Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Collin's Surgery

*I have a new computer and "new-to-me" camera after both puttered out on me. Yay! Blogging should be a lot easier with working electronics. So, here we go!!*

February was a big month in our family. Collin has always had pinkies that hang really low off the sides of his hands. The doctor thought it was just muscular and that he would learn to control it as he got older. We noticed last winter that he had a really hard time getting gloves/mittens on since he couldn't pull his pinky into the rest of his hand. Then we noticed this year that he can't extend, wiggle, move his pinkies independently. So at his 4 year check up in November (which he was 44 pounds AND 44 inches, btw....how cool is that....all 4's!) we talked with his doctor about it again and she sent us for x-rays. We discovered that he has a rare birth defect in both of his hands where the bones (metacarpals) didn't separate beneath his ring and pink fingers and that the pinky finger side is much shorter than it should be. They also were turned and growing into the ring finger side of the bone which was what was causing his pinkies to be pushed out so far from the rest of his hand. Here are his x-rays:

Our pediatrician gave us a referral to a hand surgeon in Indianapolis and since this is such a rare defect suggested we go see at least one other doctor. We started in Louisville and didn't have a good experience. So we found a specialist in Cincinnati that only does pediatric hands. He is awesome! We finally got a diagnosis and this doctor has done surgery on this defect before multiple times. What a blessing! We saw the Indy doctor too but in the end felt the Cincy surgeon was by far the best and we agreed with his plan of action for Collin the most.

His surgery was scheduled for February 4th. We got up super early and got our sweet Collin to the hospital for his operations. He was wonderful about not being able to eat for so long (his surgery wasn't until 12:00) which is very unlike him....he likes to eat! On the way there we took pictures to have 'before' examples of his hands.

The children's hospital is amazing and if your child unfortunately has to have surgery, I definitely recommend having it done there! They took amazing care of Collin and he wasn't scared leading up to surgery time. They got him super heroes to play with and cartoons and he had fun. They ended up not having a room for us to go with him when he was put under like they had told us, so they gave him medicine to relax him so he wouldn't be scared. He REALLY relaxed! It was hilarious and a nice distraction for his worried parents. He giggled and giggled for so long. He kept telling us he was going to get all the boogers out of our noses and would reach for our nose but be way off! He thought I had four eyes and Dave had two heads and would stare at us and then just laugh and laugh. He was so silly and sweet with the medicine! By the time they were wheeling him into the OR, he was almost completely asleep. It was awful saying goodbye and turning him over to the OR team, but it went well considering. Isn't he so cute?!?

He woke up really rough. As they walked us back to him in recovery, we could hear him crying in the most awful way. When we got to him he was in a lot of pain and so confused by the casts (he also had pins in both hands keeping the bones in place). They asked me if I thought he was in pain or just upset and I told them definitely pain and so they gave him some strong pain medicine and he was able to fall asleep in my arms for a bit. He woke up with an upset tummy and had one the ride home too. He dry-heaved some but never threw up thankfully. It was snowing really bad, so it took awhile to get home. He would sleep for a little while and then wake up crying because he felt sick and then sleep some more. It was rather heartbreaking, but thankfully we made it safely back to our house.

It really did him good to be back home. He was so much more comfortable and enjoyed showing off his casts to everyone. The kids were happy to see him back too.

He slept okay that first night, waking occasionally but his pain was pretty well controlled with pain medicine. He continued to have an upset stomach for several days and would mostly just eat a little bit of soup here and there and really enjoyed popsicles. He would get a Laffy Taffy every time he took his pain medicine as a reward because it tasted pretty bad, which made it fun for him. He was really sweet about needing help with everything (eating, drinking, getting dressed, going to the bathroom, playing....everything). He really bonded himself to me during this month (he had to keep the casts on for 4 weeks) which was a sweet blessing. He didn't really want me to go very far the whole month he had the casts. He slept on a toddler bed in our room and wanted me next to him on the couch or at the table or while playing. He would fall asleep watching the Olympics with me on the couch and then Dave would carry him up to his bed when we went to sleep so he didn't have to be alone. He told me everyday, "Thank you for taking care of me with my casts" in the sweetest, heart-melting way.

In these pictures he's wearing the little monkey gown I made him and holding his Hulk doll. He told them at the hospital excitedly that he wanted green casts so he could be like Hulk (his favorite). He brought his little Hulk with him into the OR and they surprised him and gave Hulk casts too!

Big casts for a little guy!

Our tough Hulk!

Eva just keeps on growing and learning. She is becoming quite the girly girl and loves accessories! She loves bags and jewelry and shoes and here she's trying out a tiara.

We went to the aquarium with my sister's family to have some fun before they move and let Collin get out of the house and enjoy some animals. This was when my camera died, fyi. So here on out we've got a lot of phone pictures. Boo! But we make do. Here are the brothers on a frog at the aquarium.

Eva with a big white alligator!

It was crazy how close it was to us!

Eva got this blanket from Grandma a while ago and she loves it! It has a little hood in it and she comes up to us and gives a little "uhh, uhh" to tell us she wants it put on her head.

First post done on the new computer! Hopefully many more to come!