Saturday, May 30, 2009


Crew is scheduled for surgery tomorrow morning at 8:30. He and I will be headed out of here at 7. It's been a roller coaster of a week as far as this has been concerned. It's been on, off, tentatively on, and back around again.

This second issue (which was officially diagnosed tonight as a very mild hypospadia) really threw a wrench in things. But after dozens of phone calls and a whole lot of accommodation and fancy finagling by our pediatrician, a urologist at Primary's, and "our" beloved surgeon, we are back on tomorrow and both the hypospadia and the hydrocele will be corrected in a single surgery, here at UVRMC. Before the end of the month when our insurance expires.

Justin deserves all the kudos in the world for pushing this through and we are overwhelmingly appreciative to all of the doctors who graciously did everything in their power to get this arranged for us.

It's been an extremely stressful few days getting this all worked out and trying to make tentative decisions with less than all pertinent information, but in a weird way I'm kind of glad that everything was so chaotic because it took my mind off of the building tension I was feeling about him going into surgery at all.

For some reason, enduring (three) surgeries to get him home from the NICU didn't feel as hard as taking my big, healthy, happy, smiling, living-life-pain-free little guy back to surgery. OK, maybe it did, but I've blocked it all out.

Anyhoo...It really started to overwhelm me last weekend. I started thinking of him not being able to eat pre-op and taking him to the hospital starving and crying, him not understanding, etc. It was such a nightmare last time and he was a lot less aware of his situation back then. I started having bad dreams at night about him being back on the ventilator, envisioning what a 10-pound unconscious, drugged out Crew looks like. Ugh, it's been pretty bad. Plus, even though this is considered a very minor surgery compared with all of his previous trips to the O.R., general anesthesia is always a very tricky and risky proposition. We. hate. general. anesthesia. and. we. hate. ventilators. We hate having our tiny guy carved up and sad.

I am still feeling twinges of it, but I suspect the surgery schedule will be smoother than Primary's so he won't starve endlessly this time. And I'm feeling the happy adrenaline of having hurdled the other obstacles in our way, so I'm feeling a little more sane. And I will be very happy to have this surgery over and done with. If all goes well, we should be home tomorrow afternoon sometime.

I've found myself wanting to eat my entire refrigerator, but that's a post for another day. Man, I'm a stress eater.

So, please keep our little guy in your thoughts and prayers tomorrow. We'll be so glad to have this over and done!

Thursday Morning
Crew has just headed into surgery. We got up at 1 this morning for a bath and a final feeding. He thought it was really funny to have a bath in the middle of the night. After that, he woke up on his own just before 7 and we headed out right away to the hospital.

He was hungry when we arrived, but not overly so. He was a little fussy, looking for his breakfast while they were trying to get his vitals, but once he was reswaddled, he settled down again. When Daddy arrived after dropping Kinley and Tanner off at various destinations, he bounced him into a little morning nap.

At 9, the surgical team came in to answer questions and take him away. He woke up just as they were coming in, so he flirted with them briefly. The nurse walked him down the hall to surgery and he threw us some radiant smiles as he left us. He is oh, so cute, and oh, so sweet.

We expect the surgery to take a few hours. It's a little more complicated than the previous hernia surgery because we are now dealing with scar tissue and muscles that have already been weakened by the previous surgery. Plus, this is Dr. D.'s first time correcting a hypospadia (no, we aren't that concerned; it's a pretty simple procedure). However, with all of these factors, we've been asked to "be patient".

They won't bring him to his room until he wakes up. I'll be interested in seeing how long that takes. They say 15-20 minutes, but the last time he was on general anesthesia, he didn't come out for many many hours. I warned them that he is a light-weight, so we'll see. I wish we could be with him while we wait for him to wake up. That was how it was in the NICU, but it's a different set up this time, with a bunch of patients all waking up in the same room. Confidentiality, yaddah, yaddah.

Love this kid!

Thursday Late Afternoon
Crew is resting comfortably in his swing, settling in for what I expect to be a very long nap.

His surgeries are considered a success in that his hypospadia has been corrected and his hydrocele has been removed.

Now, do you remember when I said that it is really hard to read ultrasounds and get a definitive answer? Well, we had the ultrasound and received from the head radiologist firm and seemingly irrefutable confirmation that the pathway was wide open, but it turns out that Crew's hydrocele was not, in fact, of the communicating variety. The surgeon inspected it thoroughly, even found his old sutures, and the pathway is sealed shut, tight as a drum. And before you ask, yes, I believe him.

Might the hydrocele have eventually resolved and resorbed on its own? Maybe, maybe not. I'm inclined to think maybe it would have. I even started to strongly suspect recently that it wasn't a communicating hydrocele after all, but changed my mind after the ultrasound, of course. Regardless, it is taken care of and we don't have to worry about it one way or the other. It's been removed, complete with the lining, never to return again. And we had the other problem taken care of, though it was such a minor deformity/concern that we even briefly toyed with the idea of leaving it, with the possibility of needing to address it further down the road. Again, maybe, maybe not.

On the one hand, I'm glad that the issues are 100% resolved, and Justin frames his silver lining around the fact that it wasn't as bad as we all thought. He thinks it's a little weird that I'm disgruntled over things not being as bad as we expected. But I find myself being torn between being grateful that things weren't worse and feeling like a schmuck of a mom, carving up my child, putting him in pain, and throwing him to the wolves with all the inherent risks of surgery for two procedures that may or may not have even been necessary.

Blech. We did everything we possibly could to make the right decision. Everyone thought he had a communicating hydrocele, including me. We used extra diagnostic tools just to make sure and had all the best doctors involved in the process. We even had the director of radiology do the ultrasound himself (to the annoyance of the tech). And we still got it wrong.

Don't worry about me. I'll feel better about all of this in a few days when he's back to his old, spry self. I'll be happy that the hydrocele is gone, communicating or non-communicating. And I'll be glad we don't ever have to worry about the other problem.

I'm hungry. Suuuuuper hungry. And really tired. I'm going to rummage now.

Friday Morning
Oh, my land. I was up all night long with a sad, fevered, post-op baby that couldn't get comfortable. He's so pathetic. So am I, for that matter... Sure wish I had gotten some sleep the night before last...

Friday Afternoon

Crew is doing a teeny bit better. He has had a fever since last night that is finally under control by piggy-backing ibuprofen with the Tylenol. I haven't been able to do that in the past, but I got clearance this time from the team at Primary's as well as my pediatrician (instead of the after-hours on-call dial-a-nurse-at-midnight who told me that I couldn't do it before--under weight or something) and it seems to be helping a lot. He has a bunch of swelling that looks very painful, but they tell me it's "normal". Eesh. He is still not very happy, but he is no longer utterly miserable.

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