing came upon us so fast-- we were dropped into a empty slot on less than a day's notice.  He did fine until he awoke from his anesthesia. Then he was absolutely inconsolable.  He cried for hours.  It was hard to watch.  It is in those times of watching his grief and anger and pain that we feel so helpless to comfort him. Watching him try to self-soothe by rocking or banging his head is heart-wrenching.  He finally calmed down after about three tearful hours in the van.



Everything changed after we stopped for a meal, when we set him down on his new casts and he figured out that he could walk. This seemed to be an important revelation to him. His whole attitude changed after that, although he was still uncomfortable. I know that part of his behavior was a reaction to all of the anesthesia, and that he was angry about the sudden and ill-explained change in what had become routine casting trips. Chances are that he will remember little of those first hours after the surgery.  Honestly, that doesn't make it easier.

Tonight he is content, although he looks like he has been run through the wringer a couple of times.  I don't think Rob or I would win any beauty contests either.  It's been a draining day.  How grateful we are for all of the prayers and love sent our way, and for the dedication of the men and women of the Acca Shrine transportation group. It would've been so much worse if we'd had to drive for ourselves.

As for the results, they were a bit disappointing. The goal of the surgery today, a "bilateral tenotomy," was to nick his Achilles' tendons so that they could be stretched enough to bring his feet down to "plantigrade," heels and toes on the floor. Unfortunately, his ankles are so stiff with scar tissue from earlier (non-Shriners) surgery that merely releasing the tendons a bit wasn't enough to bring his heels down. So it's more "casting calls" back to Shriners for us in the coming weeks, trying to get his heels down yet again.

Still praying for Masha and Eddie. 

19 comments:

  1. Anesthesia certainly does strange things to people - after my husband had surgery, he was cursing out the nurses and was downright nasty - nothing like the real him !! I'm sure Aaron will be OK after a good night's sleep :)

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  2. Julia, so glad that things went well with the surgery although not so fun for poor Aaron. Praying that there isn't any added pain for him, and that you all get some good rest tonight!!

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  3. Awww...poor sweetheart. Glad that is over with. My 18 year old son had surgery yesterday and he doesn't remember all the things we talked about for about an hour or two after he came out of his anesthesia. I'm certain Aaron won't remember it at all. :)

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  4. Bless his heart! We will be praying for you all!

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  5. Thinking of and praying for you all.

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  6. Oh my - where did you find the energy to post? I am grateful all went well - although not as well as you had hoped. I will pray those heels come down with the casting. This would be so difficult with a child that you could communicate with - I can not imagine how hard it is when you have a communication problem. I pray you all get a good nights sleep! and have a relaxing weekend. He sure looks like such a happy boy - we can't wait to meet him.

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  7. Glad you made it home safely!

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  8. Sorry it didn't go as well as hoped. And I know it's hard to send your child into surgery, not to mention trying to console them afterward. Praying for you all!

    PS I love that Aaron loves his Pooh bear!

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  9. So glad you are all home safe and hoping you get a good, restful night of sleep. Praying for you and yours.

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  10. Oh you poor dears . . . Aaron's reactions to his hospital trips makes me wonder so much how things will go with Katya. I know hospital trips/Doc trips were traumatic enough for Kristina at first (and even after 5 years she still gets very nervous) but thankfully she didn't need major stuff--blood draws, ultrasounds and the like were bad enough. The other week I saw a Shriner's bucket at a business place and I threw in my change in hopes that it would help someone like Aaron. Maybe it will even go to help with his care--oh happy thought! ;-) Blessings and comfort to you all.

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  11. Glad to hear you made it home safe. Praying for you. Praying for Aaron.

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  12. Good to hear that you are home and that things went mostly well. Sorry to hear about the scar tissue, that stuff is horrid and gets in the way of SO much, grrrr.

    My heart breaks when I read about how upset he was. I remember that helpless feeling all too well, and I don't miss it.

    Sending you all tons of love, and hoping that you get a good sleep!

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  13. What a whirlwind! Glad you guys are back home and hopefully Aaron will rest easy tonight.

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  14. Post-anesthesia wakeups have been some of the worst moments in my parenting life, Julia! It's so hard to watch and you can't help them. I truly feel for you. I'm praying he has a fast and easy recovery.

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  15. My home-grown 3 yo completely freaked after being under to get a tooth pulled...tried to pull iv's out, screaming and crying for 2 hours...

    Some kids just get like that instead of all groggy and cuddly..

    You did good mom, hang in there!

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  16. Before my daughter's surgery(at 5-1/2mos.),she had to go 24 hrs. with just pedialyte. Then overnight with something in her IV that cleaned out her system. She was in agony from the cramps and cried so hard the entire night. My mother walked right by her in the morning without recognizing her. Her face was completely swollen from screaming so much that she was unrecognizable! Something I will never forget!

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  17. I think he might have been wearing one of Brian's sweatshirts, looks great on him and I hope he was at least comfy for his ordeal. The picture with him pushing Pooh is so sweet. I just felt like crying myself when I read about the rest of the day. God Bless.
    Laurie

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  18. Poor precious Sweetie. (((HUG))) It has to be so confusing for him. But even during it all he just never takes a bad picture does he?! :o) He is so darn cute and so photogenic (I think that's the word) even when he's not happy. His photos always make me smile!
    We are praying.

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  19. so sorry for the little guy! I hope he is feeling better now!

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