Monday, December 7, 2009

Another surgery under Parker's belt

Today was a day that Parker had been looking forward to for months. He had been asking when this day would come almost since the day he came home. I am not referring to the day his tonsils and adenoids came out, I am referring to the first snowfall.

I was abruptly awakened this morning by Sara saying, "You need to get up!". Instantly I thought there was an email from our agency with either good or bad news, I couldn't tell which one from the inflection in her voice, so I obliged and jumped up to see what was so pressing. Sara said, "We have to wake Parker up, there is snow on the ground." We did just that, we woke up Parker and introduced him to the snow for the first time. He was very excited. I even let him hit me with a snowball or two, which he seemed to enjoy just a little too much.

As you can see, when I say snow, I mean enough to really tie up traffic throughout Greater Cincinnati, as people tend to wreck their cars after the first snowfall, but not quite enough snow to cover the grass completely. Snow nonetheless, and Parker loved it!

I didn't think there was going to be much fun for the rest of the day, as today was Parker's visit to the Children's Hospital to have his tonsils and adenoids removed. Let me tell you, the kid is a champ when it comes to surgery. He was great during the entire visit to the hospital. He was chatting up every nurse he saw, of course, asking 1,000 questions to each person (how old are you?, Do you have kids?, How old are they?, Where do they live?, Where do you live?, Do you have tonsils?, Why do you work here?, Do you like Bakugan?...Why?, and on and on).

Does this look like a kid who is at all intimidated by the thought of going under the knife?

The procedure itself was very quick, but it did allow us just enough time to run down to the cafeteria to grab some lunch. Sara and I know how fortunate we are to have two wonderful little boys to call our children, but sitting in that cafeteria and looking around at the multitude of moms and dads and grandmas and grandpas really opened up my eyes to how blessed we are that our boys are healthy. Not all of the families in that cafeteria this afternoon were waiting for their child to come out of a routine operation like we were. I am certain many have found themselves in that hospital more days than they could ever have imagined as their beloved children suffer from serious and sometimes life threatening illnesses. I cannot imagine. My heart rate increases and my tear ducts swell just thinking about having to face something like that.

Our thoughts and prayers are with those families.

Back to Parker, he woke up in the recovery room and was back to himself within an hour. The Bakugans he got for being such a trooper certainly helped. He was relatively pain free the rest of the day, he even ate some spaghetti for lunch and a sloppy joe for dinner. As I type this, he is in the room next to me, and I can tell the pain is coming back, but hopefully the codeine will help and he can rest comfortably through the night. He has a full day of ice cream and fun ahead of him tomorrow with Grandma Susie.

UPDATE: Parker's day full of fun and ice cream wasn't to be. Starting last night around 9pm, the pain medicine from the hospital must have worn off, because through the night and for a large part of today, our little champ has been in some serious pain. As we learned yesterday at the hospital, according to research, approximately one third of Ethiopian children will not properly process codeine, thus making it an ineffective pain medication. It turns out that Parker is part of that one third. So after realizing that and after a couple of calls to the hospital, Parker was prescribed a medication that was effective (thank goodness). He has been perservering through the pain, and he has continued to drink, which is the most important thing after this surgery. I hope to be able to update tomorrow saying that he is feeling much better and he and Grandma Susie had a full day of ice cream eating and Bakugan battles.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Parker continues to struggle with pain. The new medicine he was put on on Tuesday seems to help diminish the pain during the day, but at night nothing seems to help very much. He hasn't gotten much sleep any of the past few nights, but hopefully tonight, with addition of a humidifier by his bed, he will be able to rest a little more comfortably. We all could use a decent nights sleep. For parents who might be facing this surgery for your children, be prepared for a few long nights. The hospital explained to me this morning that nighttime is the toughest time after having this operation, b/c most children are breathing through their mouths and not drinking (b/c they should be sleeping). That causes the mouth and throat to dry, which is exactly what you don't want to happen.

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