I mentioned recently that Ace would have to go in for surgery.
He had an umbilical hernia. Basically the opening in his belly where his umbilical cord went into his body had never closed. When he would strain, even just a little bit, his belly button would pop out. Actually it was his insides (intestines) pushing out through his belly button.
While not an immediate threat, there would always be the possibility that some of his intestines would pop out this umbilical hernia and get stuck, cutting off blood supply, and causing some major issues.
The docors told us it was not a necessary thing to fix, but was a good idea to have done…and we agreed.
The night before surgery Ace was not allowed to have anything to eat after midnight. He could drink water and apple juice until 6:30 in the morning. I was not worried about the no food after midnight deal, but was concerned about how Ace would do with nothing to drink after 6:30. A glass of juice or milk has been a morning ritual since he was born…
Ace is like his Momma…a night owl…stays up late and gets up late. Ace usually doesn’t go to bed until 11PM or after, and gets up around 9 or 10 in the morning. However the morning of his surgery was an exception…
I got Ace (and Momma) up at 6AM so that he could have a drink before his 6:30 no drink deadline…but, he didn’t drink a drop. We made our way to the Children’s Hospital by 8:20.
During registration they put the hospital bracelets on Momma and I’s arms, and Ace’s leg. You would have thought the world had come to an end. Ace did not like the bracelets on us, and he sure as hell did not like the ankle bracelet on him. I just knew from his reaction it was going to be a fun filled day ahead…
Off to a hospital room where they had a crib that reminded me more of a cage. I immediately pictured Ace sitting in the crib ringing his sippy cup across the bars as prisoners do in jail…
The nurse came in attempting to get a set of vital signs. Blood pressure cuffs and oxygen/pulse monitors are Ace’s mortal enemies. For being only 25 lbs the little guy put up one hell of a fight…and won. Eventually the nurse gave up. She never did get a reading.
Then comes the nurse practitioner, anesthesiologist, and the surgeon to introduce themselves and take a look at Ace.
After two hours of trying to keep Ace occupied in a room with only a sink, a crib, and (thank God) a TV with Nickelodeon, they came to take Ace away to surgery.
I figured this would be the hard part. Seeing him get wheeled away down a hallway crying and reaching out for us saying (if he could talk), “Please do not let them take me!” But Ace took it well. He hopped in the crib and the nurse took off, rolling the crib down the hall. It was like a new ride for Ace, I think. And we all know how much Ace likes to go for rides…
About an hour passed and the surgeon came out and told us everything went great and he will have a perfect little innie belly button after it had healed. Ace was in recovery and we would be able to see him soon.
Fifteen minutes later they asked us to go back to his room. On the way down the hall the nurse warned us…”Ace is a little upset and we are hoping that you two could get him calmed down!” I could hear Ace screaming before we ever got to his room, and when we walked in his room I was shocked at what I saw…
There was a nurse holding Ace doing her damnedest to get him calmed down, but it wasn’t working. One look at Ace and we knew that this was probably the most upset he had ever been…ever. He had tears rolling every which way which literally soaked the neck of his shirt.
The color of his skin was down right shocking! He was soooo red that if he had been smiling I might had confused him with the Kool-Aid man.
After Momma and I took turns rocking him (and a shot of morphine…for him not us) Ace finally calmed down. I don’t know if he was hurting, scared, or pissed off…but I’m guessing it was a little of all three.
I don’t know why a little guy like him who has never done anything wrong to anyone and brought sheer joy to so many people in his life, would ever have to endure something like that. I think I would rather have my insides ripped out and stomped on before seeing him like that again.
After his heart rate came down they let us take him to a more comfortable room, where Ace slept on my lap. The new nurse was a little concerned with his color. We over heard her talking on the phone and she described his color as that of a tomato, and she was right on the money.
We stripped Ace down to his diaper, and let him cool off. All of the fighting and crying really got his temperature up, and between that and the anesthesia the redness was pretty shocking to all.
Eventually his temperature came down, his heart rate stabilized, and his color was better, so they let us go home where Ace slept the majority of the rest of the day and night. (I think the Tylenol 3 with Codine had something to do with that).
Well, it has been two days since his surgery now and Ace is acting much better. I will give another update later this week….maybe with some pictures of his new belly button.