Monday, March 9, 2009

Bilateral myringotomy and tubes

She woke up coughing and asked for milk. "No milk, love, remember?" I asked her and she coughed some more, and cried.

I'll just have juice!

No drinks at all. Dr. Earl wanted her to have an empty belly, and so she were awake, coughing and cranky, two minutes before the alarm was set to ring. Not the best start to an already fraught morning.

We arrived at the surgery center and after paperwork we were sent through a door and behind a curtain so the purple patient could disrobe.

But she didn't want to take her clothes off. And she didn't want to let the nurse take her temperature, or her pulseox, or listen to her chest, and she definitely didn't want the anesthesiologist to listen a second time. Screaming was plentiful.

The last surgery E was a participant in was the one in which my lower abdomen was sliced open so she could be pulled out into the world. On that day, the OB lifted my red-faced, angry daughter out of me and into the 26th of January and declared as he held her at arm's length, "that's the loudest set of lungs I've heard all month." On this day, I was reminded of that comment.

She flat-out refused to wear the hospital gown, even though it was so soft and lovely and I would have worn it if it came in my size, even though it was covered in birdies and bunny rabbits, even though it was the nicest hospital wear I've ever seen. Screaming and squeezing my hand, she walked to the surgery room in just her socks and purple underpants.

There was more screaming when they took off one sock to monitor her pulseox on her toe, and there was much more screaming when they attached more monitoring electrodes all over her torso, and there was lots more screaming when they lay her down on the table and dropped the anesthesia mask over her face. And then the anesthesiologist was rubbing her cheeks, saying "cry, baby, cry" and with an aside to me that "crying is breathing - she'll fall asleep faster" a look of confusion came over her face, because crying was just what she wanted to do and finally, someone was seeing her point of view and then, she was asleep.

I waited in the waiting place for about ten minutes and then I heard my girl's unmistakable--scream. She was awake. The surgeon came out and said the surgery went great. The tubes are in a really good place. There was lots of drainage, some very infectiony infection on both sides, and oh, did you know you're daughter's a fighter? A little feisty? Heh. Weak smile. To which I could only respond, "yeah, I know."

A nurse led me back to her, though I could have followed the sound. She was hiccuping from crying, cradled in the lap of another nurse who also commented to me that she's a feisty girl. Mama! she yelled and wanted me to hold her, but without touching her, and not on the bed, on the chair, but not that chair, the other chair, because not near the bed I DO NOT LIKE THAT BED! The nurse warned me that I had to hold her a little because after having both eardrums sliced and diced she might be a little bobble-headed for a bit and E yelled I DO NOT NEED HOLDING!

The same nurse told me that she was trying to calm E down immediately after surgery while the team checked her vitals and so she commented on the loveliness of E's sans-hospital-gown visible purple unders. E stopped screaming long enough to yell in her face THANK! YOU! and then recommenced her wails.

So we sat until E was a little less disoriented and a little more calm and a little less yelly. We dressed her and drove home and there was no more yelling but quite a bit of whimpering until we set her up on the couch with a bagel prepared just so and a big purple cup of milk and cartoons.

She barely noticed me when I grabbed a tissue to mop up the primordial eww that was slowly pooling in the outermost folds of her ear, or so I thought. Then she turned to me sassily and said, quietly but with a smile on her face, hey! You're pretending to be a doctor!

And with that smile, I realized we'd only been awake for four hours, but we'd sailed through half the stressload of the week. I knew she was okay. Pin It