Tuesday, December 13, 2011

First Surgery.

The day had finally come!!

Although it feels like many months ago when he was initially diagnosed with Coat's Disease, it was only one month ago, almost to the day of his surgery!  To make sure he was well enough for surgery, Sam had to have a pre-op physical {which we already did before his MRI} so we just faxed that over, and luckily we didn't have to have another exam! 

Go figure the day before his surgery, he got a little bit of a cold.  I called the on call Dr. because I was not about to drive 4 hours and them tell us they wouldn't put him under!  She said as long as it was a little cold and he doesn't have a fever it should be ok!  So off we went to Minneapolis.

Our plan was to leave on Sammie's birthday in the morning, and head to the Mall of America to let the boys pick out a special toy each from Lego Land.  They had fun, but were very tired from our long car ride.  So we headed back to the hotel and ordered Olive Garden take out!  Everyone seemed happy with that! :)  We went to bed pretty early because we had to check in for surgery at 6:30 AM the next morning.  I am not sure how much any of us slept that night.  Griffin and Sammie are the only two who seemed to get any sleep! :)

Getting up at 5am with 3 kiddos....we lets just say I am glad we don't do it everyday.  Makes for a super LONG day!!  The weather was supposed to be freezing rain, so I was worried about us getting there on time and safely.  We found the Phillips Eye Institute without a problem.  We arrived a little late, but it didn't seem to make much difference.

We didn't have any issues with him asking for food until he saw the bag of snacks I had packed in my bag!!  Then he had a little fit in the waiting room until Nick got up and walked him around the hospital and when he came back he had forgotten all about it.

Sammie right away got 3 sets of drops in each eye.  That just kinda set the tone for how everything else with him was going to play out.  A little while later they called us back for his pre-op stuff.  They took us into a room with a curtain, and told us to put Sammie into some pajamas they had provided. {Next time I am going to ask if he can wear his own clothes, as this seemed to create a HUGE problem for him} 

{an unhappy Sammie wouldn't keep his pajamas on that he needed to wear.  The 2 x's on his cheeks are so the Dr. know which eye to look at.  He had BOTH eyes examined and the LEFT eye operated on}

No matter how hard we tried to calm him, he was extremely upset.  I think he might have been scared...in an unfamiliar place, having to put on unfamiliar pajamas. Needless to say, he was pretty pissed at me especially.  I felt horrible.  I wish someone would have just said "It's ok if he takes his clothes off...it's ok if he doesn't want to wear them".  We weren't told this until right before I took him back to the OR.  Would have been nice to know what 30 minutes prior to all the kicking, screaming, crying etc.


After waiting for what seemed like forever, Nick finally got him calmed down by playing fruit ninja on his phone.  Notice he still wouldn't put the clothes on.  Poor guy.  I got to carry him back to the OR...which means I got to wear the lovely bunny suit. {sorry, no pictures were taken of that!}  He once again fought the mask, but this time it smelled like cherry...which I think he liked.  Once he slowed down and started to be out of it, I put him down on the bed, and left the room so they could start surgery.

The surgery took exactly 30 minutes.  I wasn't nervous for the surgery itself...mostly nervous for the pre and post op stuff. {which really proved to be the worst}  Once our pager went off saying he was out of surgery we were instructed to go to another waiting room to talk with the Dr.

Dr. Quiram told us that the surgery went really well.  She found a lot more leaking in the eye than was initially thought.  She also discovered the retina had already began to tear away.  She said the retina was like looking at a clock, and numbers 1-4 had been torn away.  She is hopeful that after the 4 to 5 surgeries Sammie will need to have that the retina will reattach on it's own, but she wasn't for sure.  She worked on a quadrant of the leaking vessels in Sam's eye.  She said she was very aggressive with it, and will need to be aggressive for the next 2 surgeries as well to get it under control before the retina fully tears away.  She is only able to treat so many vessels at a time because it will aggravate them and might cause more leaking, which we don't want at all!

{Daddy carrying Sammie out to the car after surgery}

I knew Sam would be upset when he woke up.  What I didn't like is that they didn't page us when they woke him up.  The only reason we knew he was awake is we could hear him all the way in the waiting room SCREAMING for Daddy.  Nick went back there and I am so glad he did.  He told me a nurse actually stopped him and said "I don't think you can go in there yet", but he just breezed by and went in to see Sam.  Once Nick was in there Sam calmed immediately.  I think next time they have got to understand to not wake him up until Nick or I can be there for Sammie.  Yes, I think we might be those demanding parents that all nurses and Dr.'s don't like.....

Sam immediately said his eye hurts and was crying a lot.  They tried to give him Tylenol, but Sam gagged and just about vomited.  We ended up staying just long enough for him to finish a bottle of Cranberry juice, but he didn't want to eat.  He was still pretty out of it when we left and his eye was already pretty swollen...so swollen he couldn't open it.  Which the Dr. said to expect for the next 3-4 days.  Sam was only comforted by his Daddy.

{you can see the pain in his face, he didn't want to let go of his eye}
{massive swelling - swelled shut - on our 4.5 hour car ride home}

{all the boys enjoyed a nap on the way home....Griffin actually slept the whole way home}
Whats Next?
Sammie goes in for Surgery again on January 23rd.  Ironic, that we spent Sammie's birthday on our way to have surgery and we will spend Nick's birthday on our way to have surgery!  We are going up on Saturday this next time to be able to enjoy our time before surgery a little more, rather then being rushed!

Dr. Quiram wants to do at least 4-5 more surgeries in efforts to seal up all the leaking.  We are so hopeful that no NEW vessels start leaking over this process.  I just hope she can restore even a tiny bit of Sammie's vision.  Or at least keep it where it's at.

Sam looked in the mirror this morning, and said "Mommy?  One eye open, and one eye closed...TWO eyes open Mommy".  Brooke my heart.  Soon his eyes will both be open, and we will be going through this all over again!

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