It was an early morning for all of us. We woke up just before 5am and left our in-laws home by 515am. It’s a forty-five minute drive from their house to the hospital. Traffic is non-existent that early in the morning so we made it to the hospital just before 6am. Sweetpea slept on the way to the hospital, oblivious to what awaited her there.
We registered at the front desk and went up to the Day Surgery clinic. Here they dressed her in a gown, weighed her (a whopping 22lbs!), took her pulse and temperature. She seemed curious but a little hesitant. We waited in the waiting room for about an hour before the nurses came in to apply a topical aesthetic to her foot for the IV. My Husband doesn’t like needles and has a propensity to pass out when they come too near. The mere thought of an IV made him squeamish.
Then we were shuttled to another room to meet the anesthesiologist, surgeon and operating room nurse. Everyone was friendly. For a moment I missed working as a nurse. Sweetpea was given a cap and so were her bears. She started getting restless so we kept her busy by singing her songs and letting her play games on my cellphone. About fifteen minutes later it was time.
I was dressed in a gown and directed to take Sweetpea into the operating room. They laid her on the operating table and things happened very quickly. I was asked to remove the tape that covered the local aesthetic on her left foot. As they inserted the IV I sang Sweetpea some songs and tried to comfort her. At this point she was getting very upset. Nothing I was doing helped. I felt a little helpless. They put the mask on her face and she was asleep. Phew! I was told to return to the waiting room.
The surgeon estimated that it would take an hour and a half for the surgery. So I prepared to wait for about two hours. I fed Teddy, who was with my mother-in-law. When I returned my husband was experiencing serious coffee withdrawal so I sent him off for his fix.
I read a few blog posts on my phone which was a lovely distraction. As the battery started getting low the surgeon walked in. The surgery was finished after only forty-three minutes! Everything went well and I would be called into the recovery room in a few minutes.
I heard some screaming from the PACU (post-anesthesia care unit) but it didn’t sound like Sweetpea. I looked at the clock. It was just past 9am. Suddenly I felt famished. The kind of hunger that makes you contemplate eating anything, even hospital food, but there was none around and I couldn’t leave. My husband had been gone almost an hour. I figured he must have purchased a few extra-extra-large coffees (I found out afterwards that he went out for breakfast with my mother-in-law).
I sent him a few text messages in desperation. Then the PACU (post-anesthesia care unit) nurse ushered me in and the hunger pains subsided. My little Sweetpea was sleeping so soundly. She looked angelic. I praised God that all went well. I watched her sleep for fifteen minutes and then I HAD to eat. My husband came in and I sprinted to the car where a bagel awaited me. As I inhaled my food I received a text “she’s awake”. I rushed back into the hospital. Sweetpea was indeed awake, crying.
Apparently, the first thing she did when she woke up was look at her foot. She must have remembered the discomfort of the IV being put in right before she was put to sleep. At the sight of the IV she became distressed. The nurse removed it quickly, but Sweetpea wasn’t impressed. We were told we could leave and so we did. There was no point staying any longer. Sweetpea didn’t even notice her thumbs until we brought her to the car.
Once in the car she looked at her thumbs curiously. I gave her some acetaminophen and we started driving home. I looked back a minute later and she had already taken off one bandage and was playing with the stitches. Silly girl! The surgeon mentioned that this might happen. I stuck a bandaid on and Sweetpea seemed fine with that.
We returned home around 1030am. Sweetpea has been relaxing in front of the television since then. The surgery was a success. Her thumbs already look much better. Thank you for all the prayers!