Thursday, July 29, 2010

Post Surgery Update

Here we are yesterday at 4:30am on our way to the surgery center. I just HAD to go to the photobooth it felt WRONG not to. I bought him a t-shirt with the superman logo for his surgery outfit.

My friend Valerie and my parents all were there with us during the surgery. It was a surreal morning. We were asked to give him a tincture of tylenol liquid mixed with Verced which is a type of medication similar to valium. It was strange to have Jerry hold him and while I fed him this liquid. It made me nervous. He got drowzy immediately. Very slow moving, very sleepy, very drugged out. This is what he looked like right after I gave it to him:

The anesthesiologist was wonderful. He was a warm fresh bright being. You know that feeling immediately when you meet someone - he had that something. Made me feel ok handing him over once we walked down the hallway towards the surgery room. Dr. Wright and his assistant were both there and I felt confidence in all of them. It was hard to watch him being held by other people we just met walking away from us. We held hands back to the lobby. My tummy was sick inside and I felt like there were earthquakes going on as the floor seemed to bend and shake every so often, but I was told it was just me.
My friend Valerie was the entertainment - and let me tell you - I was laughing so hard with her stories that my stomach hurt. So that, in between feeling that sick feeling about my son being "under" and "worked on" was a total trip - like a roller coaster ride in a dream where you know everyone but it's unfamiliar but familiar. I know that doesn't make sense but it was dream like.

here's valerie entertaining:

here are my parents - being entertained:

here we are trying to allow ourselves the gift of being entertained!

The surgery took an hour and when they called out our names we jumped and our hearts dropped. We were taken to the recovery room and waited there for what seemed like an eternity. I could hear him crying on the way over to us...the anesthesiologist carried him in to me as I sat in a deep upholstered rocking chair covered in a white sheet. Max had tubes connected to him and a bag of fluid the Dr. was holding on to. He handed Max to me and it was hard to see. He was crying and his tears were blood. I was dabbing the corners of his shut eyes with a little swab of cloth they gave to me. It was hard to hear him cry like that and to see that blood even though they warned me it was going to be like that.

Here is the photo jerry took right after Max was put in my arms:

I was so happy he was alive. Seriously - that was the big fear of ours that he wouldn't make it through the surgery. So that smile on my face - even though I do look a tad haggard (!!) - is just expressing my relief that he made it through.

The harder part for me was when the nurse took out the IV in his foot and took it out in such a way that it spurted blood all over Jerry's pants and on the rocking chair and Max howled in pain from that more than the eye surgery. I felt faint. I got quiet. I wanted her to fix that ASAP. She did but I had already gone into that mode of no return of wanting my baby taken care of and you better get out of the way lady!

We walked out in to the lobby and Valerie and my parents came over to see Max and give hugs. Max was crying and I was uncomfortable and we all headed out to the car so we could get this superman home.

Max calmed soon after we got to the car and slept the way home. Slept most of the day away. Never needed any pain medication. Only woke up to eat and then would go back to sleep. My parents - who were prepared to stay as long as needed - left around 3:30 because Max showed no signs that he needed anything!

here is a photo of his eyes after we took him home:

Here is the photo I took right after my parents left:

he slept through the night and today has been more of the same - content - no signs of pain - and totally ok. His eyes are red and bloody where the whites would be - but only on the inside part near his nose - not the part on the outside. I've been watching his eyes and they seem to not be crossing although the dark blood makes it hard to tell - especially because it makes me feel faint to look at that part for too long.

here is a photo of his eyes that I took today:

they don't bother him a bit - he isn't trying to rub them or touch them at all. Still no need for tylenol at all which has been surprising. We heard all sorts of stories about it being a very hard time after the surgery for many reasons - but so far
( knock on wood ) he is doing great. His parents are just suffering from a little cabin fever.

We have to keep him out of the bright light of the sun which is hard on days like today which are perfect summer days - and we snuck out at 6:30pm tonight to go to - guess where????
the photobooth!

Here is the photobooth photos from this evening:

Tomorrow we go for a re-check at 7am and have all sorts of questions mainly about when he can get outside and run around at the park and when can he socialize again with his pals, can he attend his friend Bella's birthday party on Saturday and of course the most important question of whether or not the eyes are straight....I believe the answer to that last one can only be told over time as he needs to get used to his eyes being like this now - and the blood needs to clear up. I'm just glad we are on THIS side of surgery instead of THAT side. I don't like that side much. It's powerless like I have never felt before. I still feel overwhelmed with emotion when I have a moment to think about all that Max has gone through the last few days. Luckily I don't have many of those moments as we are trying to entertain him and pass these hours by until we are allowed out!

much love to all of you who lit candles, said prayers, sent well wishes and support. I love you all and Max sends you a kiss as he looks at you with both eyes at the same time!


The Sanchez Family said...

Thank you for this post. I've been out of the loop a bit and I don't know if you've had time or follow but we will most likely be doing the eye surgery as well. We find out in one month. I will know who to turn to when I need advice or support. I wish for the best for Max and his sweet eyes!

Lori said...

Oh, I am so happy for you! Happy that you can breathe now...and just wait to see his progress. I loved and it brought tears to my eyes that you were at the photobooth again the next day. What a special book you will have of these photobooth days! There is so much love between you 3 and it just melts my heart. Thank you for the update and congratulations!

Bronwyn Shields said...

I have tears in my eyes reading your post. I can understand what you were feeling and I'm glad that Max is doing so fantastic. Koodos to all.


Catherine Just said...

oh thank you Bronwyn for checking in and for your lovely comments. love you right back

Catherine Just said...

Thank you so much to the Sanchez family and to Lori! Love that we were not alone and you have been with us either before - during and or after this event. Means so much!

Team JHB said...

Oh Catherine, I've been checking your blog non-stop for an update. So happy to hear that Max and your family are doing well =) I understand your fears and concerns going into the surgery and I hope you are resting a little easier. We love all the pictures of Max and your family. Thanks for sharing your story and for the update. We are keeping your family in our thoughts and prayer.

Moyra Scott said...

wow. what a rollercoaster. Gosh I felt for you through that. I felt for you just reading through that. It sounds as if it all went as well as it possibly could. xx wishing healing wishes for his little eyes. xx

Cole said...

Oh you brave, brave momma and poppa. I'm thrilled he's out and doing well! What a relief. Sweet, strong boy!

Louise Gale said...

Honey, wow catching up and what a time you've had. I am soooo happy all is okay. AND I LOVE those photobooth photos. Love to you and your family. xx

Anonymous said...

Wonderful, happy news! So glad everything went well.

Andi said...

Hi! Stacy Kraus introduced me to your blog - she felt we would get along famously. :) I have a 7 year old daughter with cerebral palsy and a 4 month old son with Down syndrome. My daughter had spinal cord surgery a week after her third birthday, so this post really took me back - turning her over to strangers, family and friends in the waiting room F-O-R-E-V-E-R, the puffy and pitiful way she looked in the recovery room. Anyway...I look forward to following you and Max as Sarah Kate, Nathan, and I create our own little corner of the blogosphere.

CP said...

I cried reading this and looking at his eye. What a superman he is. Give him big hugs from us.
Love You Axxx

Katye said...

He looks great! So glad this has come out swimmingly! Looking forward to seeing more pictures of him in the park seeing the world through new eyes!

Jen Currier said...

I was in tears, both in understanding those motherly emotions of having to turn your baby over to someone else and also tears of happiness at Max's fortitude with the surgery. Go Max- you ARE superman!!

Joe the PT said...

I finally was able to drop by the blog. I was moved by your posting and am glad that Superman (or should it be SuperMax!) is doing... super! Can't wait to see him soon. Get well soon Max!