Monday, January 09, 2012

Braden's Thumb Surgery

Our Braden has been putting up with a locked thumb for quite some time now. It never seemed to slow him down, and he just adjusted for the inconvenience. For a while I didn't even notice it was that way, then we put it off thinking he might grow out of it, then we waited longer so he would be a little older before anything major took place. One night he was wrestling and started crying. Turns out his thumb had been forced straight; once the crying stopped, his thumb was stuck back in its crooked position.

Once we moved to Batesville this summer, we had several friends who were therapists and others in the medical field tell us it was time to get it looked at so we could have a solution to his problem. We went to Children's Hospital in Little Rock and were told that he had a fairly common problem of trigger finger. The tendon that allowed his thumb to open and close had a swollen knot at the end, thus not allowing it to move through the "tunnel" that held the tendon in place. Therefore his thumb was stuck bent. So, after an explanation of a simple surgery to loosen the "tunnel" allowing the knot to travel through, the pressure would be taken off and the knot would disappear.

Surgery was scheduled for January 4th at 11:30 a.m. We were able to feed Braden dinner the night before, but other than that he was not allowed to eat until after his surgery on Wednesday. I was worried that his slight congestion would be a problem with the anesthesia, but it turns out that it wasn't a problem at all.

We dropped Avery off at her teacher's house so she could ride to school with her, and then headed to Little Rock for the big day. We arrived early (around 9:00), instead of the allotted 9:30 time. After checking in, we were quickly ushered to a private room for Braden's prep. I was surprised at how quickly things were moving, until we were told that there had been a cancellation and he would be going in early. Even though this was a standard surgery, the momma in me was frightened for the anethesia.

After talking with several nurses, the surgeon, and the anesthesiologist, we were set to go. Braden was a little anxious in the beginning, as was I, because things were moving so quickly. Once we were in the room for a while, and since everyone was so friendly, he settled in and became his talkative self. They gave him "goofy juice" to calm him a little and make the transition of us leaving and him going to the operating room a little easier. Once that kicked in, he was sillier than ever.

The final nurses that came to talk to us, and take him back to surgery were great. One was a male, who reminded us of a good friend, and I think helped put Braden even more at ease. They talked and joked with each other like they were old pals. I don't think Braden would have even noticed us leaving if they hadn't started waving at us and saying bye.

Kenny and I were sent to the waiting room, where I realized once again how blessed we were. There were families around us who had been waiting for several hours, and one family who's child had been in surgery for three hours.

Before we knew it, the surgeon came out and told us it was all over. I finally heard the words I had been waiting for: "He's awake and breathing on his own.." This was only have about 20 minutes. We had to wait a while longer for him to wake up a little more, but then were able to join him in recovery. He said his tummy wasn't feeling very good so they let us go to a room to let him wake up a little more.

During his waking up time, his sweet little eyes were so drowsy, and he had so much medicine in his little body, he actually turned out to be quite the funny little guy. They gave him a popsicle to eat, and he kept missing his mouth. When nurses would ask him questions, his replies were delayed, and super funny coming from his mouth with slurred words. At one point, he replied to the nurse while throwing his casted arm around and slapping himself in the cheek with a popsicle, "I tell you what...I could eat popsicles All Day!" We imagined he was a bit tipsy, and it gave us all a good laugh.

After a while his emotions got a little confused. One minute he would be laughing, and the next he would be crying. Finally after some medicine to settle his stomach, we were released. Kenny took him to the car while I filled his pain prescription (which we didn't have to use at all!).

On our way home, we went by Chic Fil A, and Braden was almost back to his normal self. He was skipping and hopping with only a little stagger here and there. Once the medicine was out of his body, we laughed at how he had to adjust for the heavy cast throwing him off balance. We stopped by Target on the way home so he could pick out a treat for being such a trooper, then we headed home.

We pulled into town right as Avery was getting out of school, so we were able to pick her up from Felicia's classroom, where she was waiting since we didn't know when we would get back into town.

Once we were home, Braden got sick, and I felt so sorry for him because he tried to clean it up himself, and just cried that he was so sorry. I hoped I made him understand that he didn't do anything wrong at all. Later that afternoon, his favorite football players, Levi and Dustin came over to sign his cast.

Avery made sure she was the first one to put her name on it; front and center. We are thankful the cast only had to stay for 7 days because it covers his entire hand like a club to keep the stitches dry and clean. We did laugh at how excessive it seemed because it goes up almost to his shoulder. Luckily the weather has been mild so short sleeves have been sufficient!

Sweet Avery I think felt a little left out once she heard about the day that we all had together without her. Luckily the next day was my doctor's appointment and I checked her out of school so she could go too.

Braden and I leave early tomorrow to get to Little Rock for our 8:30 appointment to get his cast off. So proud of my little man. I think Daddy was hoping he could hone in on his left handed capabilities while the cast was on! We both were proud of how he compensated.