A Sink, A Crib, And (Thank God) A TV With Nickelodeon

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.  😀

Stay tuned…

The Bionic Sleeper

You might remember my recent hospital stay where they detected that my heart had gone into atrial fibrillation.  It has been happening to me since I was in high school.  I had learned how to make the abnormal heart beat convert back to a normal sinus rhythm by holding my breath…and so I lived with it.   Yup, real fun stuff.  😀

My new heart doc has me taking some medicine that helps control it.  And so far it is working.  I’ve had a few freak episodes, but they only lasted about 2 seconds…nothing like the 10 hours of 190 beats per minute while I was in the hospital.  😀

I’ve been doing good.  I have not had a drop of caffeine…and I have not gone back into a-fib for more than 3 or 4 seconds.  Those couple times were really my fault.  I had been working outside all day cutting wood.  I had not ate or drank much of anything.  Dehydration and lack of potassium are just of the couple of things that can trigger a-fib.  Whoops…my bad.  😀

The next step of my treatment is a sleep study…this Sunday…yep Superbowl Sunday.  I get to sleep at the doctors office with about 3 million wires and sensors attached from head to toe while some really lucky nurses get to watch me toss and turn over a camera, and listen to me saw logs over a microphone.

Based upon the results, I may have to sleep like this from now on…

cpap

Looks comfy right?  Well, maybe I will actually feel rested in the morning.  I can look like the bionic sleeper if it makes me feel like the bionic man the next day.  😀

Do any of you that read DadThing use CPAP machines?  If so let me know what you think about them in the comments.

A Scary First…

DadThing has been filled with stories about Ace’s firsts.  From his first step to his first night with no bottle.

However, something happened this weekend that was a first for me.  It was not nearly as happy a time as when Ace rolled over for the first time.  I spent my first ever night in the hospital.

I have had a problem with my heart since I was in junior high school, but no doctor could ever tell me what it was.  I have had multiple EKGs, Echoes, stress tests, you name it…and they all come back normal.  I swear the doctors thought I was making stuff up.

Ya see, sometimes, especially when I exert myself, my heart goes crazy.  It beats really hard and with no real rythym.   Sometimes I feel like I’m going to pass out and I almost always have to sit down until my heart calms down a bit.  Usually I can get it to stop within 10 minutes or so with some techniques I have discovered over the years, but not Saturday night.  After about 3 hours I drove myself to the emergency room.

I did not feel bad.  There was no pain, I did not feel faint or anything.  I just knew that something was not right.   I walked up to the ER receptionist and told her that I would like to be seen for a rapid and irregular heart beat.  She took my name and social security number and I immediately went back for an EKG.

The nurse doing the EKG seemed very urgent and I immediately went into triage to have my vitals checked.  My blood pressure was high and my heart rate was 180 beats per minute.  A normal heart rate is around 70 beats per minute.  Yikes!  The triage nurse, said “Wait right here.  You are next to be seen.”

I did not pass GO, did not collect $200, and went directly to an ER bed where I was immediately stuck with an IV, had X-Rays, and then lied there for a few hours hoping the medicine would make my heart beat normally.  The urgency of everyone in the ER was kind of frightening. 

This has been happening to me for over 15 years now and I had become used to living with it, but I guess it really was something serious…atrial fibrillation.

About 6 hours later I was admitted to the hospital.  After another 4 hours of lying in the hospital bed hooked to heart monitors a nurse rushed in my room as she yelled into her phone, “I need an EKG STAT!!”  I thought that something bad had happened.  I thought my heart had really gone crazy and I was in trouble…

However, she then looked at me and smiled.  “You converted!!”  My heart beat had converted back to a normal sinus rhythm.  This was a good thing because if the medicine did not convert me, they would have had to shock my heart with the paddles….while I was awake and alert. 

I had to stay in the hospital for another day in observation to make sure that my heart did not go back into atrial fibrillation again, and to also make sure I did not have a stroke (a side effect of being in atrial fibrillation for an extended period of time).

Momma brought Ace in to visit me and I will never forget the look on his face when he saw my lying there in that hospital bed.  He was confused and scared at the same time.  After he realized that I was OK, he did grab my finger and we took a few laps around the observation unit.  Ace pulling me, and me pulling an IV.  The little old ladies and the nurses got a kick out of him taking Daddy for a walk.  😀

So now I am back home, with no restrictions, and a little different out look on life.  I have cut caffeine out of my diet.  Once I have that under control, smoking is next.

I can’t live like there is no tomorrow anymore.  There are a few people in this world that count on me being there…and I’m going to do my part to make sure that happens. 😀