Friday, April 13, 2012

No Surgery Today

Yesterday was a very long day.  4 hours in the car driving to Dallas with a 2 year old who despises his car seat.  Then 4 hours of pre-op appointments, and no nap, for Matthew.  First, admissions.  Then, the hand surgeon.  My favorite part of that visit was after watching Matthew, her telling me that she wasn't building Matthew a thumb, she was just moving the one that he uses to a more optimal location.  Then, pharmacy. Then, anesthesiology, which is never a quick visit when you are talking about Matthew, his 6 previous surgeries, and his complicated past with anesthesia.  And finally, the visit with the nursing staff where we were shown our room for the night.  Hmmm--didn't know that it wasn't a private room. And then was surprised further to find out that Matthew's 6 year old roommate had a staph infection.  Definitely not something you want to hear the night before major surgery.  

We had planned on going out to eat with Matthew's uncle Bryan, and would need a pass out of the hospital for the evening, so I just had them extend the pass so that we could stay gone for the night and come back in the morning.  Matthew and I would have a better chance of a good night's rest in a hotel for the night.  We'd be staying at the hospital after surgery, no need to do so before hand.  

We had a nice dinner with Bryan, headed back to the hotel for one last bath before a 6 week period of sponge baths, and then bed.  Matthew was not pleased at all with the hotel or pack and play, so he screamed for almost an hour.  Finally at 8:30pm, it was quiet.   Ahhhh...

Mattie did enjoy his bath
And then Matthew cried out and coughed.  My mind started racing.  "No, no, no, no.  That was not a cough. Oh goodness.  I hadn't really considered that this surgery might not go as planned.  What if he got a prolonged case of croup afterwards, like last year's nasal repair?  We are in Dallas. What if something goes wrong here and he has to stay? What if it is something worse? What if his immune system is compromised by a cold, and then the surgery and he catches a staph infection too? How will he react to the 3 hours of anesthesia?  What if he can't breathe on his own like after the heart cath?  What if something goes wrong? What if this isn't the right decision for Matthew?"

What ifs ran through my mind faster than Matthew can crawl. Meanwhile, Matthew coughed a bit more.  I was concerned, but was still planning to take Matthew in for his surgery and let the nurses assess him that morning.  And Matthew cried and coughed a bit more. I prayed-- "Please God, give me a sign.  Let me know one way or another if the time for surgery is now."  Then, Matthew coughed a few more times and proceeded to let out his bloody murder cry.  As not to wake the entire hotel, I pulled him into my bed to calm him down and hopefully get a few minutes (hours seemed like too much to hope for) of sleep.  

As I lay listening to my sweet baby Matthew fall asleep next to me, I heard the faint rattle of congestion coming from his chest.  Thank you, God, for letting me know that today was not the day. 

Instead of surgery, Matthew and I drove the 4 hours back from Dallas today.  I have already second guessed my decision to cancel-- "Does he really have a cold or was it just allergies or the air conditioning in the room?" but I would rather second guess not doing it today rather than wish that we hadn't gone through with it.  This is an elective procedure. One that can be done anytime from ages 2-72.  We still think this surgery would make life a bit easier for Matthew.  But this reprieve has given us pause to reconsider-- what about the risks?  what if surgery doesn't go as expected (4 out of Matthew's 6 haven't)? is this the right age for this surgery? is this the right hospital/doctor? is this the right decision?

Just because today didn't go according to our plans, doesn't mean it wasn't to plan. Today was our last opportunity for the surgery before summer. They advise against getting the cast sweaty (germs and all) and with summer coming up, that would be unavoidable. Plus, we don't want to be land locked for 6 weeks in the summer.  So, the next time to reschedule would be at the end of the summer. That will give us time to reconsider all the questions that give us pause before a new date.

Many thanks to all of those that have thought and prayed for our sweet baby Matthew and this surgery.  We know that prayer is powerful-- and have seen it time and time again, especially in our sweet baby Matthew.  Thank you!

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