Hey! I'm Emily... homebody, amateur philosopher, professional photographer, mama and wife. This is my little world-- a place for me to preserve the little snippets of my life that bring me joy, make me think, or show my creative leanings. I'm so happy you're here. If you get a minute, please introduce yourself in the comments. If you like what you see, you are invited to follow my blog through your RSS Reader. Just click the link at the bottom of the page to add me.
Thank you for being part of my little world... :)

{scroll down to see posts}


Me:

Me:

Monday, June 6

Noah's Big Day at the Hospital

It's been a busy spring, mostly because of the new kid in town. Busy enough that I might have failed to mention that my other kiddo had been experiencing some eye problems since March.  We went to an initial appointment to get it looked at, and  after a couple of months of watching to see if it would improve, the opthamologist finally recommended surgery.

The issue is something called "strabismus", and involves one or both eyes crossing. If it is related to farsightedness, they can treat it with a patch and glasses. But in Noah's case, there is no vision issue--- it's muscular. So a patch and glasses would do nothing to help... And therefore, as much as it broke my heart, we scheduled the surgery. It is a simple procedure-- a "same day surgery" that truly doesn't have lingering pain for my kiddo. Still, to know I was sending my little one to an operating room to be put under anesthesia... to be cut into... It was a rough thing to get ready for.

So, my little man had this procedure done just this past Friday. Joe took work off, my mom and sister came to hang out with Lucy at home while we both went with Noah to the hospital.. And we tried to make it a grand adventure for all of us. I brought my camera and caught the days' events for our personal history.

Here, in photos, is Noah's Big Day at the Hospital:

We started with the usual-- the nurse checking his vitals. Noah is currently 41" high and 38 lbs.

Photobucket

He was in surprisingly great spirits most of the day. Here is a goofy face from him:

Photobucket

Our nurse was Micki, and she was WONDERFUL with Noah. He responded to her kindness so well, and was quite the charmer himself. Everything she explained to him and showed him elicited the most ridiculously cute reply from him, repeatedly:

"I like that!!"

Whether it was, "Noah, this is going to squeeze your muscle." or "Noah, this stethoscope will listen to your heart.", he chirped happily in response, "I LIKE that!"

He basically won everyone over with his charm and happy mood.
Photobucket

Then it was time for his "special fish pajamas." He kind of wanted to stay in his street clothes--- I think the change of clothes made it feel a bit more scary to him...
Photobucket

Photobucket

But the gripper footie socks got him smiling again.
Photobucket

Photobucket


I love these three shots, taken in a row-- they show how his mood would dip, but go right back to cheerful-- this whole experience was like that for him. (And notice the middle pic-- it shows a bit of the eye thing that is the reason for the surgery. See the left eye cross a bit?)
Photobucket

His hospital bracelet... ("I LIKE that!")
Photobucket

The surgeon (Dr. Greg Lueder, opthamologist- AWESOME) came in to talk to us about everything. (Noah looks a bit nervous again...)
Photobucket

Photobucket

And we were told that Noah could bring Mai into the operating room with him. HOORAY! So Mai got a name bracelet of his own... but it made a better collar for him.
Photobucket

Micki then gave him the liquid sedative he'd get to help him zone out prior to the anesthesia. before drinking it:
"I LIKE it!"

After drinking it:
"Ew.EW!! That's yucky! I don't like it!!"

He got a bit of Sprite to wash it down.
Photobucket

Then it was time to walk him to the operating room doors. This part was the hardest for all of us.
Photobucket

Because he had to go somewhere we couldn't follow. My little guy...
Photobucket

The procedure took about an hour total, including the small time in recovery he spent still knocked out. We played on our iTouches and had a snack... mostly, we just waited. 

When he came back to us, they darkened the room for his comfort. He was groggy, but awake. He never cried, never whined... He was just mellow and a bit out of it--- asking questions over and over, like what was the clicking noise? (It was the I.V. he was still hooked up to, administering doses of fluids). What was the nurse's name? ("Micki! Remember?" "I LIKE your name!")

Photobucket

And he talked about having "crumbs in his eyes"--- his own little description of how it must have felt to have the irritated eye socket with the teeny cuts and stitches in it. We all encouraged him to not touch the eye, and to use a cold washcloth instead. He got a grape Popsicle to nibble on.

He was also fascinated by the mess of stuff on his left hand-- the board and tape anchoring (and hiding) his i.v. needle.
Photobucket

How sweet is my baby boy?
Photobucket

Photobucket

Loving being in control of "his" TV:
Photobucket

We spent a good stretch in our recovery room, fawning over our baby, laughing at his cute questions and exclamations, and monitoring his reaction to the anesthesia (watching for nausea, perhaps an emotional jag, etc.)... But he continued to be simply AWESOME at this whole thing--- as easygoing as he was prior to the surgery, he was just as fast to recover and was a model patient. Before long, he had earned the right to get up and walk with Micki the nurse to the "Treasure Chest" to pick out a prize for being such a good patient. As she was taking his i.v. out and getting him up to go walk, he said, "Micki, I love you."

All of us melted into puddles. he tels US he loves us, of course... But this was the first time I'd seen him spontaneously volunteer the sweetness to someone outside of his family. She was visibly moved, too. Such a tender moment!

See him holding her hand? They were buddies, for sure.
Photobucket

Photobucket

He picked out a Hot Wheels fire truck, and was given a pair of radical star sunglasses to help protect his eyes. he took his prizes and shuffled back to our room.
Photobucket

And after getting dressed and getting his things together, we made sure he got a photo with his sweet Micki.
Photobucket

Then he donned his radical sunglasses. Ha!
Photobucket

As we left, about 4 hours after arriving, we enjoyed the features of the fabulous Children's Hospital at Barnes Jewish... Including some fabulous aquariums, great art, and even a fully electronic miniature train set that was installed in the ceiling of the lobby. (The boys enjoyed watching it for a while!)
Photobucket

Since our kiddo hadn't eaten since the night before and seemed to not have any tummy issues from the medicine, we treated him to Fitz's for lunch so we could dote on him just a bit longer before getting back to the little sister waiting for him at home. 

Our cute little guy was clearly feeling great and ready to eat-- he cleaned his plate!

Photobucket

And so.... We survived! Noah proved to be just about the coolest patient ever, and we both crossed through a new parenting portal-- the one where you have to let you kiddo go through scary stuff without you--- and we survived. All of us. And rewarded ourselves with cream soda floats at the end. 

:)

18 comments:

  1. Wow! Even though I saw him almost right after, and saw that he was obviously completely fine, all that hospital stuff made it a lot more scary for me, even in retrospect... I'm so glad he was laid-back about the whole thing.

    (NOT at all like his Aunt Elise who spent years freaking out over the word "operation." ;))

    ReplyDelete
  2. Emily,
    A beautiful post. I'm so happy you documented this through pictures. I know you debated about taking pictures, but they tell a beautiful story. I'm so happy all went well.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Dr. L is more than awesome. Did you get to work with Margo ever? She was G's go-to-gal for a few years.

    I so remember the treasure chest after G's arm surgery.

    And I love you took him to Fitz's afterwards. That's where we too our G to break the news (over rb floats and fries) she was going to have the said arm surgery.

    Children's is truly a place of magic and miracles.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yay for Noah. It's always scary to see the doctors take your baby away. Hugs to you, mom! It would have been fun to run into you there, since my Noah has been there the last five weeks. We love the nurses there too!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Emily,
    This post warms my heart. I'm sooo thankful everything went smoothly. Love you all.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Whew! What an ordeal! He is such a sweet little boy!!! Oh, and not to ruin Micki's special moment or anything, but he has spontaneously told every individual person in my family that he loves us. :) But maybe we're surrogate family, so it doesn't count. :) WE LOVE HIM TOO!!! xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  7. You know my heart was with you that day, but it was a little harder, actually, to read about it and feel a little of that fear more directly, even though (as Elise points out), we know it turns out great in the end. But letting him go... it doesn't seem fair to have to do that so soon... (and this from an OT who's worked with littler ones w/ more surgeries under their belts than Noah's one - but that Noah is my nephew!)

    Thanks for sharing it... and I hope the fact that he was wearing my t-shirt gift gave him a little extra Aunt Juli hug that day. In any case, give him one for me tomorrow, 'kay? :)

    Love you guys...

    ReplyDelete
  8. I agree - it was written and told so beautifully. Thank you for letting be there too.

    Noah seems like a stand up little dude!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I can totally picture Noah asking all those questions and responding in that sweet little way you described. He is such a sweet little angel.

    You documented everything perfectly. What a sweetheart. It will all just be a fuzzy memory for him, but now he can see what a brave little boy he was!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I had no idea that anything was amiss. I guess he is just so darn cute, you just soak up the awesomeness and don't notice anything else. I was really touched by your story. He sounds like a brave little man. Fitz's is always good, no matter what.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm so glad this is over...I cried throughout this whole post. If it's this hard for *me*, I can't imagine what you must have felt like. Love you all. <3

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh my goodness he was brave! He's so sweet Emily...thank you so much for sharing with us.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm so glad Noah was such a brave little patient! Praying for healing on his eye!

    ReplyDelete
  14. beautifully written <3

    ReplyDelete
  15. I LIKE that! His poor little swollen eye though. Such a brave boy and a brave mama, too!

    ReplyDelete
  16. What a sweetie. Emily, you are one awesome mommy. Documenting this little moment in his history in such a wonderful way.

    I like that!

    ReplyDelete
  17. What a trooper! I must admit I was teary eyed reading this because I can't imagine as a parent how hard it was to watch your sweet little guy go through this, even as minor as it was. You did a great job documenting the experience!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thank you for posting this. My little Emery has this with her eyes but has the vision problems to go with it. Finally after patching and patching the doctor now wants to do surgery so we are waiting to schedule it. This post was so great to see what we will be doing. I only hope she is as stellar a patient as Noah.

    ReplyDelete