Mad about the boy …

A wee update on Son No1’s surgery.

An early morning alarm call woke Son No1 (and Mr GG & I) for breakfast before fasting began. If I’m honest, I think I was more apprehensive about dealing with the fasting than the surgery itself! It’s no mean feat keeping an ever-hungry, ever-growing teenager out of the kitchen.


hungry chicken GIF by Endemol Beyond
Grandpa and Grandma GG arrived at 10 to take Son Nos 2&3 off out for a day at the zoo (the joys of home education meant that this was a ‘day off’ for everyone!) and we set off for the hospital.

Hospital was mobbed! The waiting area was packed out and noisy which immediately cranked the anxiety up another notch or two … what if we don’t hear our name being called? It’s irrational I know, but I’ll always be a bit of a worrier!

img_4184Eventually we heard Son No1 being called … phew … and off we toddled to a wee room where he had to put his pjs on, get temperature, weight & blood pressure checked. Lastly some numbing cream was applied to his hands … apparently that was the worst part … so far!

Due to the busy-ness of the hospital Son No1 couldn’t get a bed on the ward until after surgery so we were back in the waiting room to wait … list began at 1pm and was done in age order so we were expecting a long wait.

Over the next couple of hours we saw the anaesthetist who talked Son No1 through the difference between using a drip or gas for going to sleep. We also saw the surgeon once again who reassured us he would definitely operate on both legs and, thankfully, gave us an idea of the time we could expect surgery to begin.

Eventually we were called for theatre … I was able to stay with Son No1 until he was asleep which was great. He opted for the drip (with a little encouragement from me!) but two attempts to insert the img_4183cannula failed so he had to have gas. There is something eerie about watching your child clutching a mask to his face and slowly drifting off to sleep … I can’t say I liked it!

Once my lad was asleep my nerves left me (although still kicking about as since then I tried to spell ‘failed’ with a ‘ph’, ‘cannula’ with one ‘n’ and ‘eerie’ with a ‘y’) and I felt incredibly calm until we neared the time to expect Son No1 back from theatre, then the time seemed to drag … so … terribly … slowly.

Finally we got word that Son No1 was in recovery and we went to wait in the room he’d been allocated. A very quiet, woozy boy was wheeled in, struggling to keep his eyes open and shivering in that horrible uncontrollable way that seems to happen after general anaesthesia. He rallied enough to give a couple of hugs then drifted off into a deep sleep so I took the opportunity to leave my boy and Mr GG and go home to relieve the GG grandparents from their duties.

img_4189

When I got back to the hospital the next morning a bright, sparkly, hungry boy met me with two new casts on his legs … he opted for the brightest yellow I’d ever seen which, given the weather warnings we’ve had lately is probably a good idea … he will never get lost!

Shortly after I arrived Son No1’s transport for the next six weeks was delivered and he practised transferring from bed to chair and back again.  All went well and, just like that, he was discharged!

There aren’t words for how proud I am of my lad.  I am completely in awe of him.  In the, little over, 48 hours since surgery he’s not complained once.  He’s mentioned a couple of times that he’s sore which is to be expected but no complaints at all.  It’s no mean feat for a teenager who’s been relatively independent to suddenly be dependent upon his parents for pretty much everything once again.  He has to bear Mr GG lifting him and out of our car as it’s too high for him to shimmy across using his arms.  He has to put up with my somewhat clumsy attempts at wheelchair pushing and I’m sorry to admit that, already, I’ve bumped him into a wall and squashed his foot in a door … I’m hoping practice makes perfect!

The next six weeks are going to be tough.  A real lesson in patience.  There is to be absolutely no weight-bearing until the casts are removed in early March and then the real hard work begins as my boy learns to walk properly for the first time.  We’re all adapting to this temporarily different way of life.  Our plans to have Son No1 pretty much living downstairs fell to pieces when his chair wouldn’t fit into our downstairs bathroom so he’s confined to living upstairs most of the time for just now and seems to be relishing the opportunity of having me, Mr GG and Son Nos 2&3 at his beck and call. 

For anyone, let alone a young person who has a diagnosis of autism and ADHD, Son No1 has coped brilliantly … so brilliantly that I’m tentatively scouting around the internet trying to find something to add to his collection of retro games consoles … he’s getting suspicious because of all my questions about them though … I’ve no idea where to look.

So, that’s us for now.  Academic work has been limited to just two days this week to give Mr GG and I time to recover and get our heads around everything as well as allowing Son No1 time to adjust.  The next two days won’t be taxing workwise but enough to get him into a bit of a routine again and let him see just how well he can adapt.  

Lastly, if you see a luminous-yellow-legged boy in a wheelchair being pushed erratically along a pavement by a wild haired crazy woman then give us a wave before you jump out of the way … we’d love to say hello!

Courageous

 

And just like that, it’s Saturday again!

img_4177This week has passed by in a whirl in GGHQ … a phone call at 8am on Monday morning changed the course of our week and, potentially, the course of the next several weeks.

For several months now Son No1 has been waiting for surgery to fix an equinus deformity which has a pretty big impact on his right leg.  For more than three quarters of his life Son No1 has endured physio, splints, orthopaedic boots, casts and Botox in an effort to improve his walking and balance.  Now, at 15, he can no longer put his heel down at all on his right foot although he still can, with effort, on his left.  Surgery will, we trust, improve that for him although it sounds awfully invasive and painful.

So, after speaking with the hospital the previous week and being told it was likely to be March before surgery we got a call asking if Son No1 could attend on Monday (21st).  Obviously we grabbed the chance of a quick surgery date and the week passed in a flurry of pre-op assessments and preparing for our trip to hospital.  The surgery will be done in a nearby city and not in our local hospital so we’ve been busy organising childcare for Son Nos 2 & 3 whilst we are with our lad.  Mr GG will stay overnight with Son No1 in hospital and I’ll stay at home with our younger boys but during the day, especially on Monday, we’ll both be in hospital.

img_4179

We don’t know the extent of the surgery and probably won’t know until after it’s over.  I find that hard!  The consultant will definitely operate on the right leg but will examine movement in the left leg once Son No1 is under anaesthetic before making a decision whether to operate on that one too.  I’d value prayer that the right decision will be made … I don’t want my lad to end up having to face this surgery twice if once will do!

There are so many mixed emotions flying around our house at the moment.  Son No1 is incredibly brave but, although he doesn’t often admit it, he’s nervous (Mums can always tell!), Son No2 is anxious and worried for his brother and has been heard shouting that all surgeons should be sacked and Son No3 is keen to know what PS4 games will be available on the ward for his brother to play.  Mr GG and I alternate between being calm, anxious, pleased to have a date, wishing it was Tuesday and concerned for our son.  It’s been awful watching him struggling at times, even falling over randomly because he lost his balance.  No parent wants their child to have a tough time.  However, Son No1 is amazing, he’s brave, accepting and ready to deal with the next few weeks.

However, hospitals aside, our week has been pretty normal.  The boys have worked well as usual and are settling well into the new term.  Mr GG has continued working away creating or upcycling pieces of furniture.  Recently he stumbled upon a metal table frame which he is working on … there have been lots of ideas flying around for how he can make it into something practical, quirky and interesting.  I’ll keep you posted!

img_4176On the other hand, I’ve been distracted this week.  I’ve found it hard to settle and have been completely uncreative.  I’ve done no beadwork and haven’t even baked at all – things got so bad that Mr GG dug out the recipe books for inspiration and made some amazing chocolate & raspberry brownies.  However, I’m planning to redeem myself and make some soap this afternoon so all may be forgiven!

I began today’s post with a song by Casting Crowns called Courageous.  I love this song.  It’s challenging and relevant.  It’s here for my sons.  They are three of the most courageous and amazing people I know.  I’m grateful for every day that I get to be their mum.  I’m privileged for all the ways that they express their love for me (although I’d love it if they sometimes expressed it by tidying their rooms), I delight in the way they randomly come and hug me throughout the day, by the trust they have in me despite all the times that I let them down by being crabby or unreasonable.  Yes, I am blessed indeed.

IMG_1885