from one of my favorite blogs:
"i must admit, for better or worse, i no longer feel so attached to this blog that i have to keep it up to date on every single happening in life. it's a bit of a relief to know that i don't have to blogument every detail, as i once felt was necessary. having two kids and a home to take care of has put things in perspective for me. it has forced me to put first things first."
I'm being forced to put lots of things in perspective and putting a lot of different things first. I wish I could find time (make time? fit it in?) to blog more often because there's details of Matthew's life that I want to capture and remember forever and too much of it is passing by and being forgotten.
In any case, I wanted to follow up with how Ben is doing since his surgery.
Surgery morning was brutal. I tried to warn Ben ahead of time that when he woke up in the morning he couldn't have breakfast, drink milk, brush his teeth, etc. I reminded him that we were taking Matthew to another mommy's house and then going to visit his new doctor. I reminded him that once we got there, he'd get to decorate a special mask with stickers and then when the doctor was ready for him, she'd have him wear the special mask and breathe the magic air (how she phrased it during our consultation) that would make him go to sleep, and while he was sleeping she'd fix his ears and his throat. I reminded him that when he woke up, he wouldn't feel very good but that once he was healed, he'd feel so much better.
Warning him ahead of time did not make the morning go any easier. This little boy wanted his milk and was pretty ticked off that we couldn't give it to him.
Added to that, we sat out in the waiting room for a good half hour past our appointment time before they called us back.
Then we waited in the prep room, decorating his mask for another 20 or so minutes before they took him away.
In no time at all, they were calling us back to see him. Typically, after the procedure, they have him recover and monitored in a post-op room for about 20 minutes before family is called back to see him. At that point, he would have been transferred to a giant recliner to snuggle with mom or dad and rest with periodic check in's by the nurse in a different room. Apparently Ben came out of his anesthesia pretty quickly and wanted his mom, so we came back early. We skipped the post-op observation and did the chair cuddles instead.
After that, we picked up Matthew and headed home. He surprised the crap out of us by eating quite a bit, drinking quite a bit, taking his medicine without fuss and just being generally in good spirits.
We woke up him throughout the night to keep the pain medicine going but the closer to morning we got, the more combative HE got and boy howdy, he was not having any of it. No medication, no drinks, no snacks -
NOTHING. By about 10 or so that morning, Nick was starting to panic and had called the doctors office on advise on what to do. He waited awhile without a call back and decided to take Ben to the emergency room. Midway out the driveway, the nurse called back and told Nick to basically calm down. Thankfully, a short while later, a salesperson ignored my "no soliciting" sign (but honored the "please knock, baby sleeping" part) and knocked on our door. Ben really wanted to go talk, too, so I used that as a lever to take the medicine and drink some water.
For the most part, recovery has been incredibly easy. We had some power struggles with the ear drops and taking his medicines, but I made him a sticker chart that showed him what he had to take and at what time. Since he had to take stuff morning, lunch & dinner, I broke it up in to three sets and offered dollar store prizes for completing a set of medications. It mostly worked.
Since then, we've seen a huge improvement in his overall behavior. Since about September/October-ish, Ben's attitude was less than desirable. I wasn't sure if it was delayed sibling jealousy, a reaction to all the changes we'd thrown at him at once (baby brother, stop Tumble Time, start school, big boy bed, no more diapers ever, etc) or something else all together. I think the main driving cause of it was discomfort. Dr. Beck said his ears were a mess. They were full of clots that she had to go in an irrigate. Since we had his surgery, all of us are healthy (as opposed to at least one of us fighting off something since about Thanksgiving) and his behavior is much improved.
However, with feeling better come more energy for more dramatic tantrums. Some unattractive speech spews from his mouth when he's angry (I'm not sure who to blame: preschool friends or Disney/Pixar - but "shut up" and "you STUPID mommy!" are not acceptable phrases in our home nor ones he hears from either mom or dad). That aside, those are the kinds of tantrums we can deal with. They're reactions to specific things (unable to control his little hands a store and having to leave after several warnings.... not getting something he wanted...).
Throughout the recovery of his surgery, I think he lost about 8 pounds. I know he weighed just under 40 pounds before it all began (his weight seemed to fluctuate between 36 & 38 pounds when we'd visit the doctor) and midway through I weighed him at home and he was 30 pounds. Since then, he's back up to 35. He's eating an incredible amount of food and is just generally so much happier.
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