This post has been long in coming. We found out almost a year ago that our sweet boy would be best to have surgery to fix all of his teeth problems. First, it was hard to swallow that he had so many cavities but when you stop to think how much of a night nurser he was then it seems a little better. Second, I felt bad for panicking due to the fact that WE HAD A CHOICE to have his procedures done under anesthesia at a hospital.
Right around this time we knew a little girl who was going to have brain surgery in hopes to cure her epilepsy. You can read more about her story on the Journey of the Amazing Roz post. So you see I was torn in sharing this post sooner and a little embarrassed about being stressed when we had a choice and so many other parents do not have a choice for their child’s surgery. We know a few tiny preemie babies that have had to have life-saving procedures and the stress and financial strain that surgery can cause. I could say that I was also extra emotional with having to take our nursing baby with us as well.
After meeting with the dentist we were referred to a specialist (which we did not know at the time). We knew we were meeting with a recommended children’s dentist. We took Big Red to meet Dr. Mason and things seemed to go really well. Since we had dual medical and dental insurance we were told a very high percentage of our bill would be covered where normally expenses could reach into the thousands! This was a motivating factor I must admit along with the fact that all corrections could be made in one simple visit giving Big Red the chance to still feel comfortable with going to the dentist. (This is our ultimate goal along with good dental health.)
Our first scheduled surgery time got bumped due to a more serious condition that needed immediate attention. This kinda gave me a sigh of relief and a chance to better prepare. This also gave us a definite date and time for surgery that could be slightly altered by the hospital up to 24 hours before, but not cancelled . We had to take Big Red for a Well-Child Checkup about 2 weeks prior to the scheduled procedure just to be sure he was healthy and no medical concerns were present. He passed with flying colors.
The day before the surgery the nurse called and went over everything we needed to know. I made sure to write down a COMPLETE list of what the “Clear liquids” were that Big Red could have. I also made sure I understood the exact cutoff for eating and drinking to be sure he wasn’t hungrier then necessary. I had gatorade, jello, Popsicles, broth, and eggs to offer for breakfast. I tried to let him sleep as long as possible BUT we still had to be mindful of the eating cut-off time. Talk about STRESSFUL when your child always wants to eat milk and cereal for breakfast. We had talked about foods he could eat before going to the hospital to make things easier.
I had my hubby take off work to accompany Big Red and had my mom meet us at the hospital to occupy Lil’ Red. The big kids, Eldest and Princess stayed at home with my hubby’s best friend so they did not have to worry. He took them out to eat, to a park, and to a specialty ice cream place.
It was very hard to not eat in front of Big Red but I had to sneak some non-smelly food a couple times to keep my energy up for nursing Lil’ Red. Once we were at the hospital we found the check-in desk and then signed in. I stayed out with Lil’ Red until my mom was there to stay with Lil’ Red. I then found were Big Red was and hung out with him until I had to go nurse the baby. We were sure to bring a pull-up for the procedure and an extra for the ride home. (Just wanted to be sure that an accident wouldn’t leave him embarrassed or upset.)
I drank and snacked in the waiting area when I nursed to keep from getting too hungry. Once Big Red was seen by numerous nurses, Anesthesiologist, Dentist, etc. He was given the liquid amnesiac and then was taken away to surgery. Everything was clearly explained ahead of time as to how much if anything he would know or remember,etc.
We went and ate after waiting for 40+ minutes for the basics of the procedures to be begun after xrays. My Mom and I took the baby down to the Cafeteria and bought the food. We brought it back up to the waiting area so we could be near the nurses station to eat. We made sure the nurses station knew where we were just in case.
He made it through with flying colors. He took a little extra time to wake up which we weren’t expecting. We also were not quite prepared for the listlessness of our energetic boy while he slept off the meds. Once he was awake and drank the minimum of apple juice. He was cleared to leave. I sent hubby and the baby off to the car to meet us downstairs.
Once we got home (a few hours later then expected), we were all starving. We picked up some KFC and ate dinner. Big Red begged for mashed potatoes, mac n cheese, and even ate some chicken. We were quite surprised by his appetite. The nurses and doctor said he might only eat broth but could try to eat anything he wanted.
I am sharing all of this not to scare anyone but to help prepare those of you who choose to have medical procedures for your child. It was stressful but I am very glad that we made that choice. He still wants to go to the dentist for his next cleaning and I am so very grateful.