Today was a rough day.
As I’m typing, Alexander is happily playing away with a musical toy– mostly oblivious to the rather stressful day his parents had. I continue to feel fairly relieved that he won’t remember too much, if anything, about the details of our many, many drives to the children’s hospital. So while he continues to hit a switch that plays the alphabet song again and again and again, I’ll share what happened to us today.
Though our Monday was supposed to be a quiet day with a visit from a museum friend, we ended up spending most of it at the children’s hospital ER hearing the phrase “sedation team” repeated over and over. Though we have been a little concerned with how Alexander’s lip has been healing over the past few days, today was a turning point. During our little man’s morning bottle, Brian noticed that Alexander’s nasal stent (ie the little tube keeping his new nostril in place) seemed to be moving. After a few squirts met by an angry child, we saw that the plastic tube had completely dislodged and was hanging in his mouth, held by a few sutures. Insert us promptly freaking out.
Alexander just seemed annoyed, but we jumped into action– me cancelling my morning plans, Brian calling off work, and us contacting our surgical team and trying to not sound too panicked. They asked us if we felt comfortable trying to reinsert the stent on our own at home, or if it looked pretty bad. Brian and I looked our our son, with the equivalent of a bendy straw hanging from his nostril, and started to laugh. Our response was to pack things up and get ourselves downtown during morning rush hour. Though we were both fairly stressed out, we gathered up a few things, stopped at the nearest Dunkin for some parental rocket fuel, and hustled down to the Comer ER.
Though I’d happily erase today’s events in a heartbeat, we got to meet a lot of really friendly and compassionate medical staff today. The ER folks were awesome, and frankly, the ER was pretty darn comfortable in the grand scheme of ER triage rooms. The plastic surgery team (who operated on Alexander) either doesn’t get many ER calls or was really eager, because we were told they were stalking the ER admissions all morning. We were in our room for just a minute or so, when the plastics team and the head of the ER stopped by. The news was the unpleasant one we were expecting– that Alexander’s nasal stent had to be removed/replaced, and that his lip adhesion had failed.
Brian and I were pretty bummed that all the stress and pain Alexander had gone through for the lip work was for naught, but we tried to stay positive. He did have his ear work done, his lip has been drawn in a tiny bit, and we’re still assuming that the palate work has held. In order to try and fix the stent problem, the plastics team first suggested that Alexander be sedated for the procedure.
The rest of our morning was somewhat of a haze, as we were moved to the hospital sedation unit (who knew that existed??), where I heard the word “sedation” mentioned once at least every sentence. We signed a ton of releases, watched a bit of Food Network while waiting for the sedation and plastics team to assemble (doesn’t that sound official?) Alexander was angry because he wasn’t allowed to eat, but the nurses and physicians in the team were really friendly, and Alexander gave out high-fives amid a few whimpers. We tried to put on a brave face for Alexander and prepared mentally for our little man to go through the equivalent of outpatient surgery under anesthesia.
At the eleventh hour (which was really around lunchtime), the Attending of the plastics team on duty arrived, who we thankfully knew from last week’s surgery. He advised just to remove the stent and not replace it, which would eliminate the need for any sedation. He was frank with us about the lip adhesion fail, but he was also optimistic about allowing Alexander to heal before trying something again. The whole trip down, I think Brian and I were worried about our little guy going into surgery again pronto.
It wasn’t a pleasant experience, but we were able to cut all of Alexander’s sutures without sedation, and soon we were able to feed him lunch and get discharged. We were more than exhausted after our stressful day and a little let down that Alexander’s second nostril is only a fond memory until his next surgery. Alexander doesn’t seem any worse for wear, and frankly, he’s a lot happier now, even with the surgical problem.
As I wrap this up, our little guy is sliding a switch on his toy that actives a sad trombone sound. Over, and over, and over. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.
My thoughts exactly, little man.