Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Don't mess with Mama on surgery day!

This is how we started off "surgery day".....

Most would assume, after looking at the above picture, that I had just told Cole, "Hey buddy, it's surgery day...let's go get your belly button pushed back in". Here he is sobbing uncontrollably, completely naked from the waist down....screaming, "No, Mommy, No....I don't want to....please don't make me....!" But he wasn't talking about the surgery....oh no, he was actually excited about THAT. He was freaking out because I had asked him to put on his Transformer underwear but he wanted his Lightning McQueen underwear. Funny how the thought of surgery didn't worry him in the least yet picking out the wrong underwear for him caused him to have a huge meltdown. Apparently, some thing like this is the end of the world to a 4-yr old.

Finally, after he was dressed, I began to put my shoes on and he said, "Come on, I don't want to be late for my surgery." With that, we left. We had a little over an hour drive to get to the hospital, since that's where the dr does all his surgeries. He was great on the ride up, only asking every once in awhile how much longer until we got to the hospital.

11:00 am - We arrive at the hospital and stop in the bathroom for a quick potty break. I said to Cole, "Hey, let's take a picture of your belly button so we'll remember what it looked like!!". He said, "awww, Mommy, come on....we're gonna be late". I whipped out my cell phone and said, "strike a pose, baby!"

Oh and yeah, I circled his belly button with a black marker because I was still a little anxious after the conversation I had with the nurse on the phone when she confused him with another patient.

11:15 am: We go to admitting, where Cole's information is reviewed and he is given a hospital bracelet to wear with his ID on it. He was very upset that they weren't asking for his signature since he was the one "having his belly button pushed back in" so the lady was nice enough to give him a "form" for him to sign...(blue bear was Cole's travel companion for the day)

12:00 pm: We are in the waiting room, waiting to be called back to the prep area....he shows no fear, no anxiety, no worries. Thank God!! Seeing him so care-free helped me to be less worried.

12:30 pm: We're called back to the prep area. The nurse gets him some scrubs but Cole isn't thrilled about them so she tells him he can stay in his clothes for now. She gives him a new teddy bear to cuddle with....Cole says, "but I already have a bear". She says, "Well, now you have two". He looks confused but happily accepts the bear.

I pull out the backpack full of things I brought to occupy him while we waited but the nurse asks Cole if he wants to watch some DVD's. Hmmm, watch a Spongebob DVD or practice writing his letters and numbers? Tough choice?

1:00 pm: The dr comes in to the pre-op area to say hi to us and make sure we don't have any questions. He asks Cole if he can see his belly button and he laughs when he sees that I've circled Cole's belly button. I tell him about the phone call where the nurse confused him with the next patient. He looks concerned for a minute and then says "Oh, she must have confused him with Cody. He's in for a tonsillectomy". He assures me that Cole will not come out of surgery missing his tonsils.

1:15 pm: The anesthesiologist visits with us and tells about the different medications she'll be giving Cole. I remember to ask her about the anti-nausea medicine and she says they sometimes give it and sometimes don't....I tell her "well, I'd like this to be a time where you give it, please". She smiles and says "no problem". far, so good. Belly button circled....anti-nausea medicine approved. She goes on to talk to me about what to expect in the recovery area when Cole comes to...she says, "I'm just gonna say it like it is...he will be groggy, he may be crying, he may be very upset and agitated...but he's not in pain. His brain is just in a very disoriented state and he'll be very confused. Just hold him and cuddle with him until he settles down". I'm one of those people who's horribly scared of the unknown but surprisingly hearing this from her didn't comfort me at all. In fact, it just worried me even more as to the condition I would see Cole in after surgery.

1:30 pm: The nurse comes in and asks Cole, "Do you want to try some of this cherry juice I have?". She says it's the medicine (Versed) to help him relax. They like to give it to the patient shortly before they go in for surgery so I'm expecting it won't be long until Cole gets called back for surgery.

2:20 pm: Cole is higher than a kite....his eyes are glazed over. Garrett let him bring one of his pacis for comfort and every once in awhile it falls out of his mouth and he laughs hysterically and drools all over the place. The nurses keep coming by and joking with him, as he's watching the Spongebob DVD, "Hey, how many Spongebobs do you see?", "Is Spongebob flying in the air?", "how many fingers am I holding up?". Every few minutes, Cole reaches his arm up and says "Look, I can touch the lights".

Right after I snapped this picture, he tries to get out of bed, saying "I need to go exercise....where's my ice cream?". He's starting to become agitated and trying to get out of bed. I ask the nurse how much longer until he gets called back for's been 45 minutes since they've given him the Versed. She says it should be just another 5 minutes.

2:25 pm: Two nurses come in and say, "Okay, we're ready....". Cole's so out of it that he doesn't even realize what's going on. He doesn't cry as I say goodbye to him and I'm thankful. I really expected that I would be a total wreck, watching him being wheeled away from me, down the long hallway to the OR. The nurse gives me a final wave once Cole's in the OR and I exit to the waiting room to endure the 40 minute wait until his surgery is over.

3:15 pm: The dr comes into the waiting room to get me to bring me to the recovery area. While we walk, he shows me pictures of Cole's insides ( I know what his vas deferens look like). He says the surgery went well, the hernia has been taken care of and he goes over further instructions for Cole's care over the next few days. I go into the recovery area and there's my baby, asleep on the gurney with an oxygen mask on. The sounds of the monitors take me back to our days in the NICU. It's amazing how something like that sticks in your mind. It's a sound you don't ever forget, especially the sounds of the alarms going off.

3:45 pm: The nurse wants to try to wake Cole up because she says he should've been awake by now. She tries to rouse him but he isn't responsive so I ask her if she can wait another 10 minutes but she continues to try to wake him up. He finally wakes up and he's extremely groggy. She keeps saying to him, "Cole, wake up....wake up". I wanna slap her. But I refrain. He starts to pull at his IV and crying. Then he's sobbing and thrashing around in the bed. Even though the anesthesiologist prepared me for this, I don't think it's anything you can really be prepared for until you actually see it with your own eyes. The nurse keeps asking Cole if he wants some juice or a popsicle. He can't even respond...he's sobbing and trying to get out of bed. She shoves a popsicle in his face and says, "here, see if you can eat this". Now he becomes even more upset and starts thrashing even more. I tell her to take the popsicle away and I'll see if he'll eat it once he calms down.

4:15 pm: Cole is finally quiet and calm. But he's complaining that his belly hurts and he keeps trying to rip the bandage of his belly button. The nurse assures me there's no way he can be feeling any pain because he's been given pain killers. Then she starts to take off the little sticky pads to the monitors off his chest and she has a hard time getting one off and abruptly rips it off, causing Cole to start sobbing all over again. He keeps complaining that his belly button hurts so I ask if she can get him some tylenol. She says, "really? Do you think he needs it? He's had pain killers". I say, "Well, he's obviously feeling uncomfortable...maybe the meds aren't working as well as they should be. Can you just look into getting him some Tylenol?". Then she says, "I think he's just saying that to get attention". Crazy nurse, say what?! This is what I envisioned next....except that's a SNAKE and it's a MAN the snake is biting but you get my point.Not to get off the subject or anything, but I just find it funny that whoever took this picture found it more important to take a picture of his buddy getting bitten in the face by a snake that he grabbed his camera and started snapping away INSTEAD of rescuing his friend. I would surely hope this guy getting bitten removed his so-called buddy from his Facebook friends list immediately after getting out of the hospital.

So I tell the nurse that I don't think Cole is saying he's in pain because he wants attention...."HE JUST HAD HIS BELLY BUTTON OPERATED ON...I THINK HE'S SAYING HE'S IN PAIN BECAUSE HE'S IN PAIN...NOW GET THE DOCTOR AND ASK HIM TO GET MY SON SOME TYLENOL NOW". Don't mess with Mama on surgery day!!!

Cole gets his tylenol and he's finally completely calm, laying in my lap and asking when we can go home. After waiting another 20 minutes to make sure he doesn't have a reaction to the Tylenol, Cole is discharged and sleeps the whole way home.

Once we arrive home, he finally gets his ice cream....

Overall, the day was a success! And Mama held it together and didn't cry once!!


Annie said...

I'm so glad cole is okay. My son Jakob had eye surgery last year and I remember all to well what it was like waking him up. Your right the doctor can tell you all about it but until you experience it you really don't know. It's horrible for that first hour and then they are fine.

ImakehairROCK4u2 said...

We go for tubes next week for my 6yo...I doubt I hold it together. He had Versed once when he was a baby getting a spinal MRI...he was like a drunken was great! lol

eight helping hands said...

I'm really glad to hear Cole is doing well. Good job of keeping it together mom! Thank you for letting us know how he was, I was thinking of you all this morning, and a little worried. Take care!

3 Bay B Chicks said...

Wow, Helene, you must have been exhausted after all that. I am so glad to read that Cole is OK, though.

Ugh...modern medicine. Sometimes you really do need to be your own health advocate!

Plenty of ice cream for Cole today.


Karen said...

Nurses really frustrate me sometimes. I mean, I understand that they're doing their job and that they see the same things day in and day out. But still. If they would just spend more time listening...

Anyway, glad Cole is okay. What a cutie.

And speaking of "drugged out" kids, have you seen the youtube video "David After Dentist"? Hilarious!

The Schumachers said...

So glad to hear he's feeling better! Your story reminds me of my daughter's surgery complete with Versed! I had to leave the pre-op room because I was laughing so hard!! Such a sweet little boy!

Christina said...

I am so glad everything went well! Good job mama...sucha brave boy.

That nurse was an absolute witch! I would of slapped her.

Meg said...

Glad everything went ok.

I went through the same thing when my oldest had tubes in and adnoids out. They kept telling me, oh he will be fine. I still worried and then recovery is scary. I have worked in recovery and it didn't bother me, but when it is your baby, those nurses just don't do anything right!!!

Hajar said...

*whew* I'm glad that ordeal is behind you! I'm glad Cole made it through OK and got his ice cream when it was all over. THE NERVE OF THAT NURSE! Even if that was her opinion, she did NOT have to say it out loud.
We're looking at a surgical experience before too long, because my one baby's circumcision wasn't done right, so it tried to stick back down, in the wrong place, and got infected. GRRRR. I want the doc who did that to be re-circumcized! I think maybe they were training someone who did not know what they were doing, because it happened at that stinkin' university hospital in Memphis, where they were born.
My one friend who used to be Jewish, but is now a Muslim, told me I should have taken him to the Jewish guys who do circumcisions, because they would have made sure they did it right, at least. I told her that if I ever have another boy, I'll look into that.

HarryJack's Mom said...

ohSOglad he's recovering nicely - it sounds like it might help the doc to know that his pre- and post-nurses need a little re-training! Thanx for the laugh about his underwear stand - that happens with one of mine all the time; misery and company and all that! Happy healing :-)

Connie said...

You wrote a wonderful post that shows your child's surgery from your point of view. It was touching and informative. You are not only a fantastic Mom but an advocate for your child. You handled the whole situation just right.

I really think that you could write a book about how to handle different situations concerning children.

So happy that Cole did well with the surgery and is on the road to recovery.

Tracy said...

Yay Cole! Yay Mama!

Tracy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Debbie said...

I am so glad it is behind you and went so well. I never doubted your strength for a minute.

Amy said...

yay Cole and yay you for making it through all that!

Anonymous said...

So glad all went well for you. I went through this with my oldest daughter and son. The nurse, you should have slapped her. I'm wondering why they didn't give him a cuddle. Not sure if that's how you say it but it's a child's version of an epidural and he wouldn't have felt pain for at least 3 hours after surgery. Of course he would have had to stay in bed but you should question that one.

And how come, they didn't let you go in the operating room with him til he feel asleep??? I'm sorry, I guess I'm just fussing for you. Give me that Dr's number and I'll cuss him out for you.

But I'm glad your son is okay and that you made it through.

MommyAmy said...


I think there's a certain kind of person who becomes a nurse (no offense to nurses out there!). You know, the type who really has a hard time thinking outside the box. They like rules, they like protocol, and anything outside of that and they become very insistent.

Sounds like you did a great job working through it Momma!

The Mother said...

Kids are such troopers. If my hubby had had that surgery, he'd be bedridden for a week.

Glad everything turned out okay.

Tami said...

I'm so happy everything worked out, He looks happy to be home and enjoying that ice cream!

Semi-Slacker Mom said...

Versed is the best drug E.V.E.R! In fact, I wish I could have some.

And I'm glad you jacked that nurse up! Sounds like they need some new nurses at that place.

I'm so glad everything went well with the surgery. I told you the waking up was the worst part!

Tess said...

Oh you are so brave! I wouldnt have made it and not cry? No way! Im glad he is ok and got his ice cream. :)

Tess said...

Oh you are so brave! I wouldnt have made it and not cry? No way! Im glad he is ok and got his ice cream. :)

Aubrey said...

Oh the joys of an undie meltdown! LOL
I'm so happy to hear it all went well.

Coming over from SITS to say hello and WELCOME!

Anonymous said...

Awww! Poor baby!!! Stupid nurse!

So cute-I gotta go exercise!

Did he remind you of this kid:

Elizabeth Channel said...

You are one tough, strong surgery mom! I'm so glad it's over and he's resting well!

Stesha said...

Why do some nurses have to be a....okay I won't say that word on your blog, because I like you.

Happy to see that Cole is doing well:)

Jen said...

Whew, what a long day! I am so glad that you didn't cry and what a brave boy you have there.

And on behalf of nurses (I am an RN), I just want to say sorry. You had some not so good ones there. ;)

Chris said...

I am glad to see him get his ice cream and smile in the end.
And I am also glad to hear mom made it through with no bodily injury to the nurse. Good job mom.

rightonmom said...

These kids of ours show some amazing inner strength. Your first picture and caption had me laughing, thats my son too!!

cheers from sits!

Jennifer said...

I'm so glad he's better! And I wish you DID bite that nurse's head off. Some people!

Laura said...

From my mommie point of view: I'm still trying to get over my shock of the nurse getting your son mixed up with the tonsilectomy patient! OMG!!!

I am SO glad today went so well for you!

Jaime said...

Congrats on making it through the day without any major problems! As for the nurse, I would definitely bring it up to not only the doctor but the hospital as well. Both need to be informed of her attitude as it was entirely unprofessional and uncaring as a nurse.

Versed is what we call a "kiddie cocktail" at work. Oh, another fun drug for kids is Tylenol with Codeine, unless your child ends up wired afterward like my son did. He was up half the night after our trip to the ER for his broken ankle! Thought it was just because he was feeling better or excited about his X-ray experience, but it happened the next night after the medication also.

Molly said...

Well I am super impressed you didn't cry! I think I would have.

And although this post had a serious subject matter I was laughing so hard! You've got a gift!

bonnieearly said...

Oh it's so hard when they wake up like that. Quinn was the same way when he came out of his anestesia from his MRI. It sucks. :( I'm glad to see he got his icecream and is doing well.

mich said...

So glad to hear he's gotten through the surgery and I'm sure you are sooo relieved it's over. I love the pics...he's adorable!!


Doré said...

I'm so happy to hear everything went well. I was a nervous wreck when Brayden had his surgery. It's amazing the strength we find as mothers... who woulda thought we had it in us, huh??

Tell Cole I'm proud of him for being such a big boy!!

Heather Happymaker said...

Dear God, those photos of Cole with the teddy bear had my heart in a lump in my belly. I didn't realize my mouth was open until I finished reading your post.

I will head over there and slap the bleeding H*ll out of that nurse if you want me to. It seems like there's no middle ground with nurses (in my experience). They're either, quite literally, angels of patience, comfort and mercy or nasty accusatory, ignorant beeyotches.

So glad it's over with and Cole is recovering, the sweet baby! Congrats to both of you!

Xazmin said...

I am sooo glad things went well. Aside from the obnoxious nurse. It really surpises me how insensitive they can sometimes be. I have had a few choice experiences with insensitive nurses! Good thing most of them are so sweet! Hope everything continues to go smoothly!

Anonymous said...

I am glad that the surgery went well, I love the "before" pic, the look on his face is priceless!

I will never forget when my son had his tonsils removed. They gave him the Versed before hand and in 15 minutes he was sitting up on the bed in his underwear playing Oh Susanna on a pretend banjo for the really cute nurse!!!

I will never forget that!
:) hugs!

Anonymous said...

I am glad that the surgery went well, I love the "before" pic, the look on his face is priceless!

I will never forget when my son had his tonsils removed. They gave him the Versed before hand and in 15 minutes he was sitting up on the bed in his underwear playing Oh Susanna on a pretend banjo for the really cute nurse!!!

I will never forget that!
:) hugs!

Anonymous said...

I am glad that the surgery went well, I love the "before" pic, the look on his face is priceless!

I will never forget when my son had his tonsils removed. They gave him the Versed before hand and in 15 minutes he was sitting up on the bed in his underwear playing Oh Susanna on a pretend banjo for the really cute nurse!!!

I will never forget that!
:) hugs!

mrsbear said...

I'm happy everything went smoothly, except for the dimwitted nurse. The kid just had surgery and she thinks he's trying to manipulate you for attention. He's not even 100% conscious. Kudos to you for keeping your cool. And that photo of the tantrum over undies, yeah, been there.

twinmama said...

I am so happy that everything went well for Mr. Cole and he sounded like he was very brave.

Also, you go, Mama Bear! Way to protect your little cub. I admire that you got done what you needed to for your son. I agree with Mrsbear, I don't think he could have thought of getting attention so soon after regaining consciousness.

Peanut has a dermoid cyst on her back that we have to have surgically removed in the next couple of months. Not sure if she will be put under yet, but reading the events of your day helps me to get prepared.

Jennifer said...

Way to go Cole!! And I think I'd have bitten that nurse's head off as well.

I know what you mean about how Cole was groggy and agitated after surgery. My boys had tubes put in their ears a couple weeks ago. Blake just kind of whined, but Brady was flailing about as he was coming out of his "fog."

Hope he heals quickly. Yeah for you for being a great mom.

By the way, did he end up wearing his Lightening McQueen underwear or the Transformer ones?

Creative Junkie said...

I'm so glad it's over and that he did so well!


That's the huge weight that has just been taken off your shoulders, being tossed out the window. said...

Poor little guy!

Love the circle around the belly button!

I apologize to you on behalf of all nurses throughout the country... you had a real winner!

The snake picture was a perfect find for describing the mommy reaction you had!

Bravo mommy! And the little guy, look at that face when he was done!

Lana said...

So glad things went well!! (other than the nurse incident, that it!)What a little trooper!

Arlice Nichole said...

Man! What's wrong with those nurses?

Journey on! by Kelleye said...

Oh I didn't want to finish reading this after the anesthesia horror we had a couple of weeks ago! But I am so glad thats wasn't your case! Thank goodness everything went well! You know funny you put that pic on there with the snake- I have often thought that same thing about myself when I choose camera over helping my child- hahaha its hold on, stay right there- click, okay mommy gotcha now- you can let go!

Sela Toki said...

Helene, I just read this old post and busted out laughing. Hilarious. Especially towards the end about the snake and that "not so bright" nurse. So funny!

I figure that if the children are alive when my husband gets home at the end of the day, I've done my job.

----Roseanne Barr

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