I found myself in a familiar position yesterday, surrounded by familiar sights and sounds. And calm, but not at all thrilled about it. I spent most of the day sitting in a chair next to a hospital bed while the alarm for the oxygen saturation monitor squawked at me every few minutes.
@ had his tonsils and adenoids removed yesterday. The surgery went well, but recovery turned out a bit trickier.
We started our morning with an early breakfast-free start and a drive up to Stanford. He had a great anesthesiologist who sang Thomas the Tank Engine songs to him while he drowsed out on the way to snoozeville.
The docs had initial concerns about his history of lung damage and recent croup, but everything turned out to be fine and his airways were clear. Original estimates were an hour for the surgery, with an hour or two for recovery, putting us home around 12:30 or so.
If there's one thing you learn when you have a kid in the NICU, it's that all estimates are best ignored.
@ initially had breathing trouble while coming out of anesthesia, which isn't terribly uncommon for kids with his history. But after a couple of hours his oxygen saturation rate will was still inconsistent and hovering lower than normal. We could get him into a good zone with with "humidified blow-by" (humidified oxygen + air delivered by nebulizer) but he just wasn't maintaining on "room air" (no supplemental stuff).
The doctors advised that we stay the night so that we could continue to monitor his sats and have supplemental oxygen on hand.
There were no beds available, so we hung out in recovery watching other kids come and go. Recovery a noisy, chaotic place. Waking from anesthesia is rarely fun, even when you're breathing just fine. When another little boy was crying uncontrollably, @'s first response was to say he was sad that the boy didn't have a stuffed animal buddy to help him calm down.
We saw a lot of kids who spend far more time with the medical community than we do these days. You know that when the entire post-op staff knows a kid by name and condition you're seeing a kid who has seen far too much of the inside of a hospital in his or life thus far.
During the day, @'s sat range crept up the scale closer to 100 without such low drops. Around 5p, still in the recovery room, we decided that @ was stable enough to come home. Yay!
He zonked out in the car on the way home and had a quiet night -- even eating bread. He accepted his middle of the night medicine without complaint and happily woke up this morning at 7:30 to ask to watch his favorite show: Tougher in Alaska.
Now I just gotta keep the little guy drinking his gatorade and chomping otter pops (he doesn't like ice cream -- go figure) and all will be well.