Today was the BIG day, surgery day, for Beth to have a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy.
We got our girl up right before it was time leave, about 5:20am, changed her diaper, slipped her coat and hat on, and were on our merry way. She watched Cinderella on the way to the hospital, and although she was apprehensive when we first arrived, she quickly warmed up, and really impressed everyone with her Au-Someness, including her proud momma.
Once we were settled in Pre-Op, she set her bed for a tea party, which of course included her new favorite toy, the talking cookie jar. We had a lovely tea party, and even nurse Mary was offered tea, which she said was delicious. The great thing about Nurse Mary is that she was Henry’s pre-op nurse last December, when he had his back surgery and she remembered us. She also loved Beth, and could not say enough wonderful things about her, and even came to check on her in our private recovery room. The funniest part of our tea party was when daddy “ate” too many cookies and Beth scolded him: “Dad Pleeease! That’s IT, you go out there!” and pointed out in the hallway. Oh my, we all could not stop laughing, except Beth who seriously thought daddy needed a time out, until he tickled his way back into her good graces with her favorite shark puppet.
We were busy counting cookies when Dr. W came in to discuss the surgery and make sure all the prep was done. She greeted him quite happily and then something amazing happened. When he was leaving she wanted to shake his hand, just like mommy and daddy did. She was very cute and shy about it, but also beamed with pride when we told her how Au-Some she was. Not surprisingly, when the anesthesiologist came in, he was greeted with a shy smile and handshake right away. She did so well with all the staff and was playing, talking and smiling right up to when they took her choo-choo-ing away for the operating room. Dr. W said she was even fine back there until they put the mask on, then she started to get agitated, but was asleep before she could even cry.
We barely had time to make our calls saying she was in surgery and settle in the waiting room, when they called us to meet with Dr. W. her surgery only took about 35 minutes. He said her tonsils were HUGE and touching, which we already knew. He then explained that they rate adenoids on a scale from 1(normal/small) – 4(large/completely blocking sinus passage), Beth’s were a 3. Once we talked to doctor, they took me back to initial recovery room right away. She had been a bit wild when she woke up, so they gave her some medicine to calm her down in her IV, until I could get there. The second time she woke up, she cried for a few minutes, but quieted down quickly once she was snuggled in my lap. After that she was talking to Nurse Jan and was quite concerned for the other children in the recovery room. Many of them were crying, screaming, kicking, and biting the staff. Beth said: “Oh no mommy! I hear it, the babies crying, they sad.” Then when some of the monitors were beeping, she was talking to Jan about those. On the way to our private recovery room, she was talking up a storm and scripting the take-off sequence from Little Einsteins, which was actually quite appropriate, because of recliner on wheels could very well have been a magical rocket.
Once in the private recovery room, she was in-and-out of a very restless sleep, as her body tried to process the anesthesia. She was crying from disorientation, almost as much as pain, but she asked for water right away. We were so excited to see her drink! In her first hour-and-a-half of recovery she had drank almost 8oz of apple juice/water. Around 11am, we were able to get some pain meds into her by mixing them with juice. With the comforts of her weighted blanket and lovey, plus the Tylenol with Codeine, her coloring got much better and she finally settled into a peaceful sleep. Nurse Maggie took great care of our girl, and by 1:30 she had drank almost 13oz of water/juice and had 2 wet diapers, so we were ready to go home. It was such a relief to be taking her home, so she could recover in her own bed.
On the way home she watched the end of Cinderella, and drank a few more ounces of water, she even had a little smile when we got home. We brought her up and got her settled on the couch, and managed to get a few more ounces of water into her, before she fell asleep. That was the end of the smooth sailing. After that she would not drink anything else, especially any of the juices that we tried to mix her pain medicine into. After repeated attempts, she was so suspicious, that she would not drink water either. Then her temperature was going up, she was obviously in pain, and could not nap. I was becoming a sad, worried mommy, so I called the doctor. We ended up using Tylenol suppositories to help relieve her fever and pain, wrapped her neck with our cold rice sock, and just took turns cuddling her in the recliner. Finally after 4 hours, she took a few sips of water, which eventually led to a few ounces of water. Although she is not drinking as much as we would like, she is having consistent wet diapers, and we are doing the best we can to keep her comfortable. Henry and I will be taking shifts tonight to monitor her and be at her beck-and-moan. Praying she gets some rest and starts healing tonight.
Words cannot even express my gratitude for how this day unfolded. By the grace of God and my program, I was calm and confident all day. I just knew that she was going to be fine, and that she would be coming home with us. I just never imagined how well she would do with everything, from start to finish. So many of the staff commented on how well she was doing, what a pleasure it was to work with her, how sweet she was, how she didn’t seem autistic. That was when I saw my opportunity to spread some awareness and acceptance. I took advantage of the opening to brag about Early Intervention, our amazing school district, and our extraordinary therapists. I explained how important it is to get in-tune with your child and help them build on their strengths, because every child’s strengths present differently. I proudly told them that yes she is Autistic, and yes she is making wonderful progress and yes our Autistic children are wonderful blessings to all who know them. Every child is unique and every child should be celebrated, and hopefully today, I helped a few miracle workers understand that a bit better. What an absolutely amazing day, thank you for all your prayers and well wishes, because they certainly were felt and added extra magic to a miraculous day. So much to celebrate, our cup runneth over…
Autism Proud – Journey With Us – by Jest Tu Positive by Dorothy Stronglove is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.