Saturday, February 28, 2015

Happy Needle-Free Birthday!

Yesterday was Luke's big day!  His surgery AND his 16th birthday!  We headed off to Bethesda, getting there at 10:00.  We went to the "same-day procedure check-in desk", and they took us to a little cubicle where Luke donned this stylish outfit.  Then we waited around for approximately forever, twiddling our thumbs.  I read my book and Luke read an old Reader's Digest I had in my tote bag.  The hours rolled past slowly, especially for Luke, since he hadn't had anything to eat or drink since Thursday night before bed.
Around noon they finally took us over to the anesthesia care unit, where Luke got his IV.  The anesthesiologist came out and talked with us.  I did have some questions for her, particularly about why them putting Luke all the way under was better than doing a spinal or something.  She said that with a spinal, you have at least 2 hours of numbness, and you have to stick around until all that wears off, while when you use general anesthesia, you can go under and come back out pretty quickly.  Since it was getting so late, I was okay with not waiting around even longer after the procedure.  The surgeon came out and talked to us, and he looked at the lump above Luke's knee and agreed that it looked pretty obvious where the needle was.  I asked him about trying to get it out with a local, and he did not want to do that.  He said he thought it was still a little deeper than we were thinking from the x-rays, and the local only numbs the surface.  If Luke moved around during the procedure, that would be bad, especially as they were trying to get something so small out.  Well . . . okay, I guess.  We weren't really thrilled about that, but this guy was the head pediatric ortho surgeon, so I guess he knows what he's talking about.

Eventually they took Luke back about 1:40, and I headed off to wait in the surgical waiting room.  I was reading a book by one of my favorite authors, Lisa Wingate, called The Story Keeper.  It was so good, so the time really flew by.  Also I finally was able to eat my peanut butter sandwich and orange, since I hadn't wanted to eat in front of Luke.  I was so hungry by then!  The doctor came out about 2:20 to say they were done and to hand me the specimen jar with the needle tip in it.  It was a good 1/2 inch!  (You can see it at the bottom of the jar in the picture.)  The surgeon said everything went really well, no surprises, but that they were going to keep Luke in a knee immobilizer until his follow-up appointment 2 weeks later.  Ummm . . . okay.
Not too much later I was able to go back and see Luke, who was looking just fine.  He came out of anesthesia just fine, which was a huge praise.  His leg was bandaged up like a mummy, in a thigh-to-toes ace bandage, and then on top of that, he had this huge immobilizer thing around his knee.  They wheeled him back to the place we started out at, where Luke got dressed again (fitting his sweats over the huge immobilizer) and got his discharge instructions.  I have to say, we were both pretty surprised at the instructions, since they made it seem like he had a major knee surgery, like his ACL repaired, or a knee replacement or something.  The nurse kept telling him he should under NO circumstances bend his knee, and it was so important to keep the ace bandage on for 5 days "to keep the wound together".  He was supposed to wear the immobilizer at all times, even when sleeping, and after 5 days he could take a shower, wrapping the ace bandage (or maybe just the wound itself?  Hard to tell).  There was even a paragraph in the instructions about how he would be referred to physical therapy, where he could start regaining the full range of motion of his knee.  So . . . yeah, that's so not what Luke had done.  Although when he unwrapped the whole thing today, we were surprised to see that the incision was longer than we thought it would be, considering where the lump was.  Still, it's not really any different than what the guy did at the ER when he tried to find the fragment, and there wasn't all this rigamarole after that procedure!  Luke's not going to play basketball tomorrow, but he's also not wearing that crazy knee immobilizer thing either.  And he is just wearing one smaller ace bandage.  He's felt some throbbing, so he's been taking tylenol, but they sent him home with oxycontin!  Good grief!   His follow-up appointment in scheduled for Thursday, March 12.
We (finally) got back home around 5:45.  Nathan and Caleb had kept everything running around the house, giving Verity bottles, changing diapers, etc.  I was very ready to nurse, but I was also glad I didn't have Verity with me.  That would have made for *such* a long day for both of us!  I nursed, frosted a cake, put the toppings on a cheesecake, grabbed a quick bowl of soup, and then we rushed off to Bible study, where we brought dessert to celebrate Luke's birthday.  We brought chocolate cheesecake, a chocolate banana cake, plus M&M bars.  Everything was eaten--we brought nothing home!  At least there was a little birthday celebration on the actual day!  Funny thing--at Bethesda, they ask you for your full name and date of birth pretty much any time anyone comes to talk to you.  So all day long people asked Luke, and he responded with his name and "Feb. 27, 1999".  Only one person looked up and said, "Hey!  It's your birthday!"  Everyone else just checked it off and moved on, LOL.
Luke did get to celebrate a little early.  Wednesday night Bob got tickets to the Capitals/Penguins game, and he took Nathan, Luke, Jonathan, and Caleb and Daniel McC (our Caleb had basketball practice).  The seats were amazing, and everyone had a super fun time!  The McCs gave him a giftcard to Chipotle, his favorite place, plus a bag of peanut M&Ms.  Today we had his birthday dinner, which was chicken packets, cabbage, peas, and fruit salad.  I think we can guarantee this will be a birthday Luke never forgets!

No comments: