Friday, September 18, 2009


A quick update on Ethan's surgery.

Ethan did very well and the surgery went off without a hitch.  

They were late taking him back to surgery, so he didn't come out of the anesthesia until about 8p.  His O2 levels were good coming out of surgery.  They occasionally dipped into the 80s, but nothing like the 60s we saw after his hernia surgery.  

Sarah had pulled hospital duty on Wednesday, so she and Caleb headed home around 9 Wednesday evening and Ethan and I had a pretty quiet night.   He went to sleep a bit after 9 and had a very peaceful night.  He woke a couple of times, had some vicodin - tylenol concoction and was out each time in under 5 minutes.  They kep an 02 mask near him overnight to blow some pure oxygen on his face.

Thursday morning at 6, we were both awoken at 6a by Dr. Clueless ENT, who gave his typical cursory examination, only looking briefly at the thing he wanted to see and not paying any attention to anything else.  But he seemed to be content with what he saw and was out the door pretty quickly.

Surprisingly, Dr. Clueless said they wanted to discharge him that day.  That didn't jibe with the 2 day post op stay that they had talked about earlier.  So I asked the Kaiser pediatrician to come down and look at him holistically and see if that was kosher.  She did and was pleased with how he was coming along.  So, said we could be discharged any time. 

The morning was occupied by behind the scences bureaucratic discussions about Ethan's scheduled enzyme treatments.  The treatments are normally done in the outpatient clinic.  But since Ethan was in-patient, they couldn't treat him in an outpatient facility on the same day he was discharged.  The kaiser pediatrician came back and said we had two options, we could go home and come back on Friday for the infusion or the intermediate nursing staff could do the infusion in-patient that day.

When I asked which the doctor prefered, she said she'd rather have us go home and come back tomorrow.  I asked why and she said, well the in-patient pharmacy hasn't mixed this medication before and the nurses on the ward aren't trained to the protocol.

I asked if the medication prep was particularly difficult and she said no, and then asked if our normal nurse from the clinic could come oversee things if we were in-patient.  I told her I wasn't wild about the idea of going home and coming back tomorrow just to check some bureaucratic box.  She followed up with the various folks involved and they were able to do it in-patient.

Ethan continued to do well throughout the day.  We just had him on over the counter ibuprofen.  I was amazed that he didn't seem to need anything stronger after all of four different proceedures the day before.  But he's a super trooper!  

His energy level went up and down a bit throughout the day.  And at one point he got pretty shakey and his feaver went up, so everyone came in and looked him over and we backed the rate of the infusion down for a bit and then he was over it and better.

Sarah and Caleb came up around 630 and we hung out and played in the playroom while Ethan finished up.  We wrapped at the hospital around 8.

Ethan was thrilled to get home and was walking and crawling all over the place, including the top bunk of Caleb's bed again.  Oy!  It was a late night for everyone, but I think we were all settled by 11.

Ethan had another good night, but was up for an hour at 4a before more ibuprofen and some food settled him down. 

Sarah's about to take Caleb off to daycare.  And Grandpa Bob and Grandma Pat are coming over to take care of Ethan while I work from home today.  Then tomorrow we've got tickets to the circus!

One quick note to everyone reading this.  Thanks very much for all of your support so far.  Our neighbors Susan and Steve surely have neighbors of the year cinched up.  Everyone at Sarah's office and mine has been increadibly supportive.  Sarah's folks are a daily godsend. Friends back east have even shipped dinners out to us.  One of my mother's friends in Florida, whom I think we've only met once, has even offered to come out for a month or so and help out! 

Beyond the physical support, the emotional support that, e-mails and messages have been equally important. We're really just at the beginning of this, but we've been amazed, thankful and somewhat overwhelmed by the support.

Thanks. 

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