Monday, February 28, 2011
Shands Children's Surgical Center at the Ayers Medical Center for Jacob's port placement surgery (what a mouthful!)
After being up with a feverish Gavin coping with what I thought was molar teething pain every hour until 4:30 am, getting up at 6:50 am was brutal on Gavin and me. We had planned to get up an hour earlier but that just didn't happen. Jacob wasn't scheduled to go to pre-op until 11:00 am, but the nurse said we could bring Jacob early and that he may be able to get started early. I had really hoped this was possible because Jacob couldn't eat or drink anything, but I knew it was unlikely. Regardless, TD, Jacob, Brie, Gavin and me left our house at 7:40 am. Everyone was grumpy. After glancing at Facebook and listening to the kid's conversation it wasn't hard to guess that they both had stayed up way too late playing on their iPods and phones and probably watching TV at the same time. We weren't even all the way to I-10 before all three kids were back asleep. I wished I was sleeping too, but for some reason I have a hard time sleeping in the car. Half way to Gainesville beautiful Mr. Sun poked his head through the clouds and woke up Gavin. I tried to hang a shade, but Gavin insisted on pulling it down. I knew he would fall back asleep once we changed directions and were on I-75.
Did you know that Customs and Border Patrol has a workforce of over 61,350 employees, including officers and agents, agriculture specialists, aircraft pilots, trade specialists, mission support staff, and canine enforcement officers and agents? Did you also know that their officers screen passengers and cargo at over 300 ports of entry? I didn't. TD and I were really surprised to see one Border Patrol SUV sitting on I-10 right before the I-75 S ramp and then even more surprised to see two others on I-75 when we merged off the ramp. They were a long way from Miami and even further away from the Mexican and Canadian borders. Coming up with theories of why they were in Lake City, FL became an interesting conversation for the next several miles.
We made it to Gainesville around 9:50 am and easily found the surgical center. It wasn't as I envisioned it. I think I had pictured it to look like Miami Children's Hospital for some reason and it didn't at all. It was a long and skinny building and the Children's Surgical Center didn't take up much of it. There was also a walk-in urgent care clinic in the building, called Solantic, which came in handy later in the day. I left the family in the van because all the little ones were still sleeping and went inside to check Jacob in for his surgery. The receptionist was very nice. I had many papers to fill out and information to confirm and when I was done she gave me a buzzer. Very similar to a restaurant light up, vibrating buzzer. She informed me that Jacob was the last case because he was the oldest, that he was scheduled still to go to pre-op at 11:00 and his operation was blocked out for 80 mins, which included prep time. When I got back to the van, Gavin was awake and I got him dressed, woke up the big kids, TD packed the stroller and we were ready to move on to the next step of our day. Our circus set up camp in the outside lobby. The surgical center waiting room was very cute, but very tiny. It had a beautiful fish tank and a big wall-mounted tv playing Disney channel with some post-like, kid-friendly seats in front of it. Most of the seats were taken so we chose to sit in the waiting room outside the waiting room. As usual, our iPods came in handy. The pre-op nurse called Jacob back right at 11:00 am. She did an intake on him and then an anesthesia doctor came in and asked us a million questions and put in Jacob's IV. I was so thankful she got the IV in on the first try! I'm pretty sure Jacob was thankful too. This will be the last IV Jacob has to get for a very long time. Jacob changed into his fashionable surgery gown and posted up in his bed to play the PS3 attached to his cubby's wall. Jacob's dad arrived around noon and came back and played football with Jacob. At that time we were informed that it would be at least another hour before Jacob would go to surgery so everyone took turns visiting Jacob. Jacob's dad, his Grandma Gayle (GG), Brie, TD and even Gavin went into pre-op and wished Jacob well on getting his port. Jacob was nervous before he got his IV and I asked for some medicine (Verset) to calm him, but by the time they brought it Jacob wasn't worried that much any more and declined it. Finally at 1:20 pm the surgical nurse and the anesthesiologist came to take Jacob to the OR. I reminded the doctor to please hide the instruments before Jacob goes into the room to try and spare him some fear he has suffered in the past (but according to Jacob they did not hide them very well). The nurse said the surgery could take anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours. We decided to take Gavin for a walk outside. It was a beautiful day. When I was putting Gavin in the jogger I noticed his left elbow was a bit red and had a bump or two on it. I thought that maybe he had fallen or bumped it when I was in the back with Jacob. We went for a walk and about 20 mins later Gavin fell asleep. We went back inside to relax and let Gavin take a nap. I went to adjust Gavin in the stroller and I noticed that the bumps looked more like a rash and were on both elbows and on his knees and ankles. I had no idea what it could be from. I called our primary doctor in Tallahassee and asked them what they thought we should do and they suggested taking Gavin to the ER. So we did, at which point I became a nervous wreck. I had sent one son to the OR and was at the ER with my other son. What a mess. My nerves were shot and I felt like I could throw up at any moment. I was very thankful that Brie was mostly better from her flu and I gave her strict orders to call me if Jacob's buzzer went off. It didn't. The nurses at Solantic were very nice and compassionate to our situation. Gavin was still asleep in the jogger and they took us right back and put us in a room. The nurse asked us questions and Gavin's intake was very simple since he is only 22 months and hasn't really been sick in his short little life time. The doctor came in and woke Gavin up to look at him. She informed us that Gavin was suffering from an allergic reaction to a food or something he came in contact with or from the Amoxicillion Gavin had been on for his ear infections. I said a little prayer at that moment thanking God that it wasn't mumps or measles. She looked at his ears and said they were still very infected and she prescribed Zithromax for the ear infection and prednisone for the break out if it got worse. She said we needed to give Gavin Benadryl every six hours until the rash was gone. I went to the pharmacy while TD checked out at the urgent care clinic and I left the Benadryl with Brie. It had been two hours since Jacob had gone to the ER so I was needing an update. When I went back the recovery nurse had me sit and wait for Jacob and went over his release and care instructions. She said Jacob was still in phase I recovery and doing very well, snoring away. I went back out to the waiting room to relay the good news to our family and went back to the recovery chair to wait for Jacob. Jacob's nurse brought out a port just like the one Jacob is now a proud owner of and showed me how it works. I was very impressed. Jacob was wheeled in still asleep and we all worked on waking him up. He had to leave his comfortable bed and move into a recovery recliner. He tried to go right back to sleep but his dad and I kept talking to him and finally he woke up enough to drink some Gatorade and eat some sherbet. Jacob said he was in a lot of pain so I left Jacob to have his pain meds filled and his GG fed him his orange dessert and his dad got him dressed. At this point it was 5:00 pm and Jacob was being encouraged to head home. TD packed the family up and our plethora of stuff in the van and pulled up to the building to pick up Jacob. Jacob was wheeled out and transplanted into the van and we were on our way back to Tallahassee. There's no telling how many bags of fluid Jacob was given so he was about to burst by the time we made it to I-10 and we stopped at the rest area when we changed interstates. I bet it was a pitiful sight to watch me walk Jacob to the family restrooms, but we survived and I didn't drop Jacob. Jacob was in great spirits on the way home and played his iPod. Gavin was not in a good mood and fussed the last hour home. Miserable. Jacob's dinner request was a triple bacon cheese burger, fries, frosty and a coke. He pounded it like Joey Chestnut (the #1 ranked professional eater for those of you not in the loop!). Jacob made himself comfortable in the rocker in our living room and we all did our best to relax. A little over an hour later TD got Jacob his pain medicine and got him comfortable and ready for bed. They sat and watched some kind of antique seek and rescue show and talked until Jacob feel asleep around midnight. I was so very thankful February 28th was over and Jacob's surgery had went so well and we were one step closer to getting him on the Avastin.
Jacob had a good night and slept almost the whole way through. I set my alarm to give him his pain meds at 1:00 am and he didn't want to wake up. I went in to check on him and offer him pain relief at 2 am, 3 am and finally at 5 am we woke Jacob up and made him take the percocet so he wouldn't wake up later in terrible pain. He took it and went back to sleep.
A new day had started with a whole new set of challenges.
This is a photo of a port and catheter like Jacob received.