Well, day one at the hospital down and we already have one nurse joining us in PNG!! (grin)
Our pre-op consultation must’ve went well because we found ourselves with an operation yesterday!
We were really impressed with the promptness and professional approach of the paediatric surgeon. He wasn’t doing procedures that day but he rang the surgeon on call straight away, brought him down into the clinic and asked him to do whatever he could to make Max’s procedure happen that day.
It feels so affirming to have them acting so quick on our boy’s behalf!!
If we hadn’t been feeling well looked after enough, we became hospital super stars when he started asking Dr House-esque questions to find any possible source of the mystery on Max’s neck – do we have any birds? fish? cats?
Have we travelled overseas…?
Despite the fact that Max’s symptoms started before he ever set foot in a PNG village, the fact that we have been there set all the alarms off and we now have acquaintances in the infectious disease unit. Yep, we’re in an isolation room “just in case.”
The good news is, we have had priority everything… AND our own room.
The bad news is, do you know how hard it is to keep a 16 month old contained in a small room where the only feature of the room (aside from the obligatory Children’s Hospital underwater mural) is a window which looks out onto kids (his favourite) playing on the awesomest outdoor play structure (his second favourite). And the fact that the only other thing you can see out the window is the picnic area… with people eating at it… which is absolutely torture for a kid who had to go 8 hours without eating or drinking thanks to an upcoming anesthetic.
With minimal language, he was able to tell us at least three different ways that he wanted to go outside (door, please? out, please? outside, please? out there, please?) At least the kid’s got manners.
He hasn’t had a major break down yet, but I feel one coming as we approach Day 2 in the isolation room.
Pray for grace, please?
Other than that (and reminding us about every 5 minutes that he wanted to eat), Max breezed through his day in the Children’s ward. His highlights are of course watching the flashing lights as he has his heart rate and temperature monitored every hour and playing with the stellar rocking horse Jared brought into his room.
We were relieved just before 3:30 when they breezed into our room and let us know that we needed to get Max ready for surgery. We headed straight in and our happy boy who was entertained by bubbles as they put him under, was equally entertaining to the nurses who were cracking up as he signed “more, please!” over and over to them.
Our prayer was that we would bring life and encouragement to those around and if Jared & I never did, Max certainly has. He’s become a bit of a rock star already.
The procedure went well (Jared & I coped okay too!) and our boy melted our hearts as we saw him laying limply as he was starting to stir coming out from under the general anesthetic. The moment he realised I was there, he started pulling off the oxygen mask to be in my arms. He slept there peacefully and then every few minutes would wake up, look around, and ask for whichever parent was not holding him. He must think we’re the best team ever because he was content as long as he could be held by each of us every 5 minutes or so.
When he finally came around, he downed three bottles of water, braised steak, mashed potatoes, carrots, green beans, and half a packet of ritz crackers… and then went back to playing on his rocking horse so hard that he worked his bandages off.
We’re all pretty tired. Sleeping at a hospital is never really relaxing, especially not when you have to be monitored every hour and have antibiotics intravenously every 3-6 hours.
Day 2 holds the waiting game for us. We were told to give at least 24 hours to wait for pathology results. We’re kind of hoping our rock star infectious disease risk status might bump this up earlier. From there, our consulting surgeon mentioned they would look at treatment options or perhaps removing more of the growth on Max’s neck. (They got out 4cmx5cm of puss plus some more tissue, but there is definitely more in there)
Our prayer today, is for grace for Max to stay in this room alone with us for another day, rest for all of us, and mostly that they doctors would not miss anything as they review the samples in pathology and consider our next step of action.
Thanks for praying with us, celebrating the little victories along the way, and believing for perfect shalom for our boy – nothing missing and nothing broken.