I have been trying to work out the best way to write this, and to be honest I’m coming up blank. So I’ve just decided to give the facts. This will not be my most marvelous piece of writing ever, but so many people have asked, and I need to get the info out.
Yesterday was Bridie’s surgery. And can I just say, before I go on, how touched I am by the concern expressed through members of the blogosphere. My Big Nutshell, Mixed Gems, The Good Bad and Unnecessary, Saturday Morning Ogre Mum, Miss Pink, Daisy Roo and Two, A Parenting Life, Eat, Play, Bond, and Kate Says Stuff all sent their concerns, thoughts, prayers and well wishes our way. (And there were others. I’m sorry if I forgot you.)
She was scheduled for a Tympanoplasty, to repair the very substantial hole in her ear drum (approximately 50%). We were told before hand that the surgeon would take a small piece of skin from above her ear, and use that to repair the drum. We would be in hospital for a minimum of four hours afterwards, because that’s as long as Bridie would need a bandage around her head. It was all very straight forward.
So of course I panicked. The night before I was a little bit of a mess, but I did manage to calm down, and by Friday morning I was calm and confident.
Bridie was too, amazingly. She didn’t complain about not having breakfast, and she didn’t get upset. Her main concern before hand was the anaesthetic gas; she didn’t like the smell. But we had spoken to the anaesthetist, and they said she could have it via IV if she could keep still.
It says how much she hates it that she would rather have a needle in her arm than a mask over her face.
It came time for the surgery. I suited up so I could go in with her, doing my best Grey’s Anatomy impersonation. (Call me McSAHM.)
We got into the theatre room, and it hit her. They put her on the bed and she started to cry and wiggle, and try to come to me. The nurse and the aneasthetist were fantastic. They spoke calmly to her, whilst getting her arm ready for the cannular, and trying to find the vein.
And then my dear little Bridie turned her head away, closed her eyes, and pulled a face of sheer determination. She did not answer the questions, but she did not move, and she did not cry; she let them put that needle in with not even a flinch.
Can I just say, that there are so many ‘what’s the point?’ moments in parenting. We try and try and hardly see any fruit from our actions.
This was not one of those moments. And it was not a ‘lucky’ moment either. It was all our hard work in self control training paying off for the time when it was really necessary. I will hold on to that moment then next time I feel like nothing I say is getting through.
They cleaned the line, and got the anaesthetic ready. The ENT entered and spoke to me about the procedure. If it went like planned it would be about 30mins, but if the problem was in the tube it would be 20. By the time he finished explaining it, Bridie was asleep, and I was being whisked out of the room.
Being insanely hungry, and having a little bit of time, I headed to the cafeteria, and on the way bumped into a friend. He was carrying a box of orchids, and he looked…broken. I asked if everything was ok, and he said his wife had been diagnosed with bowel cancer. She had done the swab the government sends out EIGHTEEN months ago, and got the results last month. (Isn’t that disgusting?)
I didn’t ask about the prognosis; the look on his face was enough. Suffice it to say, it wasn’t just Bridie I was praying for then.
Twenty minutes went past and I heard nothing, so I assumed it was going to plan.
Thirty minutes and still nothing.
After 45 minutes they told me she was out and in recovery and they would come and get me soon.
About ten minutes later they took me through, and she was just lying peacefully in her bed, all rugged up with her fingers in her mouth, and all the post-op nurses raving about just how wonderful she had been.
It took me a little while to realise there was no bandage on her head, just a piece of cotton wool glued into her ear.
She was taken to recovery, and given a bowl full of orange jelly, which she tucked into straight away. While she was eating the surgeon came and said that when they went in they discovered her ear was very badly infected; he was surprised it hadn’t been leaking puss. They had cut away the infected tissue, but they couldn’t do the skin graft because it probably wouldn’t hold, and it would just get infected as well. Instead they packed the hole with (what I’m assuming is bio-synthetic) cotton wool and covered it with some kind of miracle glad wrap. This essentially grafts the hole and promotes the cells to regenerate on their own.
She has had this before; 2 years ago, and it worked for a while. But eventually the ear got infected again and the drum perforated again, and obviously didn’t get better.
So I’m not that excited. I’m glad that they have done something, but it’s not the more ‘permanent’ solution we were hoping for. Or it might be. I guess we just have to wait and see.
The upside was because she recovered so quickly, we got to leave pretty much straight after. She didn’t even have time to play with the box of goodies she had got for her present.
This morning she is fine. Her ear is obviously sore, and her throat from the tube they put down there, but she slept well, and is generally happy.
So really, at the end of the day, it was a success, and I’ll be happy for that.
I know this has been long; sorry, but I I just want to finish with saying that as we went to the car, Bridie told me that the reason she could be ‘as still as a soldier,’ was that she knew so many people were praying for her. So if you were one of those people (Naomi and Kate) thank you so much. We couldn’t have done it without you.