Getting Ready for Heart Surgery

Today we were at the Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital for the greater portion of the afternoon for Drew’s pre-op. We were hoping that there would be no bloodwork, but with surgery and especially having a history of a blood disorder involving heavy bleeding, we figured it was a high hope. When the nurse came in with her little basket of supplies, Drew immediately became upset. Not hysterical upset but that “I’m so scared!” and “Why do you want to hurt me?” type of upset. It absolutely broke my heart to the point I could feel pain inside having to look at his fearful eyes and quivering lips. As upset as he was, he actually handled it pretty well. There were tears and some lingering stress, but I’ve seen and heard kids do a lot worse.

They took his blood pressure, again, 3 times because it the diastolic pressure was extremely low and suspicious. But it was accurate. They did an EKG and we also went to x-ray to get a picture of his chest. A social worker gave us a tour of the recovery room floor and the major points of interest. She showed us pictures of the PICU and of other patients during the process so Drew would become acquainted with what was going to happen. He was too young to remember his first heart surgery.

But I remember it. What I remember most was after surgery was done and we got to see him for the first time, he was still intubated so he still had a tube down his throat and was unconcious. Instinctively, I reached for Drew and talked to him whivh caused him to stir making his stats like heart rate exceed the surgeon’s limits so we were instructed to not disturb him in any way. All I wanted to do was pick him up and rock him, reassure him so he woupdnt br scared or lonely but I couldnt touch him or evrn speak for fear of putting him in distress.

I asked Drew about an hour ago if he was scared at all amd he’s such a brave boy: he confidentlybsaid he wasn’t. I’m glad that he’s so non-chalant about it. It’ll be easier knowing he’s not scared. But, honestly, I’m a little scared. I dont know if its just the type of surgery or what, but Im not as relaxed and at ease with this surgery. I was almost in tears today as we discussed potential complications, viewed the intensive care unit and all of the reality of the seriousness of this surgery was brought to our attention.

Now, we are in the process of preparing Drew for his surgery. We were given a special sponge with medicated soap, presumably to pre-sterilize the area, to use during his bath routine tonight. Its a little strange and scary preparing Drew to have his chest cracked open. Its almost ominous.

Currently, were staying in a hotel while we wait for our turn on the waiting list at the Ronald McDonald House. The social worker at the hospital makingbthe arrangements to add us to the list asked how many would be staying in the room and I explained us including a 6-week old baby and she replied, “Wow, you have your hands full, dont you?!?” I said, “Lady, you have no idea!”

Ill keep everyone updated via the Drew Walking Tall Facebook page (you can find it and “like” it in the right pane of this page.) And there will no doubt be a new blog entry about it eventually. Your thoughts and prayers will be much appreciated throughout his surgery and recovery

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