We got home from the 'Nati late Saturday afternoon. It was a whirlwind trip, and somehow we managed NO flight delays! There were still some harrowing hours chasing an overtired toddler through O'Hare during a layover, but overall, the traveling was fine.
The hospital was fine, too. I love that everyone remembers us, but I guess that's not too crazy because we've only been home a month. The same day surgery ladies are all so nice.
Ike had his scope on Friday morning (after an hour delay – ugh. Two-year-old + 11:40am + not having eaten since 2am = blerg). As we always do, we went with him to the induction room and I held him on my lap while the anesthesiologist put him to sleep. This is the first time he's had a mask over his face, and we were worried about how he would tolerate it, but he did GREAT.
I was the one who had a problem. I had my head angled down to kiss him on the cheek as the nurse was gently easing the mask to his face. So I managed to get a lungful of (bubblegum scented) gas before Ike did.
My head starting rising off my neck and my first thought was, "Am I having a panic attack? But I feel so calm." Then my next thought was, "Oh shit, I'm passing out." Next thought: "Or, wait, maybe I'm going to puke." Next thought: "Everything looks fuzzy around the edges." And then, FINALLY, I realized what had happened and I took a couple of deep breaths of non-gassy air.
I didn't fall off the chair, taking Ike and the gas apparatus with us, but I surely almost did. Ha.
Ike went down very easily and the procedure was super fast – maybe 10-15 minutes, tops.
Dr. Fancypants practically skipped into the room, which was awesome. Over all of the scopes and even with the big surgery, we've only shared a few words with him. Usually, it's a nurse or a Fellow who gives us the big lowdown on everything that's going on. This time, though, he burst into the room, with a huge smile and a thumbs-up and said everything looked great. The graft looks fantastic, there's no scar tissue or granulation, we don't have to go back for any more tests until December (unless something happens).
He told us how he performed a similar surgery on his own daughter 35 years ago and now she's 38, with two kids and a PhD in speech pathology. He talked to us about how difficult the surgery is, and how difficult the recovery is, but with a big smile on his face he said, "It's worth it, isn't it? Do you think it's worth it?"
I was struck speechless by both his candor and because I couldn't think of the right, emphatic words to say, "Yes! Yes! It's worth it!" I just wanted to seize him and hug him and cry a lot, but I didn't.
Soon after that, we went into the PACU to snuggle Ike as he came back up from being under. Then not too long after, we were back at the hotel trying to keep him from launching himself from the bed to the dresser and back again.
When we were waiting for Ike to wake up, our nurse confided to us that it had been a difficult week for everyone. Lots of kids had come back for follow up scopes and not all the news had been as good as ours. She said a few of the kids were going to have to have the reconstruction repeated. That's hard news for everyone, even the doctors and nurses, so she said after a week like that everyone was overjoyed with Ike's progress. It was the last scope of the week and a good one for them to end on.
My heart goes out to those other families. I am terrified we will get that news someday. And our nurse told us to be vigilant with our follow-up visits. She said even if things seem perfect, there could be granulation or a problem with the graft and we wouldn't know until too much damage had occurred. That's why they have such a rigid follow-up schedule. And that's why we will be traveling at the height of cold and flu season to go back.
Whew! Now it's time to buy groceries and get flu shots.