|Left- stomach and esophagus before surgery, Right- stomach and esophagus post-op.|
Sadly, even the pleasant, spring sunshine couldn't warm my mood. All of it was terrible, but this really took the cake. Christopher was projectile vomiting again, but this time it was blood! I felt the "momma bear" in me come roaring to the surface. This was not a pretty sight. It was a pretty scary sight!
I had not read about this in all those baby books I had received at the baby shower. No where in any of those books did they offer advice about "what to do" when your baby vomits blood across the room, or "simple steps" on how to get blood out of beach towel burp rags. I wanted to read the directions for "the care and feeding of Christopher", but he didn't come with any. I literally dove for the call button to alert the nursing staff. This was definitely a job for professionals.
Immediately the nurses came running. This was something that was abnormal even for the pediatric floor. The GI doctor was called, and she agreed that the time had come. Christopher was scheduled for surgery # 2.
Prior to the surgery, we met with the doctor who would perform the operation, but things were different this time. By "things" I mean "me." Instead of being consumed by endless tears, I found that this time I was completely focused on the technical aspects of the surgery. I wanted to know everything that was going to happen. How is the surgery done? What exactly are you going to do while you are inside my child? How long will it take? What are the possible complications? What is your plan to manage his pain post-op? How long will it take to heal? When will Christopher be able to eat, gain weight, be NORMAL, and GO HOME?!?
The surgeon explained that he would be performing a Nissen Fundoplication. My brain had difficulty processing the name. Out loud, I tried to pronounce it which I probably should have practiced a few times inside my head. Oh well, a " Nissen Fun...what? It doesn't sound very fun? There it was again. Me trying to soothe myself with a little humor. My husband followed with...can you draw it out for us? We need to see it. You know, we need to see the directions...add "part A " to "part B." The surgeon looked at us like we were from Mars. I know we didn't present as the usual shocked, crying parents he was used to talking to, but there was NO time for that now. Our child was really sick, and he needed our help. This was not the time to fall apart. Christopher needed us to be level-headed and able to comprehend what was about to happen, so that we could make good decisions for him.
We listened intently as the surgeon explained that this was a big surgery. He said that he would make a full length incision on Christopher's abdomen. With pen and paper he showed us how he would detach part of Christopher's stomach and use it to form a tight wrap around his esophagus. This would allow food to go down into his stomach, but it would prevent it from coming back up through his esophagus. One drawback was that the wrap also inhibits the ability to burp, so the patient may experience gastric discomfort (a.k.a. upset tummy). Also, when he gets a flu or other stomach upset, he will have great difficulty throwing up at all since the whole idea of the wrap is to prevent vomiting in the first place. The surgeon went on to tell us that the operation would take several hours, Christopher would take a week or more to recover, and they would give him Tylenol and Morphine for pain.
My response was...when can you do it? I know that doesn't sound anything like "the me" from the first surgery, but this time I knew it was critical that I be an advocate for Christopher. I could schedule some crying for later.
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you can pray like this: