Sarah had her second palate surgery last Monday. The Dr. needed to make the hole at the back of her mouth smaller so that less air would pass through her nose when she talks. He also took the opportunity to do a little lip and nose revision.
The surgery was scheduled for 10:45 a.m. So we got there a little after 9. She had not had anything to eat since the night before. She was able to drink some juice before we left that morning. We did all the registration steps and then we were called back to the prep room. Sarah was apprehensive about it all but settled down when she realized she would be able to watch a movie while she waited.
A nice lady came by and taught Sarah how to use the breathing mask. Sarah got to put scented chapstick inside the mask and decorate it with stickers. She also gave Sarah a little doll with a mask of her own to decorate. The goal is to take the fear out of putting the mask on your face. They use sleeping gas first on the kids and then after they’re asleep, put the IV in for sedation during the surgery. Sarah also showed a little two-year old boy how to use his mask too.
One of the docs came by around 11 a.m. and told us that there was going to be a two-hour delay because of the first surgery taking longer than planned. We later found out it was a little guy with cancer on his leg and they needed to make sure they got it all before closing up. So thankful we’re not dealing with cancer and just speech delays with our little one.
Sarah was a trooper during the wait and only asked to go home a half-dozen times. She didn’t complain about the hunger – thankfully. I hadn’t eaten anything either so I was starving as well. She (we) watched three complete movies while in the prep-room.
Finally the first surgery was done and the doc came by to apologize for the wait and to tell us they were almost ready to start. At last, we walked Sarah back to the “yellow line” and kissed and waved good-bye. It was 3 p.m. and the surgery would take 3 hours.
My mom and I (yeah, my mom came with me!) went to the Ronald McDonald Family room and were able to sit in comfy chairs and relax a little. They also served dinner that night from a local restaurant. They only do that once a month and we happened to be there. Thank you, Lord! The surgery staff gave me a beeper and sent me texts during the surgery to let me know all was going well.
Finally done, we went back to see her and the doc told us everything went well and as planned. She was a little disoriented when waking up and was not very cooperative in getting her checked into her room for the night. But once they stopped poking and prodding she settled down.
It was a rough night with the nurses and the IV and the blood pressure cuff and neither one of us got much sleep. In the morning one of the docs came by to say we could go home, but it wasn’t for another couple of hours that we actually said good-bye to the hospital. I know it was only one night but it felt like forever.
She slept all the way home in the car and then some more on the couch. She spent several days on the couch watching TV and eating yogurt and applesauce. She was really self-conscious about her nose when anyone came over. When I asked if she was going to school, she said, “I can’t! My nose!” She was very down emotionally. Everyone who knows Sarah is aware that she is normally a “Sunshine” girl! She was definitely “Cloudy” for a few days.
Finally, on Thursday afternoon, I convinced her to walk down to Auntie’s house with me. It was good for her to get out of the house. On Friday, she wanted to go to the library with us. Then she and Daddy went to the doctor for a check-up. He said everything looks good and the stitches and nose stint will come out next week.
She’s still on a soft food diet and limited activity (yeah, right). But she is on the road to recovery and we won’t have to have more surgery for the next couple of years.
Thanks to everyone for their prayers!! It is hard on this Mama to see her baby sad and hurt. I’m glad she’s on the mend.