day of surgery

16 Jan

As you can probably imagine, it’s been a busy week and a half.  So tonight I am finally getting back to my mission to blog about this whole experience.

January 4th, when I wrote my last post, I was in the waiting room of St. Mary’s Hospital up at the Mayo Clinic.  Britton entered the OR at approximately 8 am and surgery began at 9:23 am.  The family started out in a large waiting area where we had access to a message board giving minimal updates on patient progress.  Before the surgery began they had his room ready in the ICU and moved all of us up to a family waiting area outside the ICU.  It was actually very nice!  We had a whole room to ourselves complete with a kitchenette.   We had a specific nurse communicator that came in to give us updates about every 2 hours.

waiting room

At about 10:30 am the nurse communicator came in and told us he was done with surgery.  I stood up and told him that couldn’t be possible.  He looked back at his notes, obviously confused and soon asked for my name.  We quickly realized he was referring to another patient, who was also wearing a grey sweatshirt, hence his confusion!  I thought Janet might have a heart attack!  I think she was pretty sure there had been complications since we knew we shouldn’t be getting another update for about an hour.  About 30 minutes later the nurse communicator came back with a real update.  Britton was under the microscope and he would be for the next 5 hours.  That was really the only update we would get, every 2 hours they would tell us he was under the microscope (whatever that means.)

Britton came out of surgery at about 4:30 that afternoon.  Janet and I headed downstairs to talk with the doctor about how surgery went.  It was tough talking to the doctor and still not being able to see our baby.  Britton’s surgery went well but the tumor was very tough to remove.  The doctor spent most of his time trying to unwrap the tumor from all of the nerves in Britton’s brain but he was confident they had been able to remove 99.9% of it.  Great news.  However, he wasn’t sure about his hearing.  Dr Link told us they were unable to get a good read on that nerve the whole surgery.  He was doubtful Britton would have the same function in his right ear that he had prior to surgery.  Speaking with the doctor was both terrifying and exhilarating.  It was tough to know how to feel about it.

Britton stayed in the recovery area for a long time.  Longer than he should have which is another story for another night.  At about 6 that evening I finally asked the nurses in the ICU where he was and they gave us an update that his blood pressure was too high and they had to get that regulated before he could come up to his room.  The news had us a little worried but we kept up the positive attitudes and played some games to pass the time.

At approximately 7:30 pm we were finally notified that Britton was in the ICU and his family was welcome to see him.  I had never been in a position like this before.  I had never seen a loved one go through serious surgery or witness any loved ones coming out of anesthesia.  When we first saw Britton it was hard not to be upset.  He yelled out in pain and I couldn’t hold back my tears until he turned to me, no glasses on to see my face, and said “I love you.”

While the wonderful nurses worked to get Britton’s pain under control the family all came in to see him and wish him well before they all headed out to dinner, acknowledging the fact that Britton wouldn’t be able to communicate anyway and would soon be so hyped up on pain meds he probably wouldn’t remember them.  Janet and I stayed put and I vowed to stay the night.  It was a long day and an even longer night but I was happy to have a cot in the corner of his room to keep watch over him all night.

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One Response to “day of surgery”

  1. Sydney Liebman January 16, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

    Thank goodness it’s over and he’s on the road to recovery and in your very good hands. 🙂

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