Thursday, March 26, 2015

Tube time

After watching our daughter battle one too many ear infections, Dave and I decided it was time to schedule her for tubes. Deciding it was easy. Actually going through with it was... emotional.

First, yes, it's a simple, quick procedure. But for a mom to hear that her daughter is going to be put under anesthesia and undergo surgery, she will freak out, logic be damned.

So that was me when we showed up at the hospital for Ava's appointment on March 16. We were told to arrive at 9am for a 10:30 surgery, which just baffled me. But we did as we were told and were quickly placed into a room. In preparation for this, Dave and I pulled out all the stops: We gave Ava her binky, brought her beloved blanket, let her play with our phones, gave her free reign with a box of tissues and turned on the TV.

None of that helped once the nurse came in.

Ava was NOT planning to get any of her vitals taken. It was a battle, but we got what we needed. Because she was so difficult, they decided they would give her a dose of baby Valium before taking her back to the OR. (We were hoping for a family hand-out, but no such luck.)

Of course, that wouldn't happen until about 10 minutes before her surgery, so for the next 90 min., we were left to our own devices. Somewhere in there, a lovely young women came by our room offering toys from the hospital stash. Ava seemed to like this one:

Once she tired of that thing, my rugrat ran around the room, threw every last tissue in the trash, went through my purse, took all my credit cards out of my wallet, watched videos on our phones, waved at the nurses beyond her door, etc.

Then, it was Valium time. Ava's no stranger to those little dropper-syringe things, so she sucked it down in one quick gulp. That's when it got funny-sad.

Within about 5ish minutes, the meds kicked in. Ava got a little heavier and a little less stable, so I had her wrapped in my arms. She watched a video on my phone and waved when she saw herself. I laughed, so she gave a weak, far-away giggle. She was slow, quiet. When the doctors came in to get her, she went right into their arms without any semblance of a protest.

Dave and I were then ushered into the waiting room. Her status was updated in each stage on a screen that we were basically glued to.

Within about 20 minutes, we were able to go back to see her. She was still sleeping when we got to her, even though a child in the curtain-room next to us was screaming his head off. Apparently, when kids wake up from anesthesia, they often lose their minds. Dave and I braced ourselves...

But Ava didn't freak out. When she woke, she sat right up and just kind of stared. She cried for a minute or two, but I think it's because she was starving. Since she was fine, we rolled her bed to a private recovery room where she got goldfish and apple juice.

After eating, she was better. There were periodic tears, but no meltdowns.

And here we are, more than a week later. Except for a stuffy nose, she seems pretty good. Certain noises are no longer pleasant for her (i.e., Dave clanging tongs together as he makes her chicken), but otherwise, there's no discernible difference. Except, hopefully, a total lack of ear infections...

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