On April 1, the boys and I flew back to Seattle so that Logan could have surgery at Seattle Children’s, with the plastic surgeon and craniofacial team that’s been providing his care for the last almost 7 years. Pre-op was April 6; surgery was April 17. Seattle was wonderful and we loved every minute of being there.
Surgery day was a Friday, and Logan has his last meal at 5:50am. Then, at 9:55am he has his last drink of clear liquid—a large glass of apple juice. We arrived at the hospital at 1pm to check in, as requested. Then, we waited. And waited. And waited. Finally, at 4pm they were ready to take him back for surgery. For a child with trauma triggers around access to food, this was excruciating! But we survived. Surgery took just over 2 hours, and the dr. was very pleased with the results.. (Logan was born with a cleft lip and cleft palate. This surgery was to repair the alveolar cleft—the gap in his upper jaw—so that he can retain the permanent teeth waiting to erupt. They use bone from his hip for the graft.)
Around 8:15pm they finally moved Logan to a room. He was a bit loopy…
Although we loved everything about the nursing care we received at the hospital, being a post-surgery patient on a medical unit was challenging. The nurses didn’t have a good handle on Logan’s surgery or the level of pain associated with it. They didn’t know the procedure for his oral medications. And they didn’t treat his pain adequately. It’s not their fault—they followed the orders as given. They simply don’t have post-surgery patients on their floor very often, and the particular surgery Logan had, with 2 incision sites, is extremely painful. We left the hospital Saturday morning without appropriate pain medication, because he ‘hadn’t needed any, so you probably don’t need it.’ Not having done this before, I was clueless and went along with it. BIG mistake! Saturday was tolerable, Sunday was mostly manageable, but Monday was a nightmare!! 6 hours of crying, 4 phone calls, and a trip to our (amazing, incredible) pediatrician finally brought the right meds and relief.
Now 15 days post surgery (and back in California since the 28th), Logan’s doing awesome! His post-op appointment went very well, and the nurse practitioner we saw thought his recovery was coming along quite well. Everything looked excellent and we were cleared to return to California and the sun. He’s still moving a bit slow—his hip hurts still if he overdoes the activity—but he’s pretty free to do as he pleases. No contact sports for sure, but swimming and bike riding and body boarding and Disneyland are all cleared activities. He’s one happy boy with that. And, because his jaw looked so good, his only food restriction is on hard, sharp things like carrot sticks, apple slices, crackers, and tortilla chips. Works for him!
Thank you all for your prayers and support. They were much needed and much appreciated! We are truly blessed to have friends and family like all of you.