Surgery for sweet Landon

Guy did a fantastic job of first remembering to start preparing the kids for Landon’s surgery and then by talking to them several times in the days leading up to it.  We woke the morning of surgery with all three kids coming into our bedroom about the normal time.  After a few hugs, kisses, cuddles and mandatory potty breaks the kids all jumped into the big bathtub together.  I went from room to room gathering clothes, a fresh diaper, lotion and towels for after bath.  About the time I finished putting the last bit of lotion on Landon my brain kicked in to with the realization lotion probably was somewhere on a list of what not to do just prior to surgery.  Too late.  At least it was a more natural shea butter  lotion.

The next part of the plan in keeping Landon occupied until we left was the iPad.  He got to navigate willy nilly to briefly view many programs for about  8 minutes before Miss Maddie was interfering with his happy place.  I was trying to shove down some cereal at breakneck speed before he saw me.  Luckily, he did stay in our bedroom long enough for me to finish.  With about 15 minutes left before we headed out he started going back and forth between being distracted by iPad adventures and demanding milk.  This kid is a milk junkie and would love to drink a minimum of a 1/2 gallon a day if we let him.  Usually, he has 1 10-12 oz serving and sometimes two a day.  It’s what he asks for in lieu of food most of the time.


After some mini melt downs we loaded into the car with snacks {for me and my friend Denise while we waited}, a cup of apple juice, a travel mug of Gatorade, the diaper bag, his bear, my camera, phone and iPad.  Denise met us by the freeway and off we went to be delayed 20 minutes by stop & go traffic.  At the hospital Landon and I headed to check in while she parked the car.  Unfortunately for her, I forgot to give her the lowdown on our hybrid car.  She called Guy who walked her through our ‘fancy’ car.  lol  Sorry girl!!

The receptionist at check in was a bit stern looking {I eventually won her over}, and matter of factly checked us in.  We didn’t make it 4 steps away towards the waiting area when Landon started scream crying with his failed attempts at removing his wrist band.  A nurse made eye contact with me and I talk/hollered at her asking if he could get a new band on his ankle.  We got one about two minutes later from a less stern receptionist whom Landon thanked when she put a new band on his ankle.  Maybe he was reminded of his cruise safety band {tolerated on his ankle} used in the case of emergency.  I’m sure he would have rather been eating all that yummy food in awesome locations!

Ten or fifteen minutes later we headed back to pre-op.  Landon did a fantastic job getting on the scale for his weight.  He gave me trouble getting him undressed and really pitched a fit about the smelly rough polyester tigger gown.  Why did someone pick a Tigger like character on a greyish-beige gown.  We saw a bed being pushed by later that looked like it had nasty blood and fluids all over wadded up dressings.  YUK!  After wrestling my little hungry man into his Tigger gown I tried the hospital socks.  Nope.  No chance.  A nurse or tech and the nurse anesthetist came in almost together.  They were both asking me Q’s so I gave Landon my phone.  He called daddy twice, my friend Wendy twice and the hospital once.  Hmmmm, wish I had thought to bring in the backpack with the iPad in it.  lol  Guy said Landon actually had a conversation with him too.  The poor nurse/tech was all confused and apologized for asking questions twice as it was just too much confusion for her with the nurse anesthetist and Landon also taking bits of my attention.  It was comical and I just ran interference with Landon while answering questions from both of them.  It was like a doubles tennis match with three balls.  🙂

Denise was allowed in just after Doctor Marcus {Dr. Jeffery Marcus with Duke for anyone needing a pediatric plastic surgeon in the Raleigh area} visited with me.  Yay, we had an iPad to keep Landon happy and save everyone on my list from potentially being called!  The doctor went over the surgery again along with some of the post follow up care.  When asking him about what kind of dressing we would have at a certain stage of his healing because we would be at Disney World he commented we could do a follow up at Disney.  lol  We’ll be there at the same time.  He asked for a few tips and I’ll be putting together a little something for him to look at when we meet on Monday.   It’s always cool to make personal connections.  Oh and the anesthesiologist also came in somewhere during all those other visits.

Our anesthesia team let me know we made a boo boo.  The nurse anesthetist who talked to me the day before mentioned we could give him clear liquid like apple juice before arriving to the hospital.  She mentioned it was ok to have it right up to arrival time.  I questioned her since I thought he could have nothing for 6 hours prior.  She confirmed again he could have them up to arrival time.  Never believe something that isn’t true.  Not too big a deal as we only had to wait an additional 45 minutes, but I like to be a model patient who gets everything right.  More importantly it totally sucks to know you are delaying all those people there now just waiting to do the surgery and get on with their day!  Landon was a happy happy camper through all this as he played with the iPad.

Our nurse anesthetist  came in to take him away.  I took a few pictures of him engrossed in the iPad and Not wanting the blanket on him.  Landon barely consented to leaving the iPad alone long enough to hug and kiss me.  The guy was great with Landon.  By the time they were 5 feet out of our stall he had Landon paying attention to him and the route they were taking to surgery.  Landon eagerly got up on his knees to push the door button at the end of the hall.  He slightly smiled in response to my vigorous waiving as they rounded the corner out of sight.

My friend Denise is a cryer.  She pops out her tears over most things.  I think it is an outward reflection of her amazing heart full of compassion and warmth.  She was totally amazed at my tear free goodbye as my precious little toddler was wheeled away to surgery.  I knew it was nervous time as the next 1.5-3 hours ticked by slowly, but as per my usual the outward show was calm and somewhat happy.  My first order of business during the wait was to go get food.  The more exciting my life is, the more my body burns through calories {hmmm, more excitement not surgical might not be so bad… Weight loss!!}.  We headed down to the little cafe.  Just after paying for the food my pager goes off.  Slight panic.  I headed quickly off to find out what that was about assuring Denise it was to give back the iPad.  Inside I wasn’t 100% sure.

Thankfully it was for the iPad.  Our stern receptionist broke away from checking in other patients to give me the iPad with a smile.  She also reset the pager.  Those pagers are amazing.  It’s the same type of system you see in a busy busy chain restaurant.   Denise and I munched on some really tasty turkey and smoked gouda grilled panini’s down in the lobby.  YUM.

Just as we were on the last few bites the pager goes off again.  This time I was totally feeling panicky!  We hopped up and headed up to the receptionist.  She let us know that the surgery officially started so we’d know about how long the next wait would be.  I told her, with a smile, that page was not expected and totally had me a little scared.   She let me know I might also get a mid surgery update page.

We didn’t.  I’m so grateful for an awesome friend to talk about all sorts of interesting, special and not so special moments with while waiting.  It really helped the time go by much faster then it would have had I been alone.  Guy was taking care of getting Blake and Maddie to school and back.  The surgery into the initial recovery went almost 3 hours instead of the 1.5-2 estimated.  Once we got into the recovery room Dr. Marcus gave us a rundown of the surgery as well as post op care.  Landon woke up almost immediately upon our arrival.  After being really grumpy and fighting us quite a bit he settled into my chest where his whole body sighed in relief.  He was so much more comfortable snuggled up to me.  Boy did that make me feel about 10000% important.  🙂

He didn’t really want anything to eat or drink and only took a tiny sip of the apple juice.  We all talked around the milk word so as not to set him off.  They pretty much cleared him and us to get the heck out of there in what felt like 10 minutes after walking in there.  It was probably more like 30 minutes from walking in to walking into the car park.  I carried Landon’s precious and sweet 40 pound dead weight to the car.  Denise was sure we would have to wander the whole car park before finding the car and encouraged me to stay behind while she got it.  Nah, I had faith and if we walked a while it would have been ok too.  We walked right up to the car.

Landon was super quite and mellow the whole ride home.  After we left Denise at her car we got to an intersection within a mile from home.  Landon excitedly exclaimed from the back seat “go there” pointing in the direction of our home.  He saw Maddie first calling out “Mia” with a big wave.  He was so happy to be home.  He instantly snuggled on the couch with daddy.  He also downed two 12 ounce sippy cups of milk then proceeded to snack on some chips and queso with Maddie.

The rest of the evening he wanted to watch TV or play with an electronic {big surprise!} and alternated between quite and dancing around the room to a Wiggles song.  He went right down for bed hanging tightly to his teddy like he had most of the day.  Oh, I forgot to mention our doctor is also in love with Australia and New Zealand and got excited over seeing Landon’s teddy from the Royal Hobart Hospital.  I get the impression he would love to live there if they would let him in.  But both Australia and New Zealand have wicked immigration laws that allow very few people into their countries.

Back to Landon.  He’ll have some sort of bandage on his hand for around 6 weeks.  Right now it is almost up to his armpit.  Depending on how well he tolerates it, the new bandages will work their way down until it is just his palm and fingers.  We’ll also be responsible for daily dressing changes starting in two weeks.

Day two has been a mix of no sleep, sleep, happy, angry, frustrated, cuddly, and definitely obsessed with electronics again.  In many ways he has adapted to using his bandaged arm as one together appendage.   In other ways he has certain ideas of how things should be.  If those certain ideas need two hands he gets very frustrated and refuses to do whatever it is he wanted to do with a modification outside his certain way of doing it.  Landon, Guy and I didn’t sleep much after 3:15 am, but tonight is a different opportunity to get some great sleep.  🙂  As with all things, he will heal with time, and we’ll all be back to normal in short order.


  1. What cutie! Glad everything went okay- I love following whats going on with your family and hope we can follow in person soon!

Comments are closed.