Dante’s myringoplasty last Tuesday (1/27) was uneventful. It was the fastest recovery I’ve ever witnessed from my children. My son and I left the house around 6:15 am and it was still dark. We got to Mary Greeley hospital at 6:30 am, have them valet park my little Scion for free, then walked in to register.

Right after we walked in to the building, we informed the greeter that we’re there for a procedure. She took Dante’s information and gave us a beeper/pager (the kind that Old Chicago restaurant has); we’re supposed to go to the business office area once it beeps (and vibrates). Ten minutes later, our pager/beeper vibrated. We went to the business area and was helped by a nice representative, Jody. She took our information such as address, phone number, emergency contacts, insurance carrier, member number, etc. Fifteen minutes after that, we were given a folder to go to the next area, which is the waiting room for the Short Stay unit.

There, another nice middle age lady greeted us and said to Dante, “Hi, you have something for me?”
Dante handed her the folder and was asked his name.
Meekly, he answered, “Dante.”
The lady then asked, “What’s your last name, Dante?”
Dante gave his, and the lady gave her a different pager and said, “When this buzzed, a nurse will come out to get you and Mom, OK?”
Dante nodded quitely.
He’s getting nervous, I could tell.

About fifteen minutes later, while Dante was coloring the activity book that the hospital had given, the pager buzzed. He looked up at me and gave this ‘Uh-oh’ look. The door behind the receptionist area swung open, and a nurse called out, “Dante?”
I gathered our stuff and winter coats, and gently told my son, “Time to go, buddy.”
“Well hi there. What’s your name?” she asked my son.
“Dante.”
“Hi, Dante. My name is Pam and I will take you to your room, OK?”
As we walked along the sterile hallway, the nurse kept chatting with Dante about his age, which school he goes to, if he has a brother or sister, and what he likes to do.

short stay unit

still in good spirit

We got to our room and Dante was asked to change into a hospital gown. Then she asked us to follow her to get Dante’s height and weight. As we were walking, Dante tried so hard to keep the gown (which tied at the back) to cover his ‘behind’. I whispered to him, “Don’t worry hun, Mom’s right behind you, I’ll cover it.” Then he gave me a wink and a thumbs up.

After that, another nurse stopped by one more time to go through some medical questions and to get my signature for this procedure. Dante was given a monkey stuffed animal, and a ‘bracelet’. After that, it was the waiting game. The clock was showing 8:15 am, and we’re still in the room. Good thing they have cable, so Dante was content watching Spongebob. Around 8:20 am, a nurse came in to our room and told Dante that it was his turn and I could go with him until the Preop room. Now it’s my turn to be nervous. Preop room is basically an area where patients wait before being taken to the Operating Room (OR), and put under anesthesia. On our way from the Short Stay unit to the Preop room, Dante’s holding my hand all the time. He refused to lie down on the bed, he wanted to sit up straight. As we’re turning left and right on what seems to be an endless hallway, Dante kept on whimpered.

preop room

more anxious

The preop room was a bit ‘intimidating’, even for me as an adult. It’s so… sterile.  Gray wall paper. Cold. More medical gadgets and monitors. More nurses and physicians, wearing scrubs, surgical mask, and surgical hat. A nurse took a blanket from a warming drawer and wrap it around Dante’s shoulder.  She then put a surgical hat on Dante’s head. “Oh you look so cool.” She was trying to be funny, I know. But it made Dante’s nervous even more. His mouth mere shaped like an upside down ‘U’ and his eyes were starting to water.

Not too long after that, the anesthesiologist stopped by. The way he explained to Dante about the anesthesia process (using gas mask instead of needles) was amusing. He also let me know that Dante will be in the Recovery Room after the surgery for as long as he would need to. Apparently the anesthesia will go away faster if the patient would be able to ‘sleep in’. He put the pulse ox on Dante’s finger to check his oxygen saturation in his blood. Dante cringed at first, but he told Dante to look on the monitor, take a deep breath, and watch the number jumped up. “If you wiggle your finger, you’d make the line go up and down like.” So Dante did, and exclaimed, “Hey, I just made a mountain!”

Shortly after, the surgeon, stopped by. We chatted a little and he said it shouldn’t take him longer than 20 minutes to do it. “Any other question for me? No? Alrighty then, let’s get this party started,” he said. His nurse then started to move Dante’s bed out to the OR and said, “OK, let’s go, Dante.” I think that’s a sign for me to go. I walked with them out of the Preop room, kissed Dante on the forehead and whispered, “Don’t worry, you’d be fine. I will see you soon.” We gave each other thumbs up. I watched them walking away, another door swung open automatically and closed behind them. Through the circular glass, I could see them getting farther and farther, then they turned left and disappeared from my view. I choked.

photo3

after surgery

I sat in the Short Stay unit room trying to concentrate on the book I was reading. Every now and then I saw some children were brought in after surgeries and the younger ones were heard crying. I put on my iPhone and listened to Pandora. Twenty minutes later, Dr Ford came in and told me that the surgery’s done and he was happy to see Dante’s ears were both dry and healthy. Infections had gone away right in time for the surgery. He reminded me to make a two weeks follow up with him. Fifteen minutes later, Dante came back. He was lying on his tummy and was snoring. As soon as he heard my voice (thanking the nurse), he woke up and complained, “Mommy, I feel dizzy. I don’t like it.” Tried to comfort Dante that he’s OK and the ‘dizziness’ will go away faster if he could go back to sleep.

Hubby walked in and his deep voice awaken Dante which started crying for no reason. He told Dad the same complain, and hubby said, “Honey, your head is feeling the same thing like mine when I drank too much beer. It will go away soon.” He felt especially better after the nurse gave him a popsicle since he hadn’t eat or drink after midnight the night before. “Now I feel so much better. This popsicle really helped, Mom!” Even though the nurse warned us about the possibility of nausea, Dante said he was very hungry and wanted McDonald’s breakfast. “Well then McDonald it is! The boy just had a surgery, he could do whatever he’d like, eat whatever he’d want,” declared hubby.

Dante and I left the hospital around 10:30 am, with a big “Get Well Soon” balloon from the hospital; straight to McDonald’s drive through. Got home, ate on my bed while watching a movie, then we both fell asleep for about an hour and a half. When we woke up in the afternoon, he’s back to his normal self. How did I know that? The first thing he said was, “Mom, wake up. I’m hungry. Super hungry.” His sense of humor came back and he didn’t feel sicky anymore, wants to get going and going just like the Energizer bunny.

He’s back to school by the next day.