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In Which We Try To Stay Out Of The Hospital

Posted Dec 14 2010 7:53pm
Early morning wake up calls by the Nurse are never a good sign. And when she says I have already called the hospital...even worse.

Let's backtrack for a minute, Austin was very upset last night and woke up a few times crying and doing that crazy thing where he desats to the 60s after he stops crying. This craziness started happening right after the jaw surgery and it was attributed to pain issues . So when it started again last night I figured it was probably some sort of stomach pain, it did not occur to me that it was jaw pain because he has been off his pain medication for a month.

He has had a bulge and redness on the left distraction site, which I have spoken to the surgeon about a few times. He figured it was scar tissue and said he would clean it up when they did the next surgery to remove the internal distractor hardware. Case closed.

Toddler Face Close Up

Which bring us to my wake up call this morning.

The bulge ruptured and the nurse noticed that there was bleeding from the distractor site and skin was hanging. Yeah gross, I know.

Of course it was before office hours so she called the Plastics doctor on call, to no avail. She woke me and I put in a call to the Plastics surgical nurse, packed a bag and jumped in the shower. Don't you love multi-tasking before you've had any caffeine?

When the surgical nurse called me back she said, "Come on down." So we did. I packed a bag because last time we got caught off guard and I knew if it was bad they would probably admit him.

Here's the deal.

The internal hardware needs to stay put until at least the end of January. There is no doubt he will have surgery to remove it, but it's too early right now. So this morning when I called out to my Facebook friends asking for prayers I was hoping that the surgeon would have another solution and we could avoid going inpatient 10 days before Christmas.

Hemifacial Microsomia Jaw Distraction

The current plan is to buy as much time as possible for his jaw bone to grow and strengthen. If they have to remove the hardware early the entire surgery will be considered a failure. They are certain he will relapse because the bone needs at least three months to grow in. So we wait. And hope.

We came home on both topical and oral antibiotics to try to avoid infection. Right now that is the major concern, avoid infection and buy time (preferably at home). He will remain on antibiotics until they remove the internal hardware. Austin has been a total bear today, so we are pretty sure he is in pain again. Sigh.

This surgery has had more complications than I care to mention right now. But the good news is we are home and everyone is taking this very seriously to avoid surgery too soon.

I tried to get a good picture of the offending hardware on my cell phone.  You can see it much better if he lays down, however then the screaming and kicking ensues so this is as good as it gets for now.

jaw distractor surgery

Let's just hope this antibiotic regiment works and we can keep Austin infection and pain free for the next 6 weeks. Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers, keep 'em coming.


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