Saturday, June 13, 2009

Lip Adhesion Post-Op

Well, yesterday was quite the day. We got to the Maine Med Scarborough Surgery Center at 6:30 for Sage's lip adhesion. It's a nice-looking facility, actually. But I was just thinking about the fact that my baby boy was having SURGERY at 4 months old. Anyway, he was very cheery until about 7:00 because even though I woke him at five to give him some apple juice (clear liquids only 2 hours before surgery), he really didn't drink much. So he was a hungry little bear.

They took him for anesthesia at 7:15 and didn't let either of us go to see him off to sleep, which bothered me a bit. They told us with babies that young they don't have the parents come in, because it doesn't make much of a difference. That's ridiculous, because he notices the difference when I'm there or not there. I really think it's because they don't want to put in the oxygen tube in front of you (apparently babies that young can't breathe well unassisted when they're that deeply asleep). So we just wandered out of the pre-op area back to the waiting room and waited.

They have these screens that show the patients, coded with different colors that show what step of the procedure they're on. As soon as we saw Sage's showing that they were ready for us to come back there, we found someone to take us back, down a corridor and around corners and through some very soundproof doors. As soon as I heard my son screaming, they didn't need to tell me what recovery room he was in.

He was hoarse from the oxygen tube and the screaming. He also had these braces on his arms so he can't put his hands anywhere near his mouth. They basically don't allow him to bend his elbows at all. Also, someone had put one side on with the velcro toward his body, so his poor little cheek was red and scratched. The nurses were all acting really strange, like they didn't know why he was crying and couldn't figure out why he didn't stop immediately when I held him.

They said not to worry-- he was so numbed up he wasn't crying from pain. They know this how? Did he tell them? I've had my child get shots, and I know his "pain" cry. It's not like his hungry cry or his sleepy cry.

All that aside, when I sat down, they handed me a bottle of pedialyte with a regular nipple! When I said "I don't know if he's going to be able to work with that nipple" the nurse holding it out to me looked at me like I was crazy. Um, hello--can you not see what this child just had done? He has a cleft lip! He can't drink with a normal nipple!

Luckily I had brought both types of nipple he's used. One of them we stopped using because his suck was getting strong enough that it was just coming out too fast, he didn't know until too late that he was full, etc.

So anyway I'm sitting there holding my wriggly child who's screaming his head off, trying to hold his blanket on him (they didn't have him wrapped all that well) and also trying to communicate to my husband that I needed one of Sage's own bottles, giving directions through the . Once we got that sorted out, he really didn't like the pedialyte. I have no idea what it tastes like, but until Thursday he hadn't had anything but my milk and the occasional bottle of formula. I brought apple juice/water for him, and he liked that much better. He ate, spit up blood and apple juice, and then after about 30 minutes of me holding him and walking up and down the hall with him, he fell asleep. Then they told me they needed to take his IV out of his little hand. And basically 10 minutes later I was hauling him out the car in the rain.

The discharge instructions are not even 100 words of pertinent information. Nothing about cleaning around the stitches. And of course when they hand you the paper then ask if you have any questions, you're not thinking about when you get home. You're just thinking about the fact that your baby son is nearly inconsolable after a surgery.

On the way home, I said to Tom, "I wonder how they get those tubes in his ears." And he asked me if I was even sure they did them, because he never saw the ENT there. I didn't either, but his portion of the surgery was only about 10 minutes, so I figured he did his first then left. But I really have no idea. I sincerely hope they did that so he doesn't need to have another separate surgery. They mentioned it in the pre-op room, so I wouldn't think anyone forgot. . .

But now Sage has to wear those arm braces until his post-op appointment with the plastic surgeon, which is supposed to be in one week, but they couldn't fit us in until next Tuesday. So he has to wear them for more like a week and a half. It's all just so irritating. I really felt like we were just booted out yesterday. Plus, these people have paperwork on my son and still call him a "she". Same thing happened at all of his pre-op appointments. "How much does she weigh?" Fourteen pounds, ten ounces, and actually it's "he". One lady said "Really? Sage? Oh, that's interesting." Like, because she felt stupid, she wanted to make sure I did too. But I have never met a female Sage. I really think it's a unisex name. But whatthefuckever.

And of course when you go to an office, you inevitably need to present yourself to at least three people: the receptionist, the nurse/person that takes you to the office, and then the doctor/specialist/person you're actually there to see. It's one thing when people out in public think he's a girl (despite the fact that I always have him dressed VERY boyish (blue, green, orange, brown) and all his accoutrements are black or brown. It just gets pretty damn irritating when each one of the people is a doctor's office has access to paperwork that tells them exactly what sex the child is, if there was any doubt. Tom said he didn't think it was the name-- it's because Sage is such a pretty little boy. Does my husband know just what to say to me, or what? :)

Anyway, my sweet son who for about 1.5 months has been sleeping straight through the night, at least 10 hours, couldn't stay asleep in his little crib and periodically sobbed in his sleep while I held him. It can only get better from here. Until the next surgery (probably in September).

Well, I've probably complained enough. But I really hate how I feel like I can't question a doctor. Like for some reason we are expected to just do what they say because they obviously know what they're talking about. Well, I'm working my way out of that stupid assumption!

I have another rant on paper that I'll be presenting in the next day or so, and I have some items in the works for the shop, so hopefully I'll be taking photos today (good day for it, up here in the great Northeast). Tom's taking a test as part of the application process for an apprenticeship at the Navy Yard. Hopefully that's going well!

1 comment:

Kiki Travels said...

I'm just reading this entry and it was gripping. How vividly you painted both Sage's harrowing first surgery and the inanity of most of the medical world. It is so frustrating to feel like you're on line in a bad cafeteria, having a useless slab of medical mystery meat and a side of steaming hot bullshit pushed in your face by an overworked, frustrated nurse whose doctor manager is running from patient to patient trying to garner enough income to pay for his malpractice insurance AND the house in Antigua. After spending 6 months in various hospitals after my mom's car accident, I wholly empathize with you. The entire system, much like the public education system, needs a complete overhaul. It's actually sad-- the US us fucking up pretty much the two most essential building blocks of any powerful and successful country. Good work USA.