Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Hudson's Surgery

Friday night (Feb 22) we had arranged for our first night away from Hudson. We had a post-deployment event all day Saturday, at the Salt Palace, and the military was providing a free stay at the Hilton.  I was having mixed emotions about leaving Hudson.  I was very much looking forward to a full nights sleep and some time alone with the hubby, but I was still dreading leaving my baby in the perfectly capable hands of my mother! 
We were on our way to dinner when I decided to call the pediatricians office to run a little something by them.  Before we left, Drew noticed Hudson's right testicle was very swollen.  The doctor recommended that we have him seen that night at an urgent care, so we turned the car around before our date night had even begun.  
We took him in and they immediately sent us to the hospital for an ultrasound.  They were concerned about blood flow being cut off which could lead to a dead family jewel! After the radiologist read the ultrasound they told us that he had a "mass" and that we needed to follow up with our pediatrician on Monday.  They weren't concerned about his immediate health and they sent us home.

Monday I called Dr. Savage and she recommended a visit to a urologist at Primary Children's Hospital. We weren't overly concerned at this point, but the unknown is always a bit unnerving.  The Urologist appointment went well.  He told us that Hudson had a hernia that may, or may not, heal up on its own. Given his age, the severity, and the risks involved with surgery, we scheduled a follow up appointment with the urologist when Hudson was 6 months old. He said we could make a decision on the surgery at that point depending on how his body reacted over the next few months.  He also gave us a list of symptoms to watch for in the mean time, as there are some serious problems that "could" occur.  We were really happy with the visit, as well as the doctor, and went on our way.
Over the next few weeks, Hudson's testicle slowly increased in size and progressively got more and more difficult to reduce.  He developed some symptoms that we were told to watch out for, such as discoloration of the testicle and decreased appetite and bowl movements, but he wasn't fevered and his demeanor hadn't changed.  I placed a call to the specialist to run the symptoms by him and anticipated a call back.  In the mean time, he had a drastic change in behavior and we were unable to calm him down or get him to take any bottles. We decided to take him into the ER, as we would rather be safe than sorry.  The ER doctor working took one look at him and told us that he needed emergency surgery.  They were concerned that his bowel had slipped through the opening, and left untreated could result in a loss of part or all of the bowel.  We were given the option of him being transported to Utah Valley Hospital or Primary Children's Hospital, and given the distances we chose the closer of the two.  They called down to Utah Valley Hospital, made all of the arrangements, and spoke with the pediatric general surgeon on call.  They did allow us to take him by private vehicle because we hadn't given him any meds up to this point.  The poor guy was so dehydrated that they were unable to get an IV placed, and after 4 unsuccessful attempts they gave him and his parents a break.  I think that Drew was ready to punch someone at this point.  It was heart breaking to watch him scream and fight, and I was the lucky sole that was given the task of holding him down.  He'd look at me, with that lip sticking out and crocodile tears in his eyes, and plead for me to make it stop.

This is them attempting to get an IV in at AF Emergency Room

When we arrived on the pediatric floor at Utah Valley, we were taken directly to a private room and briefed on what we could expect.  It was almost 9:00 pm at this point, and we were all exhausted. They tried a couple more times to get his IV placed, but they too were unsuccessful.  After talking to Dr Downy, the surgeon who would be performing the surgery, we were left frustrated and uncertain as to what we should do.  Dr. Downy didn't think that it was a hernia at all and instead thought that it was a severe hydrocele.  Hydroceles were not an emergent situation, but given the size it would still require a surgical repair.  Since surgery was imminent and considering the distress that he was obviously in, Dr. Downy was more comfortable performing the surgery ASAP and making sure of what we were dealing with.

Mommy and Daddy each telling Hudson goodbye before we went down to the operating room. 

At about 10:30 pm I handed my 3 month old baby off to a kind stranger in the operating room, and watched as she took my sick baby down a sterile hall.  It was one of the most gut wrenching feelings I had ever experienced, and I stood silently sobbing as the doors closed behind them.
I sat in the waiting room with Drew and my mom had joined us at this point.  Surgery seemed to be taking forever, but they kept us updated as things progressed.  Dr. Downy walked into the waiting room, just before midnight, to let us know surgery went better than expected.  We would be able to go see Hudson once he was extubated.  One of their biggest concerns doing a surgery on a 3 month old (especially since he was premature) was the risk of intubating him.  They prepped us for the chance that they would have to leave him intubated for some time after surgery, which would also require that he stayed sedated until he was able to breathe on his own.  Our little fighter did exceptionally well and he was only required to stay overnight for monitoring.
When they wheeled him out of the operating room and as they took us back to his room, he was heavily medicated and he couldn't focus his eyes.  He would gaze off into the distance and he was motionless.   It was so hard to see him like that, but luckily he didn't require any other meds during his stay.

Post surgery follow the tough guy back to his hospital room.  

Those vacant stares

It was a long, emotional, exhausting night but the results of the surgery were apparent almost immediately.  He went from eating 3-4 oz at a time, to eating 6-8 oz at a time.  He starting sleeping better so I was able to start sleep training the following week.  He also started having bowel movements every day as opposed to every 4-5 days.  It was a night and day difference in his behavior and general well being.

Here is the incision site.  It's healed so well that you can hardly tell he has it.

We are greatful for the knowledge and compassion of the medical staff, and we are especially greatful for the power of the priesthood.  It was so comforting to see Drew lay hands on Hudson's head prior to his surgery and to know that our heavenly father would protect our sweet little boy and guide his surgeon .

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