Monday, April 6, 2009

Finn's surgery

Well, it's done. Firstly, thank you to everyone who left all the good wishes, both here and on FB!

So here's a rundown of the day: He couldn't eat or drink for 6 hours before surgery time, so I had to set my alarm for 4 a.m. so I could make sure to stop nursing him then, as the little bugger pretty much nurses all night long. Naturally, that meant we were up from 4 a.m. on. He did surprisingly well over the morning without being fed. I expected him to be a crying wreck by the time we arrived at the hospital at 8, but he stayed in a pretty good mood actually.

The surgeon? Let me just say that the man who came into pre-op today to talk to us was the nicest, most compassionate guy in the world, only he somehow looked exactly like the asshole we met with a couple months ago, and strangely enough, shared the exact same name. Seriously, it was like night and day. When we met with him back in January, the only thing we were impressed with was how absolutely horrible his bedside manner was, and honestly, I've been really torn about entrusing my baby to him all this time. But I've heard from a number of people that he's an excellent surgeon, and since he seems to be the last pedi-uro in Orange County, we didn't feel like we had a whole lot of choice. So when he came into pre-op today, I was already on the defensive because of what a complete prick he had been at his office in January, but he walked right up to me, touched me on the back and said, "Everything okay, Mom? Nervous?" He was so unbelievably kind, it was really difficult to believe it was the same guy. So I felt much more at ease suddenly.

Anyhoo, the hardest part, of course, was when the nurse took Finn from me and walked with him down the hall to the OR. Of course I'm standing there blubbering like a big baby :( You just feel like you're sending your kid off to slaughter, or something - and it's almost worse, because they're none the wiser. They have no idea that they're going to go to sleep and wake up feeling like a train wreck.

The surgery took almost twice as long as originally estimated. Afterwards, the doc came out and showed us photographs of Finn's insides :( and explained the whole procedure and what he found to us. Finn's testes were lodged waayyyy up by his kidneys; they're about 50% smaller than normal (and the doc explained it as a chicken vs. egg situation: are they small because they were lodged up there, or were they lodged up there because they were small and didn't form exactly right? It's a mystery.). The vein that supplies blood to each teste is also shorter than normal, so although he was able to move both testes down into the scrotum (I can't believe I'm writing so dispassionately about my son's male parts; please forgive me, Finn), they are both high in the scrotum rather than low :( He just couldn't get them down any farther. This presents possible problems in that they will be more exposed to possible injury than if they were hanging down like they should be. However, the doc said that as he grows, hopefully his testes will also grow and the veins will stretch and they will descend farther down.

He started explaining to us the dangers of leaving testicles up in the abdominal cavity. As soon as he mentioned temperature, I said to him, "But Finn has Down syndrome. He'll be sterile anyway." He looked at me and said, "That is likely. However, why not give him every chance possible? Who knows? I do not treat him as a child who has Down syndrome, but as a child." I wanted to hug him for saying that.

Anyway, seeing Finn in recovery was rough. He was (is) puffy from all the IV fluids. He cried and cried and that was hard. It was hard to get him to settle down to nurse a little. They gave him some morphine in the recovery room and sent us home with a Rx for Tylenol/Codeine. He has 4 incisions: one in his belly button and one on each side of his abdomen from the laparoscopic surgery, and one on his scrotum where the doc went in and "anchored" his testes. Ahhhhh, my poor baby. He's sleeping now. I expect the next couple of days to be a little rough. We'll see.

Oh, and two things: there was a mom there with two boys, both having outpatient surgery, and the youngest, I'm guessing around 2 years old, had Ds! I wish I would have said something to her, and I wanted to so badly, but I couldn't think of what to say. The other thing is, while Finn was in surgery, Michael went to his oncologist's office to have his chemo pump disconnected (yayyy, a 4-week break!), and his oncologist closed the door and said to Michael, "I understand that my nurse and you and I share a special bond. I have a 20-year old son with Down syndrome." (Remember, M just found out last week that one of the nurses there has a 7 year old son with Ds. Tricia, it's true - they're everywhere!) Michael texted that to me and I started crying. It's so weird . . . lately, I am suddenly feeling just . . . I don't know . . . good, I guess. Okay, about Finn and Down syndrome. And when I see other kids, people with Ds, I feel this connection to them that I never felt before, and it makes me feel all warm inside.

Anyway, enough of the sappy crap. On to the pictures:

On the way to the hospital


Playing with Daddy in pre-op


New toys to play with! And look how well I'm sitting :)


Changing from jammies to hospital gown


So sleepy . . .



The nurse takes him away to the operating room



In recovery






On our way home.

32 comments:

Lis said...

Poor baby, but I am so glad he did so well. I remember when Tanner had surgery last year (and its looking like he will have it again soon), handing them over was the worst!

Tricia said...

Oh, Lisa! What a day! I am so glad Finn is doing well and hope his recovery is quick and as painless as possible. When I read what M's onc. said I already started to tear up and then I dunno...the tears fell when you said you were feeling good. It's so amazing to get to that point. When you realize all these other people have kids with DS, it feels so normalized and just part of life.

They're everywhere. And isn't it nice? Try to get some sleep, mama!

Molly C said...

That doctor sounds amazing! Totally changed from what you saw in Jan! and I know all parents know their child is cute, but I just wanted to let you know that Finn is exceptionally adorable! Those eyes! Gorgeous

Karly said...

He's so freaking sweet. So glad that dr surprised you with such a great attitude and statement of advocacy. Feel better soon, baby boy!

Alexis said...

Oh poor little guy. Lisa, I've been following your story forever now, since you were on the NCB pg with Lilah. I love reading about Finn and hope he is healing well.

My dd had minor surgery over a year ago, and it was sooo hard to hand her over to the nurse. It's the worst feeling knowing that you can't go and comfort them. I'll be thinking of him!

Hector and Jennifer Varanini Sanchez said...

Good boy Finn! You did great!!! We are all so proud of you. What a brave boy and a brave mama!!!

sheree said...

I am SO glad to hear Finn did well!!

He looks so sweet in all of these pics. Give him hugs from me :)

My name is Sarah said...

Ah precious Finn. You are so sweet. I hope you feel better tomorrow.

JaybirdNWA said...

Glad to hear that everything went well for him. Also glad to hear that your experience was a good one.

Tausha said...

Oh wow, what a long day for both of you. He is just the sweetest little thing. So glad things went well and sooo glad the Doctor was so much nicer. Glad you are feeling some peace. Finn is in our prayers for a speedy recovery.

Following Him said...

Glad he did so well...hang in there!
~Elyse~

Jen Williams said...

;( I'm sorry you had to go through all of that. Poor little guy. I'll be praying for a speedy recovery...and by the way, a little late, but I was told by a lactation consultant that a breastfed baby can nurse up to an hour before surgery because breastmilk is so rapidly absorbed. Formula takes hours to digest which is what they base the time frame off of.

Nicole O'Dell said...

Oh God, Lisa...I can't take those pictures. He is so stinkin cute he just melts my heart.

I'm so glad it's over and that the doctor turned out to be a decent guy. I could kiss him for that comment about treating Finn like a child!

And YAY for Michael's break!

Blessings!

Carla said...

So glad to hear that all went well. Hope he's feeling a whole lot better real soon.

Loren Stow said...

I am so glad to hear it went well! I hope that over the next few days, it gets easier!

Heather said...

Oh, precious little man. Glad that's over and everyone is doing well.

LOVE the pictures of Finn, he is so beautiful. Except the one of him crying, almost started to cry along with him. I hope he recovers quickly and does most of it sleeping :).

Kelly said...

It just brings tears to my eyes Lisa. You guys are going through so much. My heart goes out to you and the entire family. I'm glad he's doing better though. And I'm glad the doctor had hopes for his future. I was reading about handing your baby off to the nurse and it brought back mamories of me having to do that too with Hailey. It was one of the hardest moments of my life. you are one strong woman, Lisa.

starrlife said...

You've turned that corner, several it sounds like! I'm glad for you. It is hard to hand them over- that's when I always cry. Lucky for me when mine has had anything short of the heart surgery the hospital has let me go in and hold her while she is getting anesthesia... COngrats and hugs from Vt.

Laurie said...

Im so glad to hear that Finn's surgery went well. He looks so incredibly sweet in the pics, Lisa...

The part about feeling good about everything...I totally know what you mean. We are getting there, my friend. We are certainly gettiing there...
Love you!

Ruby's Mom said...

Glad the Dr. acted better.Finn is so gorgeous!I'm glad he's doing good and I hope he heals quickly:)

Carla said...

I'm so glad that Dr. had a better bedside manner! I hope he was just having a bad day the first time you saw him. And, M's oncologist, what a gift. I love what he said to M. Poor little Finn in those pics. I hope he is doing well today. Hugs.

ahanson2001 said...

I'm so glad he did well and I hope his recovery does also. I can't imagine how hard this must have been (is) for you. I can't wait to give you a giant hug when we see you.

Sarah said...

I'm glad things went well. I love that last pic, his eyes are just beautiful!!

The Beers Family said...

Yay Finn - the surgery is over. He is such a beautiful boy!

Anna Alexandrova said...

Great to hear Finn is well! What a sweetie, sitting and playing like a big boy. XO

Kristin said...

I am so glad that everything went so well. Give him some extra kisses for all of us.

The Boltz Family said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Boltz Family said...

Ugh, I wanted to edit my post, but ended up deleting it instead of just adding a new one. I need a nap. Anyway, I basically said how your post warmed my heart and made me cry. That doctor sounded great, and I am so glad he had such a turn-around. And the oncologist... It is amazing how, when you have a child with DS, a whole new world opens up for you. A nice one, too! Like some special club that you did not ask for membership to, but in the end are glad that you joined, KWIM? I am so glad that you are feeling good! Hope handsome Finn is feeling better soon!

Amanda said...

Poor kid! I'm glad that's done and over with!

Alycia said...

Sorry, a couple days behind. So glad the surgery went well. I was thinking of you guys. I have been praying for you guys and especially Michael.

Miss you all so much! The last picture of Finn in the car on the way home made me want to pick him up and hold him soooooo bad!

Darla said...

He is such a gorgeous baby!

I am glad that was easier than you thought. He is a tough boy. It's sad when kids have to have surgery and I think it's equally hard on the parents.

Michelle said...

I'm so glad the dr seemed like a different person this time; and loved his comment about giving Finn every chance and treating him just like a child! Glad also that everything went as well as they could considering the surgery!