Seven hours post surgery
Walking hurts but needs to be done
Home and snuggled up on the couch less than 48 hours after surgery.
After what seemed like a long preparation Maxwell finally had his heart surgery on Monday.
We arrived at Sick Kids Hospital by 6am and Max quickly had an antibacterial bath and got into his pj's. After a short play in the playroom he was given a fast acting sedative flavored like chocolate. Within minutes he became "chocolate wasted" - I have never seen him behave like that before, he was like a drunk old man... I have to admit that I found it rather hilarious. Once he was so relaxed that he couldn't even hold his own head up he was given to the nurse and taken to the OR.
Dom didn't handle it so well and broke down in the hallway, he was surprised by his reaction but I wasn't. While Maxwell has been sedated many times this is the first time that the surgery seemed so serious. This wasn't tubes in his ears or a colonoscopy this was cutting open his chest and stopping his heart while they repaired it.
After grabbing a bite to eat we headed to the waiting room where I got good use out of my netflix membership. Four hours later we were able to go see him, this was the part that worried me. I had been told to expect lots of tubes and wires and likely for him to still be on a breathing machine so I was incredibly relieved to see him sleeping soundly with only an oxygen mask over his mouth and nose instead of being intubated.
Later that night we were moved to the CCU step-down room and Max continued to sleep. I was provided with the room next door and instructed to take a nap. The nurse told me that if he wakes up they will come get me. I grabbed two hours shut eye and then went back to his bedside a little before 1am, imagine my reaction when I saw him wide awake watching Treehouse on TV.
I guess I made some type of face because the nurse quickly said "hes been awake for a while, we debated about waking you but thought you needed some sleep so we just gave him some juice and turned on the TV"
Decision made, there would be no more sleeping that night, besides as I've said before sleep is for the weak.
The rest of the night was rough, there was lots of crying to be picked up and snuggled and then bargaining for me to climb into bed with him. Neither was an option but Maxwell is cleaver as a fox.
All his crying made him throw up EVERYWHERE and I ended up having to hold him while all the bedding was changed. He cried so much, shaking from the pain and setting off the alarm on his monitor.... same thing happened when he threw up the second time, after that some meds were given to keep the vomiting under control. He seemed comforted with me laying my head beside his while I sat in the chair next to the bed and we both were able to sleep for a while (although when I woke the kink in my neck and arm told me to never do that again). In the morning we were given the "goals" - sitting upright within 24 hours and taking some steps by the two day mark, we should be discharged by around day 5.
Max is clearly a go getter and he must have gotten my "suck it up buttercup" attitude because before the 24 hour mark he was walking to the toy room. He cried the entire way but he did it, the applause from the nursing desk gave his spirit a boost and he was motivated to do more walking. Because of his efforts he only required a couple doses of the diuretics and his lungs sounded clear quite quickly.
Less then 48 hours after surgery Maxwell is now home and resting! He wont be able to return to school for 12 weeks but if there are special things going on where there is minimal risk of him getting bumped or "stretching in an unsymmetrical way" we can make an appearance. This made Maxwell quite happy as he will not have to miss Baby V coming to the classroom for the Roots of Empathy Program (major concern for a four year old who loves babies).
Recovery wont be easy, he is far from happy at the moment but I am so glad that its over and (knock on wood) so far has been uneventful.