Sunday, July 11, 2010


3/31/10 Ethan had bilateral cochlear implant surgery.  There aren't many pictures because I was too busy being Mom.
We had to arrive by 6:00 a.m.
The only thing keeping Ethan calm...
Here we go...
I was able to go back with him and hold him until he fell asleep.  It's not an easy thing to do.  The kids fight the urge to fall asleep and look up at you with pleading eyes as you hold an oxygen mask against their face.  The doctors and nurses all seemed surprised that I was able to do it.  I don't think they understood that it wasn't a first for me.  Ethan was in surgery for what seemed like forever and came out of it groggy and not feeling so well.

We were in recovery for a short time and then they sent us back to the hotel.  Just before we left, Ethan threw up blood.  The nurse was unconcerned and told me it was fine.  He then threw up blood for the next 5 hours, making it impossible to take his pain medication.
(Brenden wore the same pajamas after surgery)
He was in so much pain that he couldn't sleep and he couldn't eat or he would throw everything back up - all over his pajamas and blanket.  I finally called the doctor and he told me that it was NOT normal and that I needed to get to the Seattle Children's Hospital as soon as possible.

The hotel we were staying at had a free shuttle to the surrounding hospitals.  I went to the front desk and asked if there was a shuttle available and they said they could leave in 10 minutes.  I gathered some things for Ethan and myself for the night, assuming we would be staying in the hospital and returned to the front desk, carrying 3 bags, Ethan, a car seat, and a puke cup.  They escorted me to the shuttle and then we waited.  15 minutes later a family arrived and the driver told me that he needed to drop them off at a restaurant.  It took the shuttle driver over an hour to get us to the hospital, with Ethan puking all along the way.  I was so mad!

As we pulled into the hospital, the driver asked me where I needed to be dropped of.  Uh, THE EMERGENCY ROOM!  We were supposed to check out of the hotel by noon the next day.  I asked him what I was supposed to do if we didn't make it back in time.  He told me I should have packed up all of my stuff and they would have stored it for me.  I'm sorry, I wasn't aware that I was going to the EMERGENCY ROOM in enough time to gather all of my things and pack them neatly for an airplane ride the next day.

The hospital checked Ethan in (and was nice enough to wash his pajamas and blanket) and we were given a room at the quiet end of the ER all of the way at the back.  Ethan was given an IV and some pain medication along with some nausea medication.  About 4 hours later, Ethan was doing so well (meaning he was finally sleeping), they were going to discharge him.  We woke him up to pack all of his things and he promptly vomited everywhere.  We were immediately admitted.

I don't know who decided that hospitals should have shared rooms, but the idea that a pediatric hospital should have shared rooms is just plain IDIOTIC.  The only way Ethan had fallen asleep in the ER was to have me hold him in his bed.  The room we were given only had a crib for him, which he was not a fan of, but that kept me from being able to crawl into bed with him.  They told me I could sign a waiver stating that I wanted him in a bed and they would come back when they found the waiver.  Around 4:30 a.m, they brought the waiver.  By then it was useless.  Around 1:00 a.m, our teenage "roommate" noisily arrived, along with a long line of family members, nurses and doctors.  I don't think I slept at all that night.  Pregnant, no sleep for days, and a sick little boy make for a teary eyed mommy.

In the morning, the med students came through - all 12 of them.  We were prescribed a nausea medication that I had to go to the pharmacy to pick up.  I didn't have a way to GET to a pharmacy, so I had the hospital fill it.  Can I just say that I find it ridiculous that Safeway will only allow us to fill our prescriptions at Safeway, no matter where we are?  Even in a hospital.  I asked if there was someone who could sit with Ethan while I ran down to pick it up in the hospital pharmacy and the nurse said she would.  I specifically requested that they NOT remove his bandages as I wanted them on for his plane ride.  I came back to the room to find that the nurse had left our "roommate" in charge of Ethan and he was no longer wearing his bandaging.

We were discharged, I called the hotel to let them know we were coming, and we returned to the hotel only an hour past check-out.  We went back to our room and I found a housekeeper going through our drawers trying to figure out why all of our stuff was still there when her paperwork said we should have checked out by now.  I very quickly showered, packed, and headed to the airport.

We had entirely too much stuff for me to even attempt to carry (they give you two extra suitcases, 2 boxes, and 2 bags after cochlear implant surgery), but were offered a wheelchair.  Ethan refused to sit in it, so we piled all of our stuff into it and I carried him through the airport.  We had the nicest man helping us along the way.  We had tickets on completely different ends and sides of the plane and only after announcing for an hour, "Are there any passengers willing to move seats so a mother and child can sit together?" did someone finally come through for me.  You would think that a kid with 3 inches of bandaging on his head (I made the hospital put it back on) would somehow make people feel sorry for you and be willing to change seats.  I guess only after an hour does the sympathy start to kick in.

We had a nice man offer to carry all of our things off of the plane for us, but the lady waiting with the wheelchair was not so kind.  Again, Ethan was unwilling to sit in the wheelchair, so I piled all of our stuff into it and she practically dumped it on the floor telling me that the wheelchairs are for passengers ONLY.  I kept asking her how she expected me to carry everything and a child who was still too tipsy to walk.  She fumed all the way through the airport and left us at the luggage area.  Another nice man helped me haul everything to the curb to wait for our hotel shuttle in Anchorage.  We were lucky to find so many kind people to help us.

I am sure that, had I written this post a month ago, it would have had an even more negative tone.  I have had some time to forgive and forget some of the things that went terribly wrong.


The Porter Family said...

Wow. I'm so sorry. Some people can be so thoughtless and rude. I'm glad the surgery went well, though, even if the after-effects or whatever wasn't so great.

LA Law said...

What a nightmare! I'm so glad there were a few people to help you out on the way.

Amy said...

Ok, I'm just now getting caught up after my computer crashed and I cannot BELIEVE what a nightmare you've been through (and Ethan too, poor little guy). I would have been huddled in a corner somewhere rocking back and forth. You are one brave mama!