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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Surgery Update

I am a little late in an update over here. Mainly because we have been taking care of our little patient and enjoying much downtime at home since we returned on Thursday evening. Surgery went well and the surgeon said it was a success. His dressing will come off of the surgery site tomorrow evening. So at this point we haven't even looked at it. I have no desire to. I don't do so well with blood. He also has a follow up with the surgeon in about 2 more weeks. The first 24 hours of recovery for Pax were rough. It was more than I thought it would be. But among the oldest two, he is the tough one. He is typically a trooper. The other one can be a little dramatic about every bump and bruise, and that's ok too. But many times during this process I thought about the drama this would ensue for Holden when there was really none with Pax.
pre-surgery with his new stuffy he got to open up in the car on the drive to the hospital
They were so good to us at the Children's Hospital here. One of the nurses was walking us through the prep and procedure, saying....we'll give him a sip of silly medicine to relax him before taking him away from you. Then they will give him some gas, once he's asleep they'll insert an IV and breathing tube. And right then the tears started falling and wouldn't stop. I just pictured our little guy with all these additions, all the while calculating risks in my head. When really I had no calculations, I just knew it all had risks. It was too much in that moment. She stopped and told me she did this every day. I thought she was going to give me a speech about how she does this all the time and the risks are minimal....blah blah blah to my ears. But instead she explained how even though she does this every day, her son had the exact surgery last summer and she bawled like a baby. It's what we mother's do. Those were her words. She was an angel. I was thankful. And that conversation has stuck with me. Sometimes it's nice for our emotions to be justified. And she did that for me.
watching cartoons as we waited for go time
Pax is all personality, if you know him very well. He's silly and loves to make others laugh. He's a happy guy 95% of the time. If you get to really, really know him, you'll learn that he is just about as sweet as they come. Staff got to see both of these sides of him. Luckily he had a very funny male nurse. As they wheeled him back for the operation I heard the nurse say, I'll push you halfway and then you can push me the rest. And Pax was just laughing at the nurse. We walked to the waiting room a little more light-hearted and feeling like he was in great hands. About 45 minutes later the surgeon appeared and told us all went well. Sigh of relief. Another 30 minutes later we were headed to recovery to see him. As soon as we headed towards his bed a nurse stopped us to say "Y'all have a very sweet little guy." She got to see the sleepy, groggy Pax that wasn't cracking jokes and being silly. Pax was uncomfortable and kept asking to go home. They had to give him a little morphine because every move or cough was causing him a great deal of pain. He was coughing a little due to the breathing tube that had been down his throat. Seeing him in so much pain was hard to watch. But after a couple of hours in recovery, they loaded him into a nice cushioned wagon and into the truck to head home. All of this movement included pain and tears for him. And I kept thinking....he's in pain. Shouldn't we just stay here? But we headed home. And on the drive Pax asked Jeremy if he could avoid all the bumps on the freeway. :( The van was in the shop and the truck is not quite as smooth of a ride. Poor guy. I just wanted to blink my eyes and have him home in our bed.
This was in recovery. As soon as they handed up this popsicle, he touched his tongue to each color saying: grape....candy apple...lemon...and so on. He was still very much groggy and this just made us laugh. Recovery was a hard time. Seeing your baby in real pain and not being able to fix it for him can be heart wrenching.
Our recovery nurse started to wheel us in this wagon downstairs to the vallet to get in the truck. And this young man, Luis, came running saying he would take him. I took this picture long before he told us some of his story. But halfway down he asked if we had adopted. Then he shared that he loves adoption. That he wants to adopt one day. That he was adopted. That he is also the middle son of 3 boys that "match" him. How cool! He went on to say how appreciative he is of his family. How it changed his life. I'm hoping Pax was still groggy enough to not remember that conversation. Our boys never need to be appreciative. I actually hate that crap. (Not Luis' words...maybe he was adopted at an older age and he remembers some past before his adoption...I'm not sure. He feels how he feels and that's fine if he feels appreciative.) But our boys changed our lives. We wanted them. They didn't need us. I believe God would have given them a family. We're just grateful it was with us! But I love meeting adult adoptees that share their positive experience. And even better that have that same desire to turn around and adopt one day also. It does something for my heart. It's a huge source of encouragement.
 And this was our painful ride home. Broke my heart.
 All snuggled up in our bed, where he has remained that past 4 days, more or less. He's still sleeping with us so we can monitor pain and give him his medicine when needed. I don't mind snuggling with this guy at night at all.
 And personality already emerging again.
 My parents kept the other two boys for us on Thursday. When Holden returned home he ran straight to our room to check on Pax. I overheard their conversation. Pax was putting a positive spin on a rotten day. Telling him how he got to play with toys and watch cartoons. That's my Pax. Cup half full! As Pax was talking, I looked down and Holden was gently holding his hand and stroking the top of his hand with his thumb. I walked away in tears. These boys are close. And Holden has stuck by his side most of the last 3 days at home.
And here is the only picture I have of the surgery site. I love my boy's little outtie belly buttons...I'm really not sure if it will still be an outtie or not! I think it will....

Pax has about 1 more week of laying low and taking it easy. Yesterday he spent most of the day at the kitchen table playing with his legos. He's also walking around on his own now. Though he sort of walks a bit hunched forward for now. So yesterday was a good turning point for him. He was glad to be able to get out of bed. Movies and books are only fun for so long. I'm happy to have this procedure behind us. And it seems as though we are now on the downhill of this recovery. He should be back to his normal self in no time. Thank you for your prayers for our Pax!

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