Thursday, October 31, 2013

Surgery and Recovery

This Halloween, the trick is keeping Nolan's pain under control, and the treat is Miralax juice.

If you read my previous post detailing Nolan's surgery, you'll remember that October 28th was his surgery date, which was 4 days ago. Surgery went well. Nolan's nostril was opened up by drilling out the bone and tissue, and his (large) tonsils were removed. Recovery has been difficult, as expected.
Walking the halls before surgery. (Signing "horse.")
Waiting for surgery. Nolan got some business done.
The first night after surgery, Nolan stayed in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) and was kept mostly sedated with IV morphine. He required oxygen via face mask the first night, and just periodically while sleeping after that. Whenever Nolan did wake up that first day, he only cried, which caused his nose to bleed, and made it more difficult to breathe. So, pain control was a high priority.
Before: left nostril open, right nostril closed (you can see an outline of where it should be open).

After: both open, although the right one is smaller than typical.

Chillin in the PICU.
Getting some much needed rest.
The day after surgery, Nolan was having issues with pain control, but his breathing had improved, so the PICU team felt comfortable transferring him to the general pediatric floor. He was transferred later that afternoon. There were times that day that Nolan would cry inconsolably for long periods of time. Those times were extremely difficult and frustrating to experience. I've spent the last two years of my life ensuring Nolan doesn't cry. It's MY job as his mom to make sure all his needs are met, and to me, if he's crying, then I haven't done my job. So, when he was crying uncontrollably, and refusing any and all comfort or medication we could offer, I had nothing left to do but cry with him. It was a most helpless feeling.
We thought Nolan might enjoy a ride around the floor. We were wrong, obviously.

Signing Time and a diaper-hat. Whatever floats your boat, kid.
Narc'd up!
The day we went home, Nolan woke up and immediately signed "eat" and "movie." You got it, bud!
By post-op day 2, Nolan was doing well enough to go home, so he was discharged. Since being home, Nolan's had his ups and downs. He definitely seems happy to be home, but he's still having bouts of inconsolable crying. When his pain is out of control, he doesn't want to take anything because it hurts to swallow, and we get stuck in this painful limbo. He's also weak and shaky -I think from not eating much. And, two whole days in bed made his legs a little rubbery. On the bright side, Nolan has been sleeping pretty well. And, he's LOVING all the movie watching he gets to do. This is one time in his life he can sign "movie" all he wants and I will oblige. In fact, turning on an episode of Signing Time has been an effective distraction so I can sneak some narcotic-laced soy yogurt in him.
Discharged! Nolan happily waved goodbye to that place!
A rare smile. Prompted, of course, by movie time.
What my kitchen counter currently looks like. With all these narcs, we had to throw some Miralax in there :(
I'm hoping Nolan starts to be less painful over the next few days. I'm partially blaming his red hair on his pain issues. If you didn't already know, redheads are known for having a lower pain tolerance, requiring more pain medication than average. Redheads also tend to bleed more. So next time you envy his beautiful red locks, just remember it comes with a price.
Feeling pretty blah today. He's normally not a cuddly guy, so I'm eating up these snuggles!
Next up, he has another surgery in the books for November 11. That trip to the OR will be to debride (clean out) the nostril that was just opened up, as scar tissue will have already formed. That surgery should be outpatient, meaning Nolan can go home later that same day. He may need a second debridement, so we have it scheduled for November 25, but we're hoping he won't need it.

Lastly, I want to thank our family and friends. Thank you for praying for us and Nolan. Thank you for offering to bring us coffee. Thank you for offering to help in any way you could. Thank you for sympathizing, empathizing, and thinking of us. Thank you to those who visited Nolan in the hospital and brought him gifts. Thank you for being awesome. God has used you to bless us. I promise your support has helped make this difficult time easier and know that your prayers were answered.

No comments:

Post a Comment