The day was a long one.
There had been flooding from an ex-tropical cyclone the few days before the operation date and to begin with we didn't know if we were going to even make it to the hospital, but the main roads into the hospital were accessible.
After we arrived we were told that the Plastic Surgeon was coming up from Sydney where he had been for the weekend..... and he had been delayed at both Sydney and Brisbane airports so Nick's operation would be later than expected.
Nick was 4th on the list.
We arrived at the hospital just after 8am and he went into theatre at 2.15pm. It was a very long emotional day for Nick. The Starlight Room gave some relief when he was teary and hungry.
He jusr wanted to get in that operating room and get it off!
Whilst in the Day Unit Waiting Room Nick had numbing cream applied to his arms and hands. The plan was to put in a canula before surgery and he was to be given a sedative. Then the Plastic surgeon would cut the wires etc..so that the anaesthetist could put the mask on Nick for him to go to sleep. The numbing cream the nurse put on his hand did not work having been on too long, so he felt the canula go into his hand. He cried and he said he could feel it and it really hurt - Nick has a high pain threshold so I knew it must be really hurting him! I held in my tears and comforted him. It is so hard watching your child in pain.
After the canula was in and the sedative given, Dr Lewandowski comforted Nick to calm him as Nick was starting to get scared. He cut the wires that attached the halo to his mouth plate and cheekbones and removed the black bar so the anaesthetist could put the gas mask on.
Nick was nervous but brave. He took deep breaths of the gas and slowly drifted off to sleep.
Once asleep I kissed him, prayed a silent prayer and left...as I had done so many other times.
The waiting then began. It wasn't too long and Matt the Plastics Registrar appeared in the Parents Waiting Room to tell us that everything had gone well. The halo had been removed, the titanium plates in his cheekbones were gone and they had shaved some sharp bone off the cheekbones to make a better shape. He had cuts on his cheekbones with dissolvable stitches, and wounds above his ears.
We saw Nick in Recovery and then he went back to the Day Unit Ward. He was sore and a bit spaced out but ok. He ate and drank and it wasn't too long and we took him home. We got home about 7pm.
Boy did Nick look different!
The nurse told us to put ice packs on his cheekbones to help with the swelling and bruising that was starting..and to give him nurofen.She had already given him some paracetamol.
He slept on the banana pillow which kept his head at an angle to help with draining of the swelling.
This has continued. We are putting Chlorsig cream on his cheek scars to help prevent infection. Later we will use Vitamin E cream to help the healing.
Nick does not like his new look. Melissa said exactly the same thing after her halo came off.
It is a huge deal psychologically to look into the mirror and see a different person staring back at you.
Because of his swelling and bruising he has not liked going out and hasn't wanted to go and see his friends at school...but that will come.
We are praying that the bruising and swelling around his eyes will not last too long..and he will be back at school with his friends real soon.
Nick 1 February
© 2012 by Jenny Woolsey