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Detroit Surgeries Part 2

Posted Apr 23 2011 6:00pm

Tom, days after his first surgery.

They took us back to see Thomas who had just begun to stir.  We both took turns holding him. Of course the nurses didn't want to give him up since he is such a snuggle bug! It felt so good to just have him back in our arms. Then the nursing staff started talking about what room we will be admitted to. They assured me that I could rent a hospital breast pump for the night and we were able to purchase toothbrushes and contact lens stuff for me from the hospital gift shop. I don't know where they got that breast pump from. I thought it sucked part of my lung into it the first time I used it. I was really happy to leave that industrial strength pump behind when we left.

That night in the hospital was one of the longest nights of my life. We were just learning to be parents but now we also had to learn to nurse our small son after his eye surgery. He had to sleep in his car seat because he had to stay at an angle at all times so the air bubble in his eye would push the retina back into place. No pressure though, right?

Thomas was hooked up to a bunch of monitors while laying in his car seat which was in one of those strange looking hospital cribs. The cribs look very institutional. It was just pitiful but at least we were in our room and could relax a little. Except there is no relaxing when the monitors go off every half hour, scaring the hell out of you. Sometimes no one comes to check and you have to buzz for a nurse. They were very nonchalant about the whole thing which I found upsetting. The whole point of being there was to be monitored so shouldn't they be a little more responsive and concerned about the monitoring? Every time the machines started going off I was sure his heart stopped.

Finally, one of the nurses explained that because his chest is so small the leads of the monitors are too close together and set each other off! They also told us that my husband and I could not both sleep in the room together. What? Our infant son has been through a traumatic surgery and you want to separate us? So we just took turns sleeping in the chair while the other kept watch. There was no way we could deal with this alone. One of the stupidest hospital policies I have ever experienced.

But we made it through the night and went to an infection check at the doctor's office which was located right on the hospital campus. They removed the post surgical dressing and took a quick peek at his eye. They thought he looked good and sent us on our way with our post surgical eye drops and a schedule for their use. Tom wore a patch over his eye for two weeks after every surgery. They all went pretty much this way except for the fact that we did not have to stay overnight ever again, thank god!

Here is Thomas meeting his Uncle, not long after that first surgery.
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