Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Outie Surprise

Austin's always had a cute little belly button.  It was sort of an innie and sort of an outie.  Then, at his 5 year check up, the pediatrician told me that what I thought was an outie was really an umbilical hernia.  They are not uncommon in kids, but usually they fix themselves by age 5.  Austin's didn't, so he needed to get it fixed surgically.  We decided to have it all taken care of before school started so he wouldn't miss any fun in Kindergarten. 

Wednesday was surgery day.  I had been preparing Austin for it a little here and a little there.  Mostly, he understood that he was going to have surgery on his belly button, that there was a "hole" in it, and that afterwards he would get presents.  I'm pretty sure he focused most of his thoughts on that last part.  He was actually excited to go to the Dr. on Wednesday.

The whole process before the surgery was kind of a "hurry up and wait" game.  We were told to get there at 12:30 for a 2:00 surgery.  We spent most of that time sitting in a little ER cubby hole watching cartoons.  Austin met all the nurses and doctors that would be in his operating room.  He told one nurse, when sat next to him, that she smelled.  She said "Well, I promise I brushed my teeth this morning!" and he said (through a pinched nose) "I don't think it's your breath, I think you need a shower".  Nice Austin.  Rob and I squirmed in our seats and offered up apologies.  But, truth be told, she was a smoker, and she did stink.

The anesthesiologist came in to ask us the same questions for the 4th time (we were prepared for this repetitiveness by the nurse) and he was a complete spaz.  I'm fairly certain he was the same Dr. who came into my labor room when I was having Riley.  He was wearing a filthy pair of jeans, a ratty shirt, and mud caked boots.  I thought he was the janitor and then learned he was the anesthesiologist and would be poking a needle in my back.  After talking to him yesterday I decided it is a good thing he is only around women in labor for a few minutes and that he is bringing relief because he would surely have something thrown at him if he were around any longer.  Anyway, I digress.  He told Austin "I'm not the bad guy in there you need to worry about..." at which point I interrupted him and said "There are NO bad guys in there you need to worry about."  He was trying to use some sort of analogy about a good guy in a western movie (what 5 year old watches westerns?) and then settled on saying he wasn't a bad guy like Darth Vader wearing black, he was a good guy wearing white. To which Austin replied, "Well, the clones are white, and they are bad."  We were okay to see him stop trying and just leave us to our cartoons.

The nurses, as they usually are, were fantastic.  Austin was extremely nervous/sad/anxious about having to put a mask over his face to fall asleep.  One nurse came back and made a big production about making a deal with him.  If he would wear the mask, she had a really cool Cars surprise for him.  They shook on it, and Austin received this:

I was shocked.  I was expecting some more stickers for the boy.  He was happy and it calmed him down until he was wheeled away.  I was able to go with him and he enjoyed riding on the bed into the operating room, and he liked that the operating table had a heated pad on it, and he even thought it was sort of cool that the thing they taped on his finger glowed, but he still did not want that mask on his face.  But, I held his hand, sang him a song, and he squirmed under the mask for 30 seconds before he fell asleep.  Or, at least they told me he was asleep.  He sure seemed tense for a kid that was asleep, but I'm guessing they just meant "out of it enough to let go of his hand and leave".

Rob and I went to the cafeteria for a cookie and pop and by the time we were done eating our snacks it seemed like the surgery was over and the Dr. told us everything went perfect.  It took about another hour before we got to see him.  The nurses said he was just a "Chatty Cathy" back there and they were all enjoying his conversation.  One of them said he was very funny and should be in theater.  Makes me wonder what he was telling them.

After another hour or so we were finally released.  He had a local anesthetic on his incision so he was bouncing off the walls, feeling no pain.  He ate a bit of a happy meal and enjoyed some Star Wars. 

This morning he woke up a little slower.  He has had a low fever most of the day and is complaining that his shoulders hurt.  All things we were told to expect.  My guess is by Friday morning he'll be back to normal.  With a regular innie and hospital booties (he hasn't taken those off yet).


Sue H said...

Hey, Austin, it sounds like you did a great job being a patient!

Sheri said...

So glad that's over for you!! He will have the cutest belly button of all the kids in school. I love how blond Austin's hair has gotten this summer. You sure can tell he's been outside. Feel better soon Austin! :)