…To Be A Dad.

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Operation complete

August 18th, 2010 · 4 Comments · health, hearing, illness, julien, medical, oliver, photo

Today, a mere17 months after first consulting a doctor regarding Oliver’s hearing, he underwent surgery to insert grommets in both ears.

Oliver and I were up at 6.30am prompt and given that he wasn’t allowed any food or drink from the midnight just passed, it wasn’t too difficult for us to get ready and be at the hospital for the required 7.15am check-in. The receptionists gave him a free Beano comic (and a paper for me) before we were shown to his private room which had a TV with CBeebies. At this point I realised that all our packing of toys and pencils and paper to keep him etertained had been entirely nugatory.

As he was the youngest patient today (by a few months), he was first on the surgery list. He was prepped for his op with a name tag and cream to numb the backs of his hands so they could get an IV line in for the anesthetic. Big Julien also got a name tag as he was to go into surgery with him.

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We waited patiently until, just as Hayley and Lucy arrived to say “Hi”, we were called down to theater. We walked down, Oliver getting to ring the bell and open the door along the way. He held my hand and was very brave, if a little quiet, understandably interested in what was going on.

In all the time leading to this op he has taken it all in his stride and this was true right the way to theater. He was suitably distracted by the nurse when they were putting in his IV line, though he did manage to sneak a look or two and was never once upset or even nervous. When they started to give him the anesthetic the anesthetist said “now are you going to have some sweet dreams?” or some such, and I saw Oliver start to lose consciousness. The poor boy was still sitting up on his trolley and no-one had told him to lie down. I saw the look of confusion on his face and momentarily he tried to fight the sleep. So I laid him down and said “It’s OK Daddy’s here”. Then he closed his eyes and was out.

I really don’t know why they didn’t lie him down first. If you were sitting about your body height off the ground on a trolley and started to feel faint you wouldn’t be too happy would you. Anyway…

Having foregone any food or drink thus far in the morning in solidarity with the little man, I headed down to the restaurant where Hayley and Lucy were just getting a late breakfast. By the time I had eaten it it was time to head back up and a few minutes later I was taken to the recovery ward where a rather groggy but still communicative Oliver was waiting for me. The nurse asked him to remind her what he was getting for being so brave. “A sonic screwdriver”, he replied, slurring his esses rather like a drunk.

The next few hours so him slowly recovering from “semi-anesthetised”,

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to “in pain in one ear” and being comforted by Mummy and Lucy (who was so sweet, stroking him, covering him with a blanket  and looking a bit concerned for her normally tough big brother),

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through “a bit tired” (and rather grumpy – another anesthetic side-effect apparently) to “ready to eat”

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and finally pretty much “normal working service has been resumed”.

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Although the change in his hearing should be instant, Oliver himself seemed unsure what to make of his “new” ears. He did say a few things that suggested they felt different to him. So tonight I tried whispering when his right ear was on the pillow. He heard what I said, which he never would have before, so I’m content that the op has been successful from that point of view.

Now we have to keep water out of his ears for a week, so no swimming lesson this week. And baths will be a challenge as he likes to plunge his face into the water!

It’s been a long day and I’m glad it’s all over. I’m very proud of the little man and I’m now looking forward to him starting school, knowing that he will be able to hear properly. Oh, and to not having the TV quite so loud.

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4 Comments so far ↓

  • Dan

    This post upset me a little for some reason. I don't like kids in hospital, even if its for positive reasons. I go into A&E a lot for work and hate walking past the kids corner bits.

    Glad to hear it all went well and Oliver deserves his sonic screwdriver.

    • Steve

      Dan, sorry about that. I probably should have omitted the less cheery pics.

      Ironically I am reading “Nothing To Envy” about life in North Korea and have just reached the famine in the 1990s, complete with dying 4 year olds in hospitals with no food let alone drugs. Left me feeling I was rather self-indulgent about today.

  • Jessi

    I'm so glad it went well. I can't begin to describe the differences between this and my girls' surgeries. I am wondering if it is because of our pathetic health care, here, or if it has more to do with how routine this surgery is considered in the US. In any case, it sounds like the day went well and everyone is happy.

    Also, I would gladly accept grommets in my ears for a sonic screwdriver. 🙂 Hope he has a wonderful time with it.
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  • SeattleDad

    Way to go Oliver. So glad he is doing better. I can understand where Dan is coming from. I can only picture my son when he went in and went under and the thought of that and kids in general in the hospital affect me now.

    It all comes with being a dad.

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