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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Post-op

30-second update:  Jude did great and had the full cyst removed from his right eye and had one conformer placed in his left socket.  No conformer was placed in the right eye yet.  We will wait for healing internally for that.

Our morning began early as expected with a 3:30 alarm to nurse Jude one last time before he was asked to keep liquids out of his system.  I'm not going to take much of that credit, however.  We both got out of bed, however, at 4:30 to get ready to be out the door by 5:15.  Thankfully Grampy came by to watch the sleeping older brothers in our absence.

The highways were nearly empty making the trip easy and pretty quick.  Our car was among the first to park in the same day surgery lot at Children's Mercy.  We checked Jude in at the registration office and waited for the process to begin.  Shortly after we were called back to go over paper work, meet with the doctor and assisting techs and prepare him for surgery.  We were all pretty calm at this point and Jude napped through most of the prep work.

Jude getting love from Mom
After he was cleared for surgery, we had to hand him over to an OR nurse and head down an elevator to a waiting room for families of patients.  This was difficult because you, as a parent, want to be at your child's side and know you can't during such a procedure.  In the waiting room we tried to keep busy reading the newspaper and watching TV.  Several other families began to fill the room as we waited.

One receives several calls from the OR as you wait down stairs.  "Jude's mom?" the receptionist would call out.  Although you trust things are going fine, when you put your ear to the phone you hold your breath until you hear them confirm what you know in your heart.  After about an hour and a half the doctor came down to tell us about the surgery and Jude.

He met us in a small room joining the waiting room and told us they were able to successfully remove the cyst inside his right eye socket.  Putting his thumb out before his face, he compared the size of the cyst to his finger.  What an impressive cyst for such a small little guy.  We both believe, if not painful, the cyst was likely a discomfort to Jude throughout his early days.

Jude in his little gown
Once Jude recovered, we got another call to say come on up and see your son!  We were both anxious and hoped that he wouldn't be in a foul mood after such a procedure.  The nurses brought him out and, aside from being rather sleepy, he seemed good.  His right eye has been bandaged over and there are stitches on the inside of his lids, which you and I will not see and should dissolve on their own.

He had only one conformer placed, the one for his left eye.  We initially thought he would have both put in, but his right eye needs time to heal before a foreign object should be placed near it.  Before he could be discharged, the nurses wanted to see that Jude could swallow and his pain was manageable.  Although he did not nurse well, he took some sugar water nicely and we were almost on our way.

From the sounds and the smells we were again reminded of Jude's first few days in the hospital.  I had a sense memory in the post-op recovery area, smelling some of the sanitation liquids, which took me back to a time of great unknown and worry of his first five days.  I was glad to know we could go home with our sweet boy, filled with a more clear picture of Jude's journey and needs this time.

If you've made it this far you deserve this next paragraph.  So much of our strength comes directly out of hearing and reading the words so many of you have shared.   If you ask anyone who's gone through journeys similar to Jude's in their frightening nature, they'll tell you how easy it is to feel alone, even when it's not the case.  Thank you to those who have verbalized their thoughts to us and shared through word support.  These are the acts that stay with us, energize our spirits and burn joy onto our hearts.

St. Jude: Pray for us.


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