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!"
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". Whew....so 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 surgery...it'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 (lovely...now 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....