Friday, May 22, 2009

First Day After Surgery

We had a rough night in the ICU. Another child came in who had been in a car accident. He had scans and x-rays throughout the night. With only two curtains separating us, privacy is nonexistent and sleep was hard to come by. The nurses were amazing and the night one sneaked a cot into the room so we took shifts sleeping in that and the reclining chair. We each got a few hours of sleep at least.

In the morning we met with the surgeon and he said Ben looked very well. His blood tests continued to come back very good throughout the day and he needs no further transfusions. His color is amazing, he continues to nurse well, and he has been such a trooper through all of this.

We were able to move from PICU to our own room in the pediatric ward. He is off all of the monitoring machines and was down to only one IV line this morning. Ben's color is great and he is still a little cranky, but not nearly as much as I expected. He is nursing very well too. It seems Ben is hungry more often but nurses for shorter ammounts of time. He is so medicated that it would make sense he would fall asleep easier once he's full and comfortable.

In the afternoon he pulled off all of his head dressings twice. I did not have time to brace myself to see the incision. It was more wavy than zig-zagged, and it was raised up and kind of wormy looking. I took a few pictures while the dressing was off. (I'm only sharing the not-gross one.) I can't believe how different his head already looks. The knob on the back is almost completely gone and it is much more rounded. When they redid the dressings they added this great streatchy mesh wrap that also goes around his chin. This is working much better.

The reconstruction changed his face too. His temples used to be more indented and his forhead was bulging more and more as his brain was expanding. That has all changed. The swelling has really gone down and he looks so different now. It was a little emotional for me to see him look differently so suddenly. I miss things about how he used to look, but I know he looks more "normal" now and his brain will be able to grow and develop and that's the most important thing. He smiled and cood, and I could see he is the same Ben. He's still pretty adorable.

After dinner everything became a little more dramatic. He pulled his IV out and blood from around the drain started seeping through his bandages. I became very concerned about both, and of course it happened just as my in-laws and husband left and I was here by myself. He had no other IVs in and his narcotic medication and antibiotics were both given through the IV. He has pokes and brusies from head to toe where they started his IVs yesterday, and I couldn't imagine putting him through that again.

Fortunately the nurses called the doctors and they agreed he could switch to oral antibiotics and we are going to try him on only Tylenol with codine for pain, so he will not need an IV.

The nurse drew an outline of the seepage on his bandage and if it spreads, then she will take the dressings off and decide what should be done. But it seems to be a small irritation or something that caused it and hasn't spread so far.

His blood tests have all come back excellent today and he will not need any further transfusions. It is amazing how resilient he is. Looking at him right now, I cannot believe he had major surgery only one day ago.


  1. what a trooper, I pull this up in my rounds and tell my hubby to look at this poor little guy and here he is with a big 'ol grin. awesome.