When Joe and I were told that Sam wouldn’t be allowed to eat eight hours prior to surgery, we both agreed that we must be seriously brilliant parents for having the idea of waking Sam up around 3:30 in the morning, feeding him to a full stomach, and then putting him back to bed. Humility set in when our “brilliance” carried us as far as setting the alarm for 3:30 PM, not AM. We’re brilliant, people- Brilliant!
New plan. We then decided to wake Sam up around 5:30 AM and give him some milk (knowing that he could only have clear liquids after 6:15 AM and nothing after 10:15 AM). We were hoping he’d drink at least two cups of milk…he drank four sips and went back to bed until 9:15 AM.
When Sam finally woke up, we had about 45 minutes to fill his stomach with as many clear liquids as possible. We all piled up on the hotel bed and offered Sam as much apple juice, jello-o, and popsicles as he wanted (this was also the only way to distract him from begging us for raisins).
“The real question is…which flavor do I choose next….”
After spending an hour distracting Sam at Barnes and Nobles, we headed to Children’s Hospital to check-in. I can’t say enough positive things about this hospital and our experience with the staff. Whenever I’m in a situation like the one today, I feel such a deep sense of gratitude to the Lord for the grace of such wonderful hospitals, doctors, nurses, medications, medical expertise, and people who have dedicated their lives to helping others. We are not entitled to these things, they are undeserved gifts from the Lord for which I am very, very thankful.
Before we got settled into Sam’s room, we let him play with all the fun little toys they provide in the waiting room. Another wonderful distraction for his hungry (and thirsty) little body.
Once they called us back, they weighed Sam, took his blood pressure, checked his oxygen levels, and dressed him up in the cutest baby scrubs I’ve ever seen. From here on out, I want all of Sam’s pajamas to look like these scrubs.
They only allowed Joe to go back to the O.R. with Sam since I’m pregnant and can’t be around the anesthesia gases that they would be administering to Sam. I said my “goodbyes” and off they went.
Joe and I both had grand plans of how to spend our time during Sam’s surgery. I was to finish reading my book for book club and he was to work on sermon prep for this weekend, but before we knew it, our doctor came out of the O.R. and debriefed us on our little guy.
Our doctor told us that Sam had a ton of thick, compacted, and sticky fluid built up behind his ear drums and that it was a bit of challenge for them to suction all of it out. Dr. Lander told us that his condition (chronic ear infections/minor hearing loss) would not have improved without this surgery.
About fifteen minutes later they wheeled our groggy, but undeniably adorable little patient out of the operating room. Joe picked him up and asked him if he’d like some juice, his response?…”Bubbles!” At this point, Sam hadn’t eaten in almost 19 hours, and all he wanted was bubbles? Bubbles it is!
Before Sam could be discharged from the hospital, he needed to be able to drink some juice or eat a popsicle without any problems. He has never been under anesthesia, so it was a bit of a waiting game to see how he would respond. We noticed that Sam was a bit “off” when he had an emotional break-down over Joe putting the lid back on his snack cup. Do not cross a drugged toddler and his snack cup. Lesson learned.
When we left the hospital, we made our way to our favorite little eatery, Yum!, for a late lunch and dessert to celebrate Sam’s Hearing Awareness Day. We made this important title up so we could feel justified in buying him his own piece of cake, we felt he deserved it!
I asked Sam how he was feeling midway through the meal…
I reassured him that it’s nothing a little chocolate cake can’t fix…
See? What’d I tell ya?