The Fontan Surgery Part 1

My son’s surgery was now two weeks ago, and it went so so well!

The weekend of the 4th of July was a bit overwhelming.  We had to pack overnight bags for everyone, clean the house, and try to spend as much time together as we could before things started happening.  We took the family out to eat, got a redbox movie to watch, and scrubbed the house until the kids were complaining.BlanketBaby

Monday morning we had to drop the three girls and the baby off at baby sitters’ houses.  They all parted easily and were very excited to be playing with their friends. My husband and I were glad for the peace of the long drive but we also felt the solid finality of everything that was happening.

We got to the hospital right on time but sat in Registration for 40 minutes before I finally asked what the hold up was and they took us right back.  We registered and answered all the paperwork questions. This particular hospital has free movies that you can access over their WIFI so my son was sufficiently occupied watching UP.

When we got to the pre-surgical appointments we were ushered into a little room with a EKG Pre-Surgerybed.  The main nurse asked all sorts of health questions, the anesthesiologist came in and asked questions, and then one of the main surgical nurses (I actually think she was more than a nurse, but I cant remember her title…it wasn’t doctor) met us.  All of them gave us plenty of time to ask as many questions as we needed to.  We didn’t have very many.  We had logistical questions; when should we expect him to be out of surgery?

We did have to have his blood drawn.  I hate this part.  For me, I’m a hard stick and needles just make me feel icky. Watching my son get sticked isn’t easy either.  I had him sitting on my lap, holding his arms as well as I could, and then four people surrounded the bed to hold legs and assist with the actual blood draw.  Unfortunately, although his vein was prominent, the first stick was unsuccessful.  So they had to do the second stick on his other arm.  One of the nurses kept asking him if he wanted ice cream and sprinkles and chocolate and the like.  At first I thought it was fun but then I realized that I’d have to actually buy this ice cream that she was promising him!

After all the presurgical appointments we headed off to the Ronald McDonald House.  We got a large room, but I was dismayed to hear that we had too many people in our family to have everyone come stay. It meant that we could have the kids visit but it could not be an overnight trip, if we needed it to be.  We also discovered that the TV, DVD player and WIFI would not work sufficiently to play any shows. That was annoying…

They gave us a wipe set to wash him down with before the surgery, which we had to do both before bedtime and right when he woke up.  He couldn’t eat so we skipped the kitchen and went up to the hospital at 5:30 am.

Pre-Surgery playroomHe wasn’t called back to prepare until about 6:30 am, where we were given a gown for him to wear and sent off to the play room until the doctors needed us.  We had a few people stop by and visit, asking more history questions and giving us bits of information.

They gave my son a sedative to help him keep calm. This would allow him to be taken back for surgery without as much stress on his part.  Once he took this he started getting loopy. I got some really good cuddles and he actually told me he loved me. And he voluntarily kissed my cheek as he was leaving!

And then it was time.  At 700 the nurse took him back to the surgical room.

And we waited.  Waiting is the hardest part.

To be continued…

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