I’m thrilled to report that E’s surgery was a resounding success!
K and I woke up at the injurious time of 5 a.m. so we could be prepared to get to the surgical center by 6:15. We weren’t sure if the roads would be icy or congested with traffic, so we wanted to leave some cushion.
My intent was to wait until just before leaving to change E’s diaper and clothes and put him in a coat. I knew he’d be grumpy with the requirement of an empty stomach. He woke up a lot earlier than I had intended and was in happy spirits before promptly losing his shit in an epic meltdown. K and I had to continue bustling about to get ready to leave while trying without success to console him. K was also teary from the stressful experience, bracing himself for the possibility that this response could continue up until the point of surgery.
I’m certain the screaming E woke up half of the neighborhood when we put him in his car seat for the departure. I sat in the backseat with him and, after a few more moments of tears, he settled down.
When we got to the surgical center, we registered and were whisked back to a room, where a nurse conducted an intake. E was in great spirits and charmed every employee who walked by. We then met with the anesthesiologist and nurse anesthetist. We were slightly concerned that they’d reschedule his surgery because E has yet another cold, but the anesthesiologist felt his vitals and energy were strong enough to move forward.
E was abruptly taken back to surgery and we barely had time to give him a last-minute kiss. K and I trudged, exhausted and stressed, back to the family waiting area.
I kid you not – the surgeon came to talk to us after only five minutes. He said that the surgery went well and that it was aptly timed because he has another ear infection. He gave us antibiotic ear drops to use and told us that E would have some bloody drainage from his ears, which is normal, albeit gory looking.
After about fifteen more minutes, we were called back into the recovery area, where a nurse was holding and cuddling with our smiling, somewhat groggy son. The nurse reported that he did well, didn’t cry at all, and spent the majority of his time in recovery charming patients and staff alike. We cuddled with him in one of the large recliners in the recovery section, gave him a bottle, and slowly changed him back into his pajamas before heading home.
We were all really sleepy from the ordeal and lack of sleep the night before, so we took a luxurious three-hour nap together in our bed. Throughout the remainder of the day, E played and ate mostly as he normally would, but took longer than usual naps as his anesthesia continued to wear off. Toward the evening, it was obvious that his ears were bothering him and we gave him pain medication to try to make him more comfortable.
After an abnormal amount of daytime rest, E was impossible to get to sleep at night. K tried everything. At one point, K reports that E was jumping in bed between us and I groggily turned to him and, in a sleeping med induced haze, said, “What… the… fuck…?” E was wild but eventually went to sleep between us, leaving us very sleepy the next day.
I’ve already noticed a couple of major changes since E’s surgery:
- E can definitely hear sounds more clearly. The slightest sound causes him to swivel his head around, which doesn’t bode well for going night-night in an old house with a creaky floor.
- For the past few months, E has been an absolute nightmare during diaper changes, kicking, screaming, and wrestling to try to flip onto his tummy. I chalked it up to a normal developmental response to having better things to do than sit there while someone changes your diaper. Almost immediately after surgery, while he still might express displeasure, E will lay on his back for diaper changes. It’s clear to me that being horizontal was exacerbating the ear pain!
- E is also exploring his sounds a lot more and seems to really enjoy yelling louder than I’ve ever heard him. I’m curious to see if he has a developmental explosion as it relates to verbal skills.
Thanks for all of the support, positive energy, and well-wishes, dear readers. K and I are very happy that we made this decision for our little guy, even though it was anxiety provoking.