We upgraded today.
We traded in fluid filled, enlarged adenoids, uncomfortable, miserable, stinky (figuratively speaking) ear-ed Drew, and got Drew: Version 2.0 in exchange!
We checked in this morning at 7, at the Center for Health - Surgery Center in Peoria. We had been telling Drew that he was getting his ears fixed today, and thankfully, with the exception of having a minor meltdown when he couldn't have breakfast, he was is a bright mood. Theresa, our pre-op nurse, brought us back almost immediately. She weighed him and asked just a few questions, and by the time she brought us into a room, Cars was playing on a portable DVD player.
Needless to say, we had one very happy camper on our hands! Theresa continued with her pre-op process, taking a few more vitals and having us sign a few papers.
Next we were introduced to Stacie. She was an angel! I forget what her official job title is, but her basic job is to serve as a liaison between the hospital staff and young children. She was the one that had overheard a comment we had made to Theresa about Lightening McQueen when we first came back into pre-op and had started the movie for him. She talked with Drew about going to the OR, and showed him pictures of what the room looked liked, and then showed him the anesthesia mask he would wear. Did I mention she was great???
Our biggest struggle of the morning, it seemed, was getting Drew into the hospital gown. He wasn't too thrilled with it and preferred to stay in his clothes. I can't remember what we said to change his mind - most likely it had something to do with Sonic, his new favorite video game - but he finally allowed us to put the gown on and take his shoes off, but he kept everything else on (pants & socks).
Both the anesthesiologist and Dr. Hertenstein stopped back to see us before they were ready to go. Drew could either ride in a wheelchair, a wagon, or he could walk back when it was time to go to the OR, and he had chosen to ride in the wagon. By 8am, his red radio flyer chariot, full of blankets and pillows, was ready for him! Sheila, the surgery nurse, and Stacie (having changed into disposable sterile surgery garb, topped off with pink bunny ears) were his escorts.
And this would be when Drew got a bit nervous. Er, a lot nervous. He looked at us like "I'm not going with them" but he didn't cry or fuss or anything. I put him in the wagon, Sheila agreed to go fast like Lightening McQueen, his DVD player was placed on his lap, Teddy was in his hands, and he was off!
Mama nerves went off like a rocket right about then. I really wished we would have snapped a picture of him in his wagon (we just had our phones for taking photos) but I was in total Mom mode in that moment. Off he went, down the hall, with a nurse and a bunny - and it was the thought that he had no idea what was about to happen that just wretched my heart out.
But alas, Mama need not worry! Stacie appeared 10 minutes later in the waiting room to let us know that Drew was already asleep. She said that he was nervous getting out of the wagon, but was agreeable to it, and they were cracking jokes with him about being Buzz Lightyear (with the mask on) and being Rudolph's replacement with the monitor on his finger that lights up red. And he was laughing! He laughed himself to sleep! It couldn't have been any easier, she said!
Even Rolaids can't provide that kind of relief!
Thirty minutes later, we saw on the waiting room screen that Drew was in recovery. Dr. Hertenstein came out ten minutes later to let us know that everything went well. He said "you wouldn't believe the goo I pulled out of his ears." Apparently a lot. And thick and green and gross. His adenoids were really enlarged, he said, so he was even more confident that removing them was the right thing to do. He warned us that his hearing would probably be extra sensitive - being as now he can actually hear! Birds chirping outside might cause Drew to stop and say "What's that?" A sore throat, bad breath, and a funny voice were the only side effects of the adenoids being removed, but that should resolve in a couple days. The doctor gave us a few discharge instructions (tylenol every four hours for two days, ear drops two times a day for five days, use ear plugs and cottonballs to keep water out of his ears) and that was it.
We had been told that one of us could go back to be with him in stage one recovery, as soon as he woke up. Maybe 10-15 minutes after we talked with the doctor, I was escorted back to Drew. When I walked through the doors, I saw my baby, not crying, but eyes full of crocodile tears, looking for his mama. That would be when I welled up. I'm sure he was scared when he woke up, unsure of where he was and where mom and dad were. Suzanne, his recovery nurse (so many nurses!), and Stacie were comforting him and getting a few of his cords unhooked. I sat down in the big gerry chair, and he was placed on my lap to snuggle.
Snuggling has never felt so good.
He was a bit groggy, and still scared I'm sure, but relaxed enough in my arms to doze off for a little bit. The nurse told me he had pain meds going through his IV (which was placed after he fell asleep in the OR) as well as a tylenol suppository that was placed during surgery. We sat there together for maybe a half hour before we were moved to stage two recovery, when Brad was finally allowed to come back.
Yes, Lightening McQueen was back on, two cartons of apple juice downed, and a pink popsicle to boot! Drew continued to perk up and by 10:30, we were walking out the door.
We had told Drew that he could have anything he wanted for breakfast. He decided Culver's chocolate ice cream would be good. :)
He hasn't eaten this well in a long time. He sat quiet and still as he ate almost all of his grilled cheese and fries, and then eagerly dug into his custard. I was thrilled that he had an appetite, but a bit nervous he would overdue it and pay for it later! I told him that he didn't need to eat all of it, to stop when his tummy was full, and about two-thirds through his ice cream, he said "I'm done."
We were home by noon, where the recovery continued. He played Sonic with Daddy, took a short nap, watched a new movie, and played on the Nintendo DS that Chris (our babysitter who was here with Reed while we were gone) left for him to borrow for a few days.
I have to say - today was the biggest Proud Mama moment I've had.
So proud of my little man.
His courage, his strength, his humor.
So so brave.