My nine-year-old son is the center of my universe. This is the story of his childhood as it unfolds. Please read the first post, "Why I started this blog," to know more.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Life in the aftermath of a vitrectomy

Okay, so maybe I'm being a bit melodramatic here, what with the over-the-top post title. But really, it does seem that way. Let me take a step back, though and continue from where I left off.

Last Tuesday night, a couple of hours after he went to sleep, Munchkin woke up and started throwing up every hour or so. From around 1.30 am to around 6.45 am. There was nothing to do but reschedule the surgery. So I called up the hospital around 7.30 am and told them about it. They're really well organized and an hour later, the surgeon's assistant - the chap who manages all the appointments and other scheduling - called up to check on what had happened.

Our pediatrician prescribed a syrup which seemed to work miracles and the little fellow was fine all through Wednesday and Thursday. I can only hazard that he was Which is more than I can say for myself. Walking the kind of tightrope I do isn't easy and any little shove - such as pre-surgery jitters compounded by a stressful, sleepless night - is enough send me hurtling into an abyss. So while we had managed to reschedule the vitrectomy for Friday, I was down with fever, nausea, giddiness, and extreme anxiety by Wednesday night. But I digress...

On Friday morning, we were at the hospital a little after 8 and even though he wasn't the youngest there that day, he was taken in first, around 9.15 am. The next hour was probably the longest of my life, and when the surgeon came out to tell us that the procedure had gone well, I felt like I'd begun to breathe again. And when the little fellow back - moaning and delirious as usual - I was ready to both laugh and cry.

The next few hours were peaceful - the anesthetist seemed to have sedated him before sending him back and we were spared the extreme theatrics of April. By 3pm, he was sipping juice and did so through to 5.30pm, insisting he wasn't hungry (the nurse said that was natural because he had been given drips). In between, he also told us that the chief anethesiologist had given him a bit of a scolding because he'd been howling that he didn't want the surgery. The anesthesiologist knows him because he's been going back for procedures since 2007.

The surgeon let us go home that evening, even though he'd said earlier that we might have had to stay at the hospital overnight. He's a slightly reticent fellow, so when he said: "He (my son) cried quite a bit before the surgery," I knew he must have created one heck of a racket.

We had to go back very early the next morning to get his bandage removed. That's when I discovered that they'd trimmed his lashes. (They'd grow back, the surgeon assured us.) There was no swelling, though. He also showed us the single suture they'd put in - it looked like a pinhead. Even though the vitrectomy would normally have been suture-less, they'd put one in because the 'sclera' in children is rather thin. I can't exactly explain that here, but based on whatever I've read, it made sense.

Munchkin was sleep through most of Saturday as well, but come Sunday, he was back to his recent, bratty self. (Long story, that, and not one worth telling here.) In the meantime, I managed to get myself a bad head cold and on Monday morning, I got myself a crick in my side. And I have to go in to work for a few hours each day.

The challenges - and I don't use that word lightly - are many to implement. No television, no reading, no bending forward, or sleeping on your back (the last two are really important because otherwise, the air bubble they've inserted will touch the lense and could induce a cataract - and that's really not something we want!), no playing outside, no going outside at all, in fact ... not easy to impose on a hyperactive eight-year-old.

More updates in a few days ...

1 comment:

Liz said...

Sounds like you are really going through some tough times - hang in there. At least the surgery is done and over with - but yes, it must be a challenge to keep a boy nice and mellow! Hope you feel better (both of you). I'll be praying for you!