Saturday, March 31, 2012

Eye surgery part II, or: Haven't we done this already?

This time, of course, it was kiddette's turn, for her partially blocked tear ducts that have been regularly making her look like she has pinkeye, even though she doesn't. Ick. Also: How can you teach someone to apply eye makeup when her eyes are always crusted over? Thinking way too far ahead, I know.

We waffled a bit on whether to do it, because this didn't have the medical urgency of kiddo's strabismus, but after needing to give her antibiotics three times in two months, we decided it was in fact urgent enough. Otherwise, every single time she got the least bit congested, her eyes would suffer. (The name of the procedure is balloon catheter dacryocystoplasty, which is such a gibberishy phrase that even as the opthalmologist was about to do it, I couldn't remember how to pronounce it.)

We grumpily dragged ourselves out of bed and hauled her over to the surgery center at 6:30 a.m. She, of course, was completely, cheerily awake, despite no breakfast and no idea what was going on. That's kiddette for you. Then we sat around and waited because they were running behind. Kiddette studied the newspaper over my shoulder, climbed onto my lap, then lowered her head for an upside-down look at the other people in the waiting room.

We got her checked in and weighed, and waited some more, except now I was in the fabulous white zip-up jumpsuit they make you wear when you enter an operating room. Not my best look, really. I noted to DH that now I knew what he felt like after kiddette was born, and the staff made him wear that thing to see me. Except the shoe bootie things actually fit me. He only got about half his shoes into them, and then they ripped. You'd think those things would come in husband size.

More than an hour after surgery was supposed to start, kiddette and I walked down the hall to the operating room. Well, I walked. She took a few steps and went jump jump jump jump!, then a few more steps, then jump jump!, then a few more steps ... one of the nurses fell into step with us and we lifted kiddette by the arms so she could get a good jump in.

We got her sitting up on the operating table and she went into serious poker face mode, studying everyone around her. They were all quite taken by her perfect posture and her calmness. I had to go into my usual explanation about how she's always like this when she first meets someone, or encounters a new situation. Eventually the sleep mask began to kick in, and they tried to lower her down to the table, and she resisted -- not because she was scared or upset. Because she didn't want to lie down.

The opthalmologist walked me out, asking if I was OK. Well, yeah. I'd already been through this anesthesia thing with kiddo. I wonder sometimes if I'm supposed to be more hysterical than I am, just to fit in with the other moms.

She also raved about kiddette, how poised, how good she was, etc., noting that most kids in that situation scream and cry and carry on. (For the record: By the time kiddo realized what was going on, and started to freak out, he was asleep.) I'm telling you now, if this kid ever goes into politics, we are doomed. She's smart, she's tough, she fears nothing, and she just charmed the pants off a room full of medical staff. And she has big blue eyes.

They were done in less than an hour. Now kiddette was unhappy. As would be expected. But they gave her some Tylenol, and some apple juice, and some more apple juice, and then an ice pop, which was her first one ever but she got the hang of it pretty quickly and hoovered it down. The nurses agreed her appetite seemed to be fine, gave her kiddie sunglasses and sent us home.

We have two different kinds of eye drops to give her, four times a day, for a week. Fortunately what with all the fake pinkeye, she and I are pretty well versed in the giving of eye drops. I balance her head on my legs, aim and fire. I say, "OK, now go blink blink!" And she says, "Blink blink!" Which is a little bit of a "Say goodnight, Gracie" moment, and makes me giggle, which is why I keep doing it.

At any rate, she seems entirely back to normal today, what with the bouncing off the walls and the gobbling of food and the attack-hugs she's so good at. So I'm hoping this is it for kiddie surgery. Eye surgery, anyway. I guess there's no guarantee on the other body parts.

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