Thursday, January 14, 2016

Surgery Day

I'm sitting in a room that's part well-designed hotel and part hospital room.  The usual equipment is there, but it comes served with a side of pretty textiles, warm paint, and innovative furniture.  The TV is stocked with movies and the bathroom has modern colored subway tile.  We have a corner room on the 8th floor, overlooking house rooftops to the south and the airport and part of the university campus to the west.  I'm settled in on a mattress that was previously the back cushion to a double seat and table earlier today.  Along the other window is another window seat that's ready in case Craig comes in on his way back from Toronto overnight.  And in the center of it all is my little boy, my little trooper, finally sleeping after one of the longest days of his life.

It has been a long day for all of us.  I was up at 5am, and Craig and Jacob eventually followed suit.  My parents came into town last night and slept over to be with Carter all day.  We were supposed to be here by 6:30.  Strangely, everything was up in the air the day before when I called for our surgery time, and they originally told me he didn't have a set time and to call back this morning at 8:30.  But when I called the doctor's secretary (a last-ditch suggestion from the surgery department), she texted the doctor and called me with the 6:30 time.  Not sure what happened there, but we got here just a few minutes late.  We checked in and shortly after were called back to the pre-surgery area.  Everyone was in pretty good spirits, joking and laughing.  We sat there for quite a while with various preparations from time to time.  Eventually it was time to go back, and Craig got to don a pretty funny suit and go back with Jacob for the anesthesia.  We went for a second breakfast in the cafeteria, since the surgery was expected to be an hour and a half, and hung out there for a bit.

We headed back to the waiting room, and we had barely gotten settled in when the surgeon came out and told us that he was done.  Everything had gone fine, but when they got in there they could see that the tumor had busted out the back of the bone a bit (from what we could understand), which necessitated a metal plate to stabilize it all.  It looks like he won't be able to put weight on it for a month, and then he'll have another month to recover before we can get back to normal.  On the bright side, that will carry us almost to spring, so at least we have something to keep us distracted, right?  Ha.

After a while we headed back to the recovery room, where he was just starting to wake up.  He was very tired but was talking pretty quickly.  Unfortunately, he also got nauseous pretty quickly.  The nurse gave him some medicine, but a couple minutes later he threw up (thankfully all clear water, but it was pretty awful for him nonetheless).  Eventually the anti-nausea medicine and the pain medicine found a balance, and while he wasn't perfect, he was stable.  It was right around that time that Craig had to cut out and head up to Toronto for tonight's Knighthawks game, and shortly thereafter we got our room upstairs.  Lori came to hang out in the early afternoon, at which point I headed down to grab a late lunch.  Jacob watched a couple movies (including one of his favorite Scooby Doo ones), and my parents arrived with Carter later in the afternoon.  We had a nice visit, and Carter was loving the view from the top.  My co-worker met me downstairs with a present for him, a few more drawing supplies and a few Star Wars-themed items.  I picked up dinner from the cafeteria on my way back up and ate it in the room.

As the night went on, Jacob got nauseous again.  They tried the same drug they gave him earlier, to no avail.  Lori left before 8pm, he threw up a little again, and then he got another anti-nausea medicine that put him to sleep as we listened to Craig's broadcast.  I've been hanging out ever since, catching up online and typing this.  I'm hoping for a good, restful night, but I know this is a hospital so that is doubtful.  The room is rather quiet, however, aside from a periodic random bang from the bathroom (the next room's door?) and some outside city noise.  We get periodic visits from the nurse and the tech, though, and I know better than to assume Jacob will sleep all night.  Between the setting, the pain, the nausea, and whatever else, I'm sure he will wake up at some point.  Which means I will wake up at some point.  But he just looked so tired all day, red circles around his eyes and very little movement, so I know he needs the rest.  He barely ate or drank, so despite the IV I'm sure that's not helping.  Moving his leg hurts, and peeing is still a major challenge.  He refuses to attempt the walker.  So, we still have a ways to go to feel like we can go home with confidence, but hopefully the morning will bring a renewed energy to all of us. 

Mostly I'm just sad that Jacob has to go through this.  Despite our challenges, he was a trooper.  He wasn't combative and was minimally cranky.  He even scooted himself from his gurney to his bed, and was just content hanging out.  He had periods of chatting incessantly about Minecraft as he built, and he stayed pretty calm despite the puking episodes.  He really did pretty well.  Of course, he did hit the nurse call button when I told him not to because the medicine wasn't working fast enough, and I think he needs to gain confidence in learning to use his arm and good leg to move around, but all things considered, he did well.  I'm proud of him.

I will have more stories to tell and some pictures soon, but I think for now I'm going to get some sleep while I can. 

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