When we were moving to Cincinnati from South Carolina, my children’s pediatrician told me that Cincinnati had one of the top children’s hospitals in the U.S. Of course, I’m a pessimist, so naturally I think, “Greeeeaaat…God’s probably sending us there because our kids are going to need a good hospital in the near future!” Well, my pessimistic outlook was right on, even though I should have looked at it this way. “Awesome! God is placing us right where we need to be in order for our children to get the best medical care possible!” Yeah, I’m really trying to work on my attitude!
I have to say that our overall experience with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital has been a positive one. Okay, truthfully, I can’t think of one bad thing to say about them! I don’t think things could have gone more smoothly.
Dr. Elluru is absolutely WONDERFUL. He is very friendly and personal and the first time we met him, I felt so much better about putting my child in his caring hands. He didn’t want to rush into putting ear tubes in Madison’s ears, and monitored her ears over the last couple of months. I was really impressed that he didn’t want to just jump the gun on that one! I mean, more surgeries = more $!
He really is a gifted doctor in every way. He even spent time holding little America before going into surgery with Madison. He did keep trying to talk us into letting him take her home, but of course, we’re already too attached now! (If he only knew what I went through to have this one! I think I’m still a little traumatized by that labor, but that’s another story for another time). The funny thing is, Dr. Elluru has two daughters, and they both share the same first names as our Kelly and our America, (not blog names of course!) spelled the same ways too.
Anyway, we showed up an hour early for Madison’s surgery and they checked all her vitals. When she started to show some nervousness, the nurse let her pick out a toy. They brought us in a room where we spent the next hour. They had a flat screen tv up on the wall in front of Madison’s bed and she was able to watch Sesame street while we waited. They also brought in some toys for her to play with.
When the anesthesiology rep showed up, she brought in a doll (Madison called her Dora because she had dark hair about the same length as Dora the Explorer), and some masks. She let Madison put the various sized masks on the “Dora” doll and then sprayed some “scents” on a paper towel and let Madison pick her favorite.
Of course, during this time, we had several people come in and ask us the same questions over and over again, including, “What is Madison having done today?” And then it was time for Madison to go back to another room for the anesthesia. We decided beforehand that Scott would go back with Madison (after they told us what we can expect to happen when they start the anesthesia).
It actually worked out perfectly, because I kept busy that entire 5 minutes getting all of our stuff together and putting the sleeping baby in her car seat so I’d be ready to be escorted to the waiting room when they returned. In the meantime, Scott stayed strong as Madison started crying, fighting the mask. It was only about 30 seconds before she was knocked out, but he came back looking…emotional. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him with that expression on his face. I was SO glad I didn’t go back. No doubt I would have been bawling when I walked out that room. I actually had a hard time not crying just letting her go anyway!
Anyway, we had to report ourselves at a desk in the waiting room where this lady gave us a pager just incase we wanted to go downstairs to get something to eat. She told us it would be about an hour to an hour and twenty minutes. “What?!?” Dr. Elluru told us it was only about a 10 minute deal! Well…the surgery itself was, but when you factor in putting in the IV and all the other stuff they have to do…yeah, it made sense.
So I called my mom and told her not to worry and that the surgery was going to be longer than expected. I’d call back when things were done. Then we decided it was just too quiet in the waiting room and decided to go downstairs. They had a little food bar there and we each picked out a sandwich, I grabbed some chips, and drinks…oh, and Scott got a Broccoli/Cheese soup for us to share. Way too much food, but picking it all out kept us preoccupied.
And we sat down to eat. The food was actually pretty good. If only they’d made the hospital food that tasty when I’d had Madison…maybe I wouldn’t have been in such a hurry to go home!
Just as we were about to head back up, the pager buzzed. (I’d asked Scott earlier if he had the “vibrator” where he could feel it and you know he didn’t let that one go…I was thinking “pager”, but that it was going to vibrate, and called it a vibrator. MEN!)
Anyway, we headed upstairs where they escorted us to a consult room. Dr. Elluru met us in there and talked about the surgery…and then he and Scott got into their Blackberry’s. (Boys and their toys!). We talked a little bit more about other things and then he left. We were then taken immediately to the recovery room, where we found Madison propped up in her bed, leaning her back against the nurse’s chest. I was a bit shocked at her swollen and dark mouth. I know it makes sense to expect that, but I guess I just thought I’d walk in and her birthmark would look lightened and that’s it.
“I am in love!” Kathy told us. She started bragging about how Madison was a model patient and then distracted me from feeling bad about Madison’s swollen mouth. She wanted to keep Madison. She said she woke up and immediately looked her her hand with the IV which was taped to a board.
“I stuck!” She told the nurse. “Help me! I stuck!”
Kathy got such a kick out of that! So she took out Madison’s IV and held her while she waited for us to get in the room. We went over some stuff with Kathy, she answered our questions and gave us instructions on caring for Madison, especially over the next 24 hours. And then we were free to go!
So we drove Madison home and let her relax to her favorite movies. I eventually took her up to my room for a nap and after she woke up from her nap, she sat straight up again and looked at me yelling, “I stuck! I stuck!” She must have thought she was back at the hospital. The only way I could convince her she wasn’t stuck was by making her look at her hand.
“No you’re not. Look! Look at your hand!” I said.
She looked and realized she wasn’t really stuck, and then she was ready to get up!
So everything went very smoothly. The worst part was that night when she woke up screaming bloody murder. I don’t know what it was all about, but Scott jumped out of bed and got her and brought her into bed with us. She kept telling us the “snake” bit her, and grabbed her neck. The poor girl was shaking, I don’t know if it was from fear, pain, or being cold. I pulled her up to me and grabbed the Tylenol. She put her hand on her mouth and cried out, saying it hurt. But 30 minutes later she was calmed down and drifted back to sleep, alternating between me and Scott with her “cuddles.”
So, Madison is doing well. The swelling has gone down for the most part. She did wake up from her nap yesterday with some swelling and told me to “get it off.” But after I gave her some Tylenol, it went back down and she was fine. Today she’s the same little rascal she’s been the last 4 months…she’s reached her terrible two’s early…not fun!
Anyway, I’m so thankful for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, the great nurses and staff, and Dr. Elluru. God certainly did place us where we needed to be at the right time. We’ll decide with Dr. Elluru in 3 -4 months if Madison will need to go back in for another laser treatment, but for now, we are just letting her heal and enjoying our last week of summer before school starts up again!
Now, I have to brace myself for Kelly’s turn. She still needs surgery on her hand…and that one is probably going to be longer than an hour. Ugh! My poor little girls!