A Journey with Love and Laughter

Read about our family as we journey through life as a family, with siblings, school and spina bifida, and lots of fun and laughter along the way!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Getting ready for surgery

We are 16 days away.
I'm trying to get us super-prepared, to just do something

Sick Kids has some great information and resources for preparing your child for surgery.
Now that school is done I have been talking a lot with Nick about the surgery.
He has been very interested in learning about his operation, so I've been feeding this interest

Sick Kids has a video that they recommend watching

The only thing was that at the end the little boy goes home after his surgery. So I had to jump right in and tell Nick that he will be staying for a couple of days.
Nick really liked the video and we've been comparing what will happen to him with the boy in the video.

I was also able to get a colouring book from work (Thanks Alex!) about getting ready for your operation. It is not specific to one hospital or another so it works out well. Nick has been colouring a page a night and we've been reading about what to expect. I wanted a book to use to talk about the surgery, but also something for him to do.

There are a ton of resources on the Sick Kids page

It has a resource about talking to your child about the surgery, by age group. I have been trying to follow all of the advice

I have been telling Nick what to expect, as much as I know. I don't want to scare Nick, but I also want him to know what is going to be happening.

We've talked about going to the hospital and the waiting room. Nick has picked a toy that will go with him (Tyrone), and I have said that I will be with him and waiting for him in the waiting room.

I'm not sure if I will be able to go into the operating room with him until he falls asleep, or be in the recovery room when before he wakes up. But I've told him that I will be with him, in the hospital with him the entire time he is there.
We have talked a lot about the lying down on the table with all of the doctors with him. He doesn't seem to be scared and will talk about the sleepy doctor.

With the recent MRI, Nick hasn't been that worried about the sleep medicine, we have an old mask for him to play with and prepare.

Nick did this maze to visit all of the places in the hospital, and we got to talk a bit more about that I will be staying overnight with Nick in the hospital so I am always there. He was worried he would be alone.

One of the things that I am worried about is pain afterwards.
We've been practicing some breathing and distraction, but really I don't know how he will be until we are there.
Sick Kids had some resources about helping your child with pain, so I got some bubbles and games and I've printed off some of the pain faces so that we can work on labeling his pain (Katheryn is really good using big and small).

These are some other colouring book resources.


I'm waiting for some last phone calls, all of our papers say if we haven't heard by 1 week before surgery to call a number, so I'm just waiting for that call. One is for the actual time of surgery (I'm hoping for 8am so we are less likely to be bumped) and the other call we are waiting for is the anesthesia phone consult.
We had our pediatrician fill in all of our papers and fax it in. We also had bloodwork done.
Nick was super fantastic with the bloodwork. I got a new hand-sized Michaelangelo stuffed keychain with sounds effects that I gave him right before the bloodwork (literally as we are sitting in the chair).
Nick didn't really like what was happening, and kept watching and saying 'no, no, no' and then 'ow, ow take the needle out' but no crying and he didn't pull away or freak out. He was worried about all the blood leaking out though.
He was so brave!

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