Today we are exactly 3 months out from Maura’s Dega osteotomy. Watching her run, jump, and play the past few weeks you would have no idea that she even had surgery.
We found out in November that her right hip had not improved and was in fact getting worse. There was also debate about whether her left hip also required surgery or not, in the end it did not – but is still being monitored as she grows. We were told any time between then and April/May would be fine, but given we had also just found out I was expecting babe number two – we decided to get the procedure done pretty quickly. The date was set for January 17th. Similar to our previous hospital in Oregon, surgery times are determined by age of patient and set the day before. Luckily, we once again got the first spot of the day – making fasting much easier on little tummies. We were cut off from food and drinks other than clear liquid at midnight, and all liquid at 4am… which basically meant cut off after bedtime. The drastic change in our routine that morning made the fasting pretty easy. We arrived at 7am for our 8:30am surgery time.
I can’t say enough good things about Golisano Children’s hospital in Rochester. As soon as we got into the pre-op room, Maura was given a bucket of toys to play with that entertained her throughout conversations with the anesthesia team etc. The Child Life Specialist was amazing. She was given her choice of ‘hat’ to wear in the OR – Her choices were My Little Pony, Minnie Mouse, or
Frozen. After changing into OR ‘pajamas’, she decorated her anesthesia mask with stickers (also of her choice) AND decorated a smaller version for the Doll she brought with her. She then chose a chapstick smell she liked and lined her mask with it so it would be the smell she had going to sleep for surgery. They gave her a ‘magic wand’ – a toy than spun with lights – to carry with her on our walk to the OR and she used it to open the OR doors. I was allowed to accompany her the entire time until she was sound asleep, and her dad and I were in recovery with her by the time she woke up.
The surgery itself wasn’t too long. I’d say (now I’m forgetting) about 2-2.5 hours total. The did the dega osteotomy on her right hip, but also injected dye into her left and examined it’s coverage in all range of motion to verify that it didn’t require surgery that we had talked about before. It took Maura about 3 hours to wake up fully from anesthesia.
She would open her eyes, and almost immediately go back to sleep. I actually think she just felt too yucky to want to wake up. They offered two different doses of pain meds as the epidural was going to wear off, and I naively chose the lower dose since she didn’t seem to be in pain. I didn’t realize that we then had to wait 4 hours for another dose of higher strength and that wait was brutal – and I think avoidable had I known. I just didn’t know that the epidural hadn’t fully worn off yet when I made the choice. We first were put in a semi private room – neither child was comfortable pain wise – Maura was in a crib that I couldn’t fit in with no other option for sleeping – the worst part was the bathroom was for the other patient, and I was supposed to use the one down the hall. I told the nurses we’d like to be switched as soon as a private room opened up due to the bathroom situation because I wouldn’t be leaving Maura’s side (and being pregnant, I needed the bathroom!). They got us moved within 2 hours, and after watching my pregnant self climb into her crib to snuggle and keep her calm – they switched her to a regular sized bed. Although the experience started out rough, they were wonderful at accommodating us as soon as they knew we were uncomfortable. We upped Maura’s pain dose and immediately she felt better. We also chose to alternate between the heavier stuff and Ibuprofen. She was taking meds every 2-3 hours, and although she hated it and that was traumatic for her – she clearly felt a lot better on them. The first night I stayed up late with her and we watched Frozen on TV until about 1am and then she went to sleep, other than the wake ups for meds which typically were brief.
The next day, she got her IV and her catheter out (a bit traumatic, but she did well). PT also came in to meet with us, and try out a wheelchair. Despite being exhausted and probably in pain, Maura loved being out of bed and we got to visit the hospital play room. About 3 hours later, our very own wheelchair was delivered right to our room that she’d be using for the next month. She took a long nap, and we spent most of the day reading and watching movies.
There was a snowstorm fast approaching – and we discussed discharge options. We decided to decrease her med doses and stay one more night. We also stretched her meds a bit more over night to let her rest. She tolerated it very well and we were up and ready to go early the next day (even though discharge always takes a while).