in a nutshell. but not really.

What a crazy few days we had!! If you’re on my facebook you’ve been witness to a play-by-play onslaught of my neurosis, so.. sorry for that. I have felt stressed to the max. The kind where I feel it physically, all over my body, and I got to the point of such desperate exhaustion that I actually cried because of it. What?? That so isn’t me!
Anyway. All is well(ish) now.
If you’re not on my facebook, here’s a brief rundown of the last few days:

Friday: coordinated with surgeon’s office; Jovi is to check in at 7:30 a.m. Monday for her tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy and tubes in her ears. Great! First thing in the morning; we should be done mid-day. I got us a room for Sunday night and Monday night (they wanted us to stay overnight Just In Case). We plan on leaving around 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Saturday morning: Kyle leaves around 7:45 for a men’s breakfast thing for our church. Dad and brother with him. I make the girls breakfast and comment on the pretty little butterfly charm Jovi is carrying around with her.

Saturday morning, later: 8:30-ish. Breakfast is over. Aven is watching cartoons in our room and otherwise wandering around the house playing and keeping herself occupied. Jovi and I are sitting on the living room floor playing chutes and ladders. Jovi suddenly gets this horrified look on her face, busts out crying hysterically, gags a little and cries some more. I’m like WTF just happened?? and look around for causes. I manage to get her to mumble something that sounds like “I sat on something” and look around for goat heads on the floor. She cries more clearly: “I swallowed something!” Mind immediately remembers said butterfly charm. I didn’t notice her with it in her hand or in her mouth. Mother of the year! I ask her if that’s what she swallowed and for a minute or so she tries to deny it because she knows she wasn’t supposed to have it in her mouth. She finally admits it, though.

I decide to let it be because really… what am I going to do? she said it went all the way down. I consider it a teachable moment and we have a very serious talk about THIS IS WHY I TELL YOU TO KEEP THINGS OUT OF YOUR MOUTH. We talk about what would have happened if it had gotten caught in her throat, not being able to breathe, etc. She seems genuinely “taught” (read: scared) and I leave it alone. Ten minutes later she tells me her throat hurts and she can feel it there, stuck. She cries from the pain. I can’t get ahold of Kyle. I can’t get ahold of his brother or dad.
She is breathing normally and talking and there is no wheezing so I think that it probably just scratched her on the way down. If it were any other day but TWO DAYS BEFORE HER SURGERY I would have let it go. But with that coming up we had to be sure. So I called the clinic but they say if it’s possible it’s in her throat they can’t do the x-ray because it could move into her lungs and directed me to the ER. Still can’t get ahold of Kyle. I took Aven to my parents’ house and dropped her off and headed to the ER. Kyle finally gets ahold of me (the 67 missed calls must have been a tip that something was wrong) and meets me there. X-ray done; charm in her belly.

Attending ER doc (from Reno) said it’d probably pass through to her intestines with no issue but it was on the cusp of size where it may or may not get stuck in the valve. Nausea, vomiting, stomach pain would warrant a trip back to the ER. Also, anesthesiologists do not typically like foreign bodies in the stomach because if vomiting happens, it can cause problems. Surgery may have to be re-scheduled, awesome. Doc asked us to come back the following day for another x-ray (at the ER again) to see if it had moved by then.

Sunday: We decide to go to church to give her body more time to move it through. We get out of church late. Head straight to the ER around 1 p.m. Wait will be about an hour so I take Aven to my parents’ house (they were going to watch her while we went to Reno) and head back to the ER. By the time I get back the x-ray had already been taken and charm is still in the same spot. Doctor that day said he didn’t think it’d be a problem but gave us a copy of the x-ray (of which I posted on facebook for your enjoyment/amusement) to take with us so we could show the surgical team.
Since it is Sunday and her surgery is at a surgical center, there is no way to call ahead. We just have to go and pray/hope that everything would be OK. Take our chances, etc. On the way to Reno she started complaining of stomach pain so of course my mind jumped to all sorts of “what if”s, mainly the kind involving her throwing up in the car, the charm getting stuck in her airway and her choking to death on the freeway in the middle of nowhere. It was a long car ride.

Sunday afternoon, in Reno: We tried to make the best of the day with her. Took her shopping for new shoes, took her on the ferris wheel at Scheel’s, went to dinner with my brother, etc. We shopped for some food supplies for her too.

Monday morning: Head to the surgical center and check in at 7:30. I am a ball of nerves and anxiety and for some reason thought coffee would be a good idea. It tasted really good but was bad on my stomach. Nervousness and coffee are not a good combination for me. Fortunately I only drank half of a small size, but still. I continued to incessantly update facebook and send texts complaining of my nervousness. Jovi watched cartoons and just wanted a drink (that she couldn’t have). She was golden until we went back into the prep area…..

9 a.m. — Jovi changed into a gown. At this point she knows something is up and starts to get upset. We had decided not to tell her too much of what was going to happen, other than she was going to see a doctor who was going to take really good care of her. We made this decision based on her personality and what we know of her; it probably isn’t’ right for everyone. Other kids may do better knowing everything in advance. Not our girl. Kyle was able to distract her with coloring and the nurse gave her a Wolfie (UNR mascot) plushie doll that she absolutely loves and carts around with her everywhere now. I got her to laugh when I told her she was going to poop out a butterfly. I also choked back tears. I am good in present OMG situations, but the whole waiting/leading-up-to thing? Not so much. Give me a bleeding kid and I’m on it. Make me wait for someone to cut into my daughter? Nope nope nope.

At some point early on we gave the prep nurse the x-ray and she chuckled and said she didn’t think it would be a problem, but she took it to our surgeon to show her anyway just to be sure. It wasn’t going to be an issue. In fact, all the doctors got a kick out of it and were laughing about it. The nurse came back later and asked to see it again and took it to show the rest of the staff – she thought it was the coolest thing. Our doctor/surgeon came in awhile later pre-surgery to check in with us and said that x-ray made her day, and her weekend. She said she’d had a rough weekend (“well that was our rough weekend!” I replied) and “thanked” us for bringing it in. She is so super nice; we really really like her! She even said if it was higher in the stomach she’d scope it out for us but it was too low for her to reach it with any of her instruments. The anesthesiologist looked at it and said it wouldn’t be an issue. Then he knelt in front of Jovi and asked if she wanted to hear a fairy tale about the Princess and the Pea and she said yes, so he asked if he could carry her, and SHE LET HIM, then he started telling her a story and carried her away. I was like WAIT! Don’t I get to kiss her first??? but I know they do that so it’s not such a Huge Deal to the kid… But still. I mean I was OK. Sort of.

We were taken back to the general waiting room and…waited. Thank the good Lord for iPhones and iPods because the time went by pretty quickly, what with all the Draw Something! games going on and whatnot. Our surgeon came out to tell us everything went great. Jovi’s ears were full of thick, gelatin-like goo, and her tonsils were large and spongy. So it’s great she is all fixed up. We were led back to recovery (the nurses took us back there earlier than normal considering what Jovi had been through over the weekend and would likely be more “in need” of us.. I thought that was super considerate of them!) — Jovi was in a little hospital bed with her little gown on and an IV, and SCREAMING. Completely flipping out. I know that 99% of that was the confusion that comes with anesthesia, but it was still a little unnerving. And you’d think THAT would make me upset, but it didn’t! See? I’m totally an in-the-moment crisis person.
I got right in there and held her hand and calmed her down. We got her calm enough to move her into Kyle’s arms. I thought she’d want her daddy to hold her and plus, his strength would be better used to keep her from struggling against her IV. She finally fell asleep and slept off most of the anesthesia for about 1 1/2 hours. When she woke up she had some apple juice and two popsicles — we had to stay for a total of 2 1/2 hours. It was a super long morning.

We were let go around 1 p.m. We went to the pharmacy to fill her prescriptions and get her some princess jammies and more food supplies, then hung out at our hotel for a few hours. She did exceptionally well that first day. She even had an appetite and was playing with puzzles and stuff. Her voice sounded so cute.. all raspy and a little phlegmy. We kept her full of fluids and tried to keep her comfortable.

The next morning she was hungry so we called and the doc cleared her for soft foods. She had a few bites of pancake at Black Bear, then we headed home. The pain caught up with her a bit yesterday and she had a little rougher of a day. More out of it. I know the vicodin probably makes her feel horrible (it did for me) but helps with the pain so we are giving it to her. The doc also recommended a tablespoon per day of dark corn syrup to help combat the constipation that goes along with pain meds and anesthesia. She still hasn’t gone since Saturday night. Sigh. The whole butterfly charm thing is complicating the situation. If she doesn’t go by Friday I’ll probably take her in for another follow-up x-ray to see where it’s at. We need to get her pooping, stat!

Kyle was home with her yesterday, just resting and relaxing. We’re pushing fluids mostly but she’s also been having vanilla yogurt and applesauce and popsicles. Today she is with my mom for a couple of hours and then I am taking the rest of the day off to be with her. Aven is with my mother in law.

Anyway. We are doing well considering. I am tired in every sense of the word and feel like I need a vacation that involves a bed and pillow and that’s it. Maybe a hot bath. And a massage. And some sushi and cocktails. And and and.

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6 Responses to in a nutshell. but not really.

  1. Heather H. says:

    You definitely deserve a vacation after all of that! Glad I could read about the play by play. Sounds stressful and overwhelming! I’m so glad that she is through it though and now just healing! Being a mom is stressful isn’t it? But, like you said, something kicks in during the heat of the moment and you can take charge! You’re such a good mom Jen…she is in good hands! Love ya!

    • Yes it was nutso! The timing of the charm thing and all that…
      I think you, me and Kendra need a girls night out after all we’ve been going through! I think there’s a special day coming up….. hmmmm….

  2. Kendra says:

    Jovi did great, as did you!! I’m glad we were able to “comfort” each other on and off throughout our children’s ordeals. 🙂 Keep finding the joy, right?! love ya sis!!

  3. jenny says:

    Wow, good job handling everything Jen! It sounds like you were all very brave =0) That’s cool that the surgeon asked to tell her a story and that Jovi was so willing to listen and go calmly into the surgery, i’m sure that’s the biggest part. She’ll poop out that butterfly sooner than later i’m sure, although it can’t be too pleasant to have that coming out of you. I couldn’t really tell how big it was, about the size of your thumb nail? Anyhow, keep up the wonderful work!!

    • I hope so! she has a doctor’s appointment tomorrow for another x-ray since she hasn’t gone since Saturday.. Just to be sure it’s moved out of her belly. The constipation that goes along with pain meds and anesthesia don’t help. We switched her to tylenol last night so hopefully things will get moving.

      Love you!

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