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DS goes for operation tomorrow!

(41 Posts)
florenceuk Tue 07-Oct-03 09:57:16

DS (almost 2) is going for day surgery tomorrow. Nothing serious like heart surgery but will still have general anaesthetic. I just keep worrying, about how he will cope with no milk and food tomorrow, how will he react to the pain and discomfort, and hate reading stories of general surgery botch ups (like one in the paper today)...I know other babies here have had much more serious things done, but still feel stressed! How did your babies cope?

codswallop Tue 07-Oct-03 10:05:15

Poor you. Its almost as if you wish you could do it for them isnt it. My baby may have to have a minor op in a few years time asn I am dreading it already

CountessDracula Tue 07-Oct-03 10:05:30

florenceuk, I'm afraid I have no experience of this but just wanted to wish you/him good luck.

bobthebaby Tue 07-Oct-03 10:05:46

I saw a two year old in a recovery room after day surgery. His distress seemed to largely be that he didn't realise that they had done the procedure. Then they brought him an ice lolly and he seemed to forget ever being upset. Maybe have a toy that you show him before he goes in and promise him after the surgery is over he can play with it again, so when you give it to him he will know it is all finished, and also be distracted. I'm sure its worse for you than him, try to stay calm. Good luck for tomorrow.

florenceuk Tue 07-Oct-03 10:07:38

Bribes of food and toys sound good. Maybe time to introduce DS to chocolate!

janh Tue 07-Oct-03 10:27:58

DS1 had grommits put in when he was around 18 months. He is 15 now so my memory's a bit shaky but IIRC getting through the morning without food or drink was the worst bit - we stayed in overnight obviously and he was done fairly early in the morning. I don't remember the recovery part being too bad - don't think he had any pain though. (He had his tonsils out when he was 6, he was upset after that, it did hurt!)

The bit where they go to sleep is hardest - try to keep talking to him in a nice soothing-but-confident voice while they give him the anaesthetic, until he's fast asleep. Then you can go away and blub. Hope all goes well!

doormat Tue 07-Oct-03 10:57:28

florence hope it all goes well for tomorrow.I think he will be a brave little soldier.
hugs and love
doormat
xxx

ThomCat Tue 07-Oct-03 11:11:07

No advice but just wanted to say 'it'll all be fine' and to send you a hug and lots of love. Look forward to hearing of his speedy recovery. xxx

Blu Tue 07-Oct-03 11:16:49

FlorenceUK: Last year my DS then 10m had 4 general aneasthetics in 5 weeks: younger, so probably easier, but you may find the following useful:
What time is the operation? they usually put little ones in the list early, in which case the starvation isn't as hard to handle. We found distraction the easiest approach. Have you checked the latest he can have water/clear liquid to drink? Starvation times aren't as long for small children as they are for adults: phone and ask specifically about children his age.
Have you had a pre-assessment appt with the aneasthetist? They should come round and talk to you before the actual op. Ask if they can knock him out with gas before inserting a canula for the IV aneasthetic, as it is far preferable. The aneasthetic is, emtionally, the hardest part. If they use gas, which is administered through a face mask, the more he struggles, the faster he will breathe it in, and tho' it will feel like an age, I promise you that he will be unconscious in less than 10 seconds. I held him on my lap and the aneasthetist put the mask on from behind. Seeing your baby asleep on the big trolley is also v emotional. Have your dp or best friend or ANYONE waiting for you!
Make absolutely sure that you know where they will come and find you once the op is over. Generally they will let you into recovery before he is fully awake. We found that instant cuddles cleared up any post op tears immediately: he drank, ate and then slept soundly. Have easy to eat, favourite nutritious food availble for him.
Check with the aneasthetist about any post-op pain relief. Sometimes they administer something powerful before they come round if appropriate/necessary. Our DS had extensive surgery to re-arrange all the bones and soft tissue in his ankle and foot, and we had no problems with post op pain at all. You can give paracetamol and ibroprufen alternatively, so that you can 'leapfrog' them so it never wears off.
Remember that you will not be able to use your mobile in the hospital. If you are likely to have anxious relatives, (esp grandparents, IME!) calling incessantly for news, make an arrangement for leaving a message with them: you will wnat to spend time with your DS, not running round using the phone in the hall!
Don't know how long the op is, but have someone to be with. Our DS's surgery was 5 hours, 1st time, but even the 30 min ones were hard.
Take food and drink, and magazines for yourself. You won't want to run to hospital canteen.
Day surgery may happen in a special Day unit: if you are on the children's ward, prepare yourself: they can be emotional places, with children who are much, much sicker than yours.
The most important thing to remember is: the whole thing is MUCH worse for parents than the kids. Honestly! Our DS shrieked with delight and recognition each time we went back, excited by the clanky cots, wires from walls, attention, etc etc!
Good Luck, and let us know how you get on.

Blu Tue 07-Oct-03 11:20:32

And don't do any 're-assuring' behaviour before hand! otherwise he will be sure to think there is something frightening about to happen. Make it exciting...our DS now 2 goes for all his appointments clutching his own Doctors Kit and enjoys the whole thing like an adventure. The ONLY slightly unpleasant part for him will be the aneasthetic...no worse than the other things you doubtless inpose on him, like hair-washing!

dinosaur Tue 07-Oct-03 11:24:18

My DS had very minor operations on both Achilles tendons last year when he was aged 11 months. He had to have a general anaesthetic.

I was really worried about the starvation, especially as DS2 was still breastfeeding at the time, and always had a feed first thing, but we just got up got him dressed put him in the car and off we went, he never fussed at all.

I agree with Blu, being with him as he went under was very hard, and I didn't have anyone with me so just walked away blinded with tears, but you know, botch ups are pretty rare and I think they are ultra careful with children, so it WILL be fine.

DS2 was pretty distraught when I went to collect him in recovery afterwards, but after a feed and a nap he was fine and was up to playing in the hospital playroom.

I'm sure your DS will be fine - good luck with it all - thinking of you.

waterbaby Tue 07-Oct-03 11:26:01

Good luck DS and Florenceuk - chocolate and toys sound like great ideas - this is the time for treats really isn't it. Get some for yourself too, keep your energy up. IME it helped to arrange your eating/drinking etc so its not in front of him, and have a different present to open every hour or so before the op - a way of passing the time - once its been unwrapped (wrap very tightly with lots of paper) and played with, there will only be a few difficult minutes to go before its time to do the next one. Books or games that meant they were doing something worked best - we also asked friends if we could borrow some of their toys and books, so they were different enough to distract DD for a bit longer than our weel-worn copies... she had her own teddy for reassurance but everything else was begged, borrowed or bought!

Helsbels Tue 07-Oct-03 11:34:34

My ds went for grommitts at 18months and had a general. The hospital were really good and provided loads of toys to take his mind off how hungry he was. It was horrible for me and dh but ds seemed unaware of anything terribly wrong. He came round almost straight away after the op and tried to run towards us!! He was none the worse for wear and within less than an hour he was asking for milk and ate two slices of toast which the hospital provided. Good luck - he'll be fine!!

Bozza Tue 07-Oct-03 12:44:14

DS had ops at 12 months and at 26 months. I think the second one was harder (although less traumatic situation because only grommets so routine). JanH made me smile with the "we stayed in overnight obviously" because I don't think anyone does that for grommets anymore. Generally they put the youngest ones on the list first and both times we had to be there by 7.30 am. So we just got up and ready and then put DS in the car in his pjs at the last minute. Plenty of time to change nappies, put him in fresh pjs etc when you get there. Our second experience is probably more relevent to you. The waiting and pre-op checks seemed interminable to me but they had so many toys that DS had the time of his life. He's too young to understand so don't try to explain beforehand. Children are allowed to take a special bear etc into theatre with them. And there was an electric car they could drive down the corridor but DS just toddled down pushing a doll's pushchair with an iron in! DS was easily distracted by all the gadgetry and they managed to get the anaesthetic into other hand. And that bit is hard because they just go so quickly and I felt very empty.

Presumably if its day surgery it won't be a long op so you just have to wait around. When DS came round he was quite confused and trying to move around before he had full use of his limbs but thats two year olds for you. He cried because he was confused. So I just sat in a chair and held him which was quite hard because he is very strong and he gradually settled down. I did find this bit a little distressing. Then he had a bit of something to eat (take your own food if it helps) - I took a banana and yoghurt. Then they had a false fire alarm just as he was feeling better and that made his visit! We were home in time for lunch and apart from a long nap you just would not know that he'd had an operation by the time we got home. They gave us some calpol and I gave him a dose before bed just to be on the safe side but unnecessary.

forestfly Tue 07-Oct-03 13:24:32

Good Luck florenceuk , you will sale through it and colapse when you get home. Balloons, colouring books and magazines help. Adrenalin takes over really and the nurses in childrens hospitals are fantastic. They know how worried you are and do everything to reassure you. I feel stronger after going through surgery with my son, like you can cope with anything. Good Luck again, and my thoughts go with you tom. Be Brave!

Bozza Tue 07-Oct-03 13:34:41

Forestfly is right. I forgot to mention that when DS went for his long nap, DH and I also went to bed - to sleep as well before you get any other ideas.

florenceuk Tue 07-Oct-03 16:00:07

thanks everyone! We will be there at 7.45am, and it should all be over by lunch. Blu, 5 hrs sounds horribly long - glad to hear DS wasn't traumatised by it all. Bozza, I wish we could just wake DS up and put him in the car, but knowing him we will all be up long before then!

tigermoth Tue 07-Oct-03 20:53:41

my oldest son had to have a small cyst on his face removed when he was 18 months old. It was gut wrenching to see him fall under the influence of general anaesthetic in the hospitial trolly. He looked so still and tiny and I felt so powerless. But the operation was over very quickly - in less time than I've spent at many a supermarket checkout - and he came round soon afterwards. He was tearful, woozy and clingy, but as soon as he saw another boy's remote control toy robot, he really perked up. It was so good to see. The improvement in him happened steadly. In less than a day life returned to normal.

I don't know what sort of operation your son will be having, but it might be a good idea to bring a fantastic toy along (new or old) to get his interest going when the general anaesthetic wears off. If not, it's possible the children's ward will have something from their toy collection that you can show him.

Hope all goes well tomorrow.

CnR Tue 07-Oct-03 20:59:02

No advice or tips but my very best wishes. I hope all goes well tomorrow for you and your DS. Take care.

sobernow Tue 07-Oct-03 22:17:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WideWebWitch Tue 07-Oct-03 22:21:33

Good luck for tomorrow florenceuk, hope it's all over quickly - let us know how it went.

mammya Tue 07-Oct-03 22:36:57

Just wanted to say good luck for tomorrow, let us know how it went.

ks Tue 07-Oct-03 22:38:59

Message withdrawn

monkey Wed 08-Oct-03 05:44:53

good luck. Both my ds's have had minor operations now & it was really stressful. I kept wondering how parents with rally sick kids cope & marvelled at them. I was pretty pathetic. Them going under was really difficult. sorry - this is all probably too late - just realised. I had been warned to expect jerkey limbs, but hadn't realised this would continue - I assumed there'd be some jerking, then they'd look asleep, so was a bit freaked out.

Also, both ds's were really crying when they came round, a really animal cry, & didn't sound like them, so I found that alarming & upsetting too.

It didn't last too long though. I got them a special new toy to give when they came round to distract them & this seemed to really help - a remote controlled digger. DS still remembers he got it for his operation. The docs also let him take his monkey in with him, so that was a very nice touch (made me feel better anyway).
In neither ase was the food/drink thing an issue.

Hope you manage ok - sure you will, it's just one of those really tough things you have to go through. Hugs.

Ghosty Wed 08-Oct-03 06:13:46

Just wanted to say goodluck florenceuk and your DS

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