Thursday, November 8, 2012

Surgery #4: Done and Done

Samuel had his surgery bright and early Wednesday morning. Since everyone in our house had been ill, there was a question mark over his head right up to the end. His doctors and I agreed that it would be bad for him to get ill during post-op recovery but that entertaining the "what ifs" wasn't worth it. Off Sam went.

I walked Samuel into the operating room, stroked his little arms, and sang to him until he was asleep. This made that moment of saying good-bye so much easier; instead of having him taken from me by strangers in surgical masks, I got to be the last person he heard and saw before he went under. An hour later, Sam's eye surgeon found us to say that the strabismus repair had gone beautifully. Another hour after that, Sam's general surgeon found us to say that the orchidopexy was smooth and successful also. Sam did so well that we thought he might come home the same day!

Of course, Sam had plans for a bit of drama centred around some angry breath-holding episodes and dropped oxygen saturations. This didn't freak me out at all but he did manage to send one nurse running in a panic (while I tended to him myself) and have another nurse ordering him "take a breath! take a breath!" every time he cried (because angry 21 month olds are notoriously compliant with such directives). It was an odd thing to be comforting his nurses and explaining what he does and how to deal with it.

Sam stayed on oxygen support to help him recover from the general anesthetic and so we were admitted for a sleepover. It took 9 hours for them to find us a bed in the hospital so that we could leave the Day Surgery unit. I was happy to get to our old unit where there were nurses who knew Sam and where I could take a shower. 

By today, Sam was feeling stronger, sitting up to play, and offering up grins. He came off of oxygen support, flirted with some nurses, ate some bad hospital food, and took a nap to prove that he could hold his oxygen saturations even when sleeping.

Now, we are home. His eyes are bloodshot where the muscles were cut and there are teeny blue knots where the stitches are. When he cries, blood oozes out the corners of his eyes, which is a little horror-movie-ish. However, I can already see his eyes straightening out and the nystagmus settling down. Very cool. Sam is bouncing back from all of that remarkably well. Better than his mother, actually, but I think we've come to expect that. ;)


Post-op snuggle with Daddy. 

Using his new eyes to watch a video on Mommy's laptop.
(The laptop is perched on Sam's medical file, which weighs nearly 20 pounds just like Sam!)

Cruising in his crib and ready to go home.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Twenty-one Months Old: Groovin'

Samuel is 21 months old (plus a couple of days that disappeared into a family barf-illness abyss). He is nearly 20 pounds. He has 10 teeth, including 2 rather brutal looking molars and more on the way. He has a crazy lot of hair that somehow retains the most unimaginably sweet smell no matter what the rest of him smells like. He eats anything and favourites include black beans, fish, carrots, cheese, and garlicky pasta. (See reference to his smell.) And he poops. 

Sammo likes to read books and play ball. He likes to kick the ball as much as throw it, courtesy of 3 older soccer-playing brothers. He is crawling some but still prefers bum-scootching. He pulls to stand on anything and will walk however he can. He's sooooo close to having enough strength and balance to stand and walk independently and we can see the determination and drive in his little face. Fortunately, there are a few people around here willing to offer up their hands to support Sam walking from place to place. 

Sam loves music and will rock out to anything. He shakes his head. He sways. He twists his tiny hands around in interpretive delight. He plays guitar with his daddy. He grooves. It is pure awesomeness. Sam also loves chasing down his brothers and trying to get in the mix of their flying bodies and hollering voices. It is alarming but he loves it.

In fact, I have come to realize that Sam likes to be scared. Nothing makes the boy laugh and sign "more! more!" like a good game of sneak-up-and-startle-you-and-toss-you-on-the-bed. He is a boy made for watching late-night horror flicks. It should not surprise me that Sam likes to be scared. That would kind of explain everything, wouldn't it?! Oh well. 

Here is our Sammo in photos. 


Hiding in the closet. Boo! 

Playing kitchen. 

Not so sure about his first time sitting in the snow.
(This photo is for my beautiful friend Tricia who lives in Texas and thinks pictures of my kids dressed up in the snow are *hilarious.* That's what we all think of snow here in Canada too. That it's hilarious. ;) )

Curly haired boy after a bath. Ha-HA! Take that, NICU haircut!

Sam has surgery on Wednesday if all the stars continue to align. It is considered elective surgery and therefore we could be bumped if there is an emergency. Sam has a conditional green light from cardiology because he screamed blue-bloody murder throughout the echocardiogram and they couldn't get a good result. They will repeat the echo right before surgery to make sure his heart is strong enough for anesthesia. There is panic embedded in that last sentence but I think we've all talked enough around here about my ability to freak out. 

And we've been sick at our house and surgery is off if Sam gets sick too. Sam seems to have been blissfully spared this nasty bug but, for now, I will continue wielding my bleach solution and making a crazy face. The bleach solution is surely more effective than the crazy face, but the face is kind of involuntary at this point. 

So far, it's all a "go" for this fourth and possibly final surgery. Let's git 'er done. 


Man of my dreams... Why, yes. Yes he is. Or at least, he's one of them...