The First Surgery

Branko had his first surgery yesterday, or, as I’m sure all the more experienced Sick Kid-ders call it surg. It went off without a hitch. He is cranky, but at least he’s cranky + morphine. The irritating part was that the series of events leading up to this surgery never should have happened. I feel like I should apologize to the people of Ontario for wasting just a teeny smidgen of their health care dollars.

Since his BIG surgery kept being postponed, the bones in his legs kept on growing and growing (as they do, right?!) so the deformity kept getting worse and worse. So much so, that the tibia finally started to break through the skin. It started to look pretty gross, so we brought him in to our second home, Sick Kids –*HI MARLEEN*– and they quickly told us that the leg needing fixing. The procedure was called a ‘cleaning and irrigation’, you know, kind of like what the dentist does every now and again. They cleaned out the wound, took samples, threw some stitches in there, and then gave him a big old cast.

This little so-and-so followed
us to the hospital.

The almost-bright-side to all of this: it was nice to have a dress rehearsal for the BIG surgery. I have a bit less anxiety now about having strangers wheel my son away, while he’s awake, and not seeing him for 5-7 hours. These doctor people seem to know what they’re doing. The anesthesiologist even gave Branko some “happy juice” (his words) in order to make the goodbye part a bit easier. He happily said ‘bye’ to us, glassy-eyed, as they wheeled him away.

I feel incredibly guilty at the level of boredom/discomfort/confusion he is feeling right now. He has been given more drugs than I can remember, and has been poked, prodded, and examined almost every hour. As I write this, we are trying out a splash of Gravol to even the boy out. Who knows, maybe we will follow that up with the ol’ Morhpine/Tylenol combo he seems to love. Yesterday, I took him for a walk to the playroom to distract him. I spoke with a mom whose daughter had surgery the same day as Branko. The daughter and dad had achondroplasia and mom was really worried about some really common post-surgical concerns – the daughter not eating yet, having to resort to morphine, the fever, the whining, etc. It was really nice for me to be able to say, don’t worry, it’ll all get better soon.  Every time we are in the hospital, I have moments where I am watching Branko experience something quite horrible, and I say, Yep, THIS is the worst. Nothing can ever be as bad as this. And then, time will go by, and we experience something else, and I say, Nope, I lied, THIS is the worst. This is actually, really, truly, the worst thing ever. And then all those previous little things start to seem so minor and insignificant and really, no big deal. If I could have bottled up that small (no pun intended) amount of confidence and given it to this fellow stressed-out mom, I would have. Instead, I ran to our room and bragged to my husband that I *finally* met the extremely cute wee toddler down the hall, which I surmised was the hospital stay equivalent of meeting a Canadian C-list celebrity. (think Arlene Dickinson…)

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