After four surgeries I still don’t know how to give a proper post-op update. Disclaimer: My update is from the perspective of the slightly jaded, trying-desperately-to-be-hopeful, momma…not the doctor.
The surgery itself went great with no complications. Our hardest day was Saturday. Nathan spent the majority of the day resting and retching. Yes, retching. It was pretty awful to watch and clearly very painful for him. He wasn’t bringing up anything from his stomach, so we knew that the operation did it’s job, he was just very foamy. I don’t know how else to describe it, but the foamy stuff was hard on mom. Not hard because it was gross, but because I started doubting our decision. I began to compare him to another child whose mom told me this operation causes her daughter to retch for long periods of time, followed by tube-feeding intolerance and dehydration. My mind started to develop stories of what that would be like for Nathan. I’m sure you can imagine how awful that would be too–to have a “retcher.” All you have to do is think about a dog wandering and winding up right before he’s going to vomit. Not a super pleasant feeling.
Anyway, at the end of the day on Saturday my parents relieved us so we could go to dinner. I spent more time talking about retching than eating. (I wonder why?) My very tolerant husband, who is not phased by this type of dinner conversation, kept telling me we had to trust that we did the right thing, and wait. Trust and wait.
On Sunday Nathan started running a low-grade fever and hadn’t pooped. So I started to not only doubt our decision but wonder if he had an obstruction, but again there were only two things we could do. Trust and wait.
Not even a couple of hours later he pooped and late that very night we were discharged.
We are still working him up to full volume feeds at home, which has proven to be quite a lot of work. He lost two pounds since June so we really hope to increase his caloric intake as well as, the amount of free water we’re giving him. It has been hot this fall. We are constantly balancing pushing calories or hydration because he simply can’t handle much in his tummy. This surgery is supposed to help with that too.
The final results are still up for grabs, at least in my mind, but he has stopped retching. So I will again, trust and wait.
It may be that in a couple of months I will be raving about this surgery and how we should have done it sooner. As of today it’s tempting to give an overly cheerful review of how he feels good, he’s more expressive, vocal, and interactive. Seven days out I think those things are all true. I’m just hesitant to say it.
It’s like I have waiting-for-the-other-shoe-to-drop syndrome or something!
In the life of a medically complex child you can’t be too sure about anything. So I guess if I had to say how to give a proper post-op update it would be include the good with the bad, and tell the story of how God is working to make all things new, even when we can’t see it and feel it now. If Nathan has taught us anything it’s to trust and wait on the Lord for everything we need.
Bottom line: My post-op update is that it went well. Really well.
“Behold, I am making all things new.” – Rev 21:5
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