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exam under anesthesia

April 20th, 2016 at 16:06

Today was Max’s exam under anesthesia, the end result of which was AMAZING. However, getting there was … fraught with awfulness.

We were in the first surgery slot, so we had to be at the hospital (LPCH, same operating rooms as last time) at 6am. I had Max mostly dressed the night before, and everything packed and ready to go, but my anxiety was through the roof so I went to bed after midnight and woke up at 4am. I got myself ready, put everything in the car, then woke Brandon up so he could help me wrangle Max into his seat. He was pretty quiet the whole drive save asking for water once (no go, peanut). We parked and went into the surgery reception, waited a little while with him wrapped up in a blanket the entire time, and eventually got ourselves back into the staging/recovery area.

I got sleepyface all dressed in his pre-op clothing, and then asked the nurse if we could give him some oral Versed beforehand to help his anxiety — which had gone over literally awesomely at the ER when this all first happened. Not so much this time, it was difficult to wrangle him into even trying it and then after doing so, he flat-out refused to touch it again. Three of us had to try to bribe him and then ultimately force him to take it, and his gag reflex hit and he spit a bunch of it all over the both of us, then cried. The nurse and the person from child life were really caring and understanding of his angst, but then the anesthesiologist showed up and wanted to give him more, but he seemed to have gotten enough into his system that he was feeling a little better.

But not better enough that he was *at all* interested in the mask that they use to administer anesthesia! He wanted nothing to do with it; he hadn’t opened his eyes yet all morning and wasn’t about to and he didn’t want to see it or touch it or sniff it or discuss it. We did get him to talk about scents to put in the mask, and he smelled strawberry and watermelon and ultimately he decided on orange, but we also realized that it would be better if I went into the OR with him to help him pass out before they did all the necessary stuff.

So, we changed me into a super awesome OR outfit and I helped to wheel him back. I decided that we would pretend that the masks were SCUBA masks, but he still wasn’t having it, so I was laying very close to him, over him, talking to him and telling him about the sorts of things Brandon and I saw underwater while the anesthesiologist put the gas sort of blowing in the direction of his face. He asked what the funny smell was and one of the nurses brilliantly mentioned that she forgot to wear socks that day, so we all chastised her and then I said, “Hey, let’s smell the orange smell to cover up her foot smell!” He let us put the mask on, and then I motioned to the anesthesiologist to attach the gas, and suddenly Max started screaming. I could tell that it was going to be something he wasn’t going to remember, though, and he passed out REALLY fast afterwards, so they walked me out and I went to the waiting area (after divesting myself of the fanciness).

I barely had time to get myself a soda and something to eat when they were telling me they were wrapping up the surgery. After the 5 hours of awful last time I sat in that waiting room, I was in disbelief — like, this felt really good. (It was also weird being there when other people were there, as opposed to the weekend! Oh! And being less sleep-deprived!) Dr. Cooper came in and looked at me and said, “It could NOT have gone better.” And we hugged. THE NEWS IS SO GOOD!

Good stuff:
– No infection! Woo!
– They removed 3 of the 8 stitches, because they had come loose, and the wound near them was well-healed.
– His pupil is round again!
– His retina looks awesome still!
– We scheduled his follow-up to remove the rest of the stitches!
– He can go back to school!
– His lens appears to still be clear!

Just … stuff (as in — things to keep an eye on):
– There is some scarring across the cornea. This will likely cause an astigmatism at the least.
– His lens was obscured by the scarring and stitches so it could have a small cataract that we won’t be able to see until the stitches are removed.
– There is vascularity across the bottom of his eye developing, most likely from the healing process.
– His optic nerve is inflamed, possibly due to the injury. (We’re treating with steroids.)

I was like, elated. This is really good stuff, yo.

It took Max a long time to wake up and finally I started putting his stuffies all over his head and poking him. :) I brought him home to see my mom and Brandon, and we built the egregiously large Lego set we bought as a reward (which includes both Ant-Man and Giant Man). THIS IS SO GOOD!!!! ALL THE PUNCTUATION!!!!

We’re going to see Dr. Cooper again next week, and like I mentioned, have the stitches removed in May. :)

One Response to “exam under anesthesia”

  1. Margaret Says:

    I am so happy to hear all the good news!! Max is a trooper and so are you and Brandon.

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