Friday was the big day. *I'm sorry this is so long. I'm doing my own processing here!*
Anna and I arrived at the hospital at 6:30am. My Dad was already there waiting for us. Jeremy stayed home with the rest of the children. My Mom was working. I woke Anna up and carried her right out to the car. She did not express any feelings of being scared. As soon as the nurse called her name and we walked through the pre-op doors, she clammed up. Wouldn't even stand on the scales by herself. Our pre-op nurse was very kind. She let me hold Anna on the scales and then subtracted my weight.
I had told Anna that I would hold her on the bed. There was a coloring book and crayons, a page of Curious George stickers and a plastic Lalaloopsy necklace that had stickers inside the locket. The TV was on Disney Junior. Anything beyond that was a no-go for Anna. That pre-op nurse didn't even get a temperature.
When the nurse anesthetist came in she had a whole array of chapstick flavors to show Anna. My fashionista daughter thought that was pretty cool. She chose bubblegum and the nurse smeared it all over the inside of the anesthesia mask. Anna wouldn't get it close to her nose. They brought us a "pre" medicine. It's main purpose was to make sure the patient did not experience trauma. Of course, Anna decided it tasted icky and wouldn't take it. An older nurse came in after a while and it took her, myself and Dad to force most/some of it into Anna. It was enough because Anna did start talking more and she doesn't remember what happened next. (I remember though!)
The OR nurse and nurse anesthetist came in to take her. Separation did not go well at all. She started screaming and crying. I had to stand up and hand her to the nurse. They carried her to OR while her arms were reaching out and she was screaming for Mommy. It was exactly what I was hoping wouldn't happen. (I was hoping that "pre" medicine would make her groggy.) I did not cry until she was gone and I couldn't hold it in. It was water works. Our pre-op nurse saw Dad and me walking down the hall. She left her new patient and wrapped me in a hug. She didn't let go until I pulled away.
Dad and I sat until I was feeling brave again. We ate some breakfast together. I'm pretty sure I carried on a somewhat reasonable conversation with him while we ate. Mostly I was watching the clock. We waited some more and not much more than 2 hours after they took her the dentists called us. There were no surprises during the treatment. No additional cavities were uncovered with x-rays despite their medical instinct that they would find more. I was praying that there would be no more. They only had to remove the one tooth that was infected a few weeks ago. The three other cavities were filled and capped. They put sealant on the other molars, cleaned her teeth and applied a fluoride varnish.
We went back to the waiting room and waited some more until they called us to go to the Phase 2 post op area. They set me up with a big chair where I could hold Anna while she woke up. We waited a few minutes and they asked me to go to the recovery room. They told me Anna had to stay in the recovery room longer because they had given her another medicine and it was protocol that the patient had to stay a certain amount of time after a medicine was given.
She was straight in from the door. I saw her right away. A nurse was trying to hold her. She was screaming and crying, arms wild. Obviously I got to her very fast, started talking to her, and took her in my arms. It was obvious that she recognized me and wanted me. She was still screaming so I cradled her in my arms and started singing Jesus Loves Me very quietly in her ear. I was holding back my own tears, but she calmed down immediately. At first whenever I stopped talking she got upset, but slowly she relaxed.
What I learned was that they had to give Anna more medicine to calm her because she was so wild when she started waking up. The nurses definitely gave me the impression that it was wild beyond what they normally see. When I first got there, 4 nurses were standing around watching her. They told me Anna's arms and legs might be sore because they had to hold her down. Not what a Mom wants to hear! So this medicine they gave her caused her respiration to slow and basically made her pretty much unconscious. When she really relaxed in my arms her oxygen dropped several times where they had to wake her up and she would get very upset. I held her in an unpadded desk chair with no arm supports for a solid 30 minutes. (My arm was sore the next day!) It was not a problem, I didn't complain at all. The nurses felt bad for me. At 30 minutes I decided to try laying her in the bed since she had been calm for some time. As soon as she felt that bed she was sitting up and frantic for me to hold her. It was at this point that she woke up enough to realize and verbalize that something was on her foot (the pulse/o2 thing). That was our ticket out of the recovery room.
Anna's wake up was unusual enough that the nurse anesthetist came by and asked me what Anna is like at home. I assured her this reaction was out of character for Anna. Anna is not defiant or outrageously strong willed. Just don't get between her and her Mama!!
While Dad and I were waiting for Anna during surgery Mom called and told me that she was going to be able to leave work for a few hours and she was coming to the hospital to sit with me in post-op. My Dad was wonderful. He was totally there for me and I probably cried less because he was there. But there is something about having a Mom there that brings a different kind of comfort.
So Mom was waiting for Anna and I. I decided that Anna should be transported on the bed because she was still dead weight and I had just held her for a long time. Anna was pretty upset. I walked along the bed, holding her as much as I could and talking to her. I got to sit in the comfy chair and hold Anna. By now she was sleeping peacefully. I didn't look at Mom or else I would have started sobbing. I'm still processing some of my own Mama trauma.
Anna slept for more than an hour longer. The nurse was starting to tell us that we really needed to get her awake. We moved her around a bit and kept talking to her and quite suddenly she woke up. It took some minutes for her to get her bearings, but she was calm and peaceful. She even handled the disappointment that her Lalaloopsy stickers got lost somewhere between the pre-op room and OR. Her face was SO sad though. One of the first things Anna said was that she was ready to go fishing. Grandad had told her that if she took the "pre" medicine he would take her fishing. She then gulped down a cup of juice and that was our ticket out of post-op. (The irony was not lost on me that I was told apple juice got me here in the first place and apple juice is what they offered her to drink in post-op!)
Anna didn't even flinch when the nurse took out her IV. That nurse thought she was such a trooper and commented on the necklace Anna was treasuring. I told her that the stickers had gotten lost and she offered to go back over to pre-op and look for them. She brought Anna a new necklace--the last one. Anna is still treasuring that necklace.
I carried Anna to the car and she chattered the whole way and the whole way home. Meghan generously offered to keep Aliza and Josiah for as much of the day as I wanted her to so Anna and I came home to a quiet house. Anna wanted to sit in the rocking chair and watch Nick Jr. I nestled her in with pillows and blanket because I was expecting her to fall asleep. She gobbled down three Italian Ice cups and was happy to sit and watch for a several hours.
Eventually Anna was done watching and she wanted to go to Meghan's and feed the chickens. I really thought Anna should take a nap! I decided to function under that premise that Anna would not be able to fake how she was feeling. We headed over to Meghan's. Anna fed the chickens and next thing I knew she was on the trampoline with the rest of the gang! The rest of the evening went by with Anna acting quite normal.
Saturday Anna seemed almost hyper as if she had slept REALLY well. She was constant talking and movement. I told Jeremy to do something quiet with her while I went grocery shopping. They played a board game and I asked if Anna could concentrate. She could. In my paranoid mind I was afraid Anna was having some kind of opposite side effect. lol. Grandad took her and Josiah fishing in the afternoon. I heard that she ate pretzels the whole time!
Finally this afternoon Anna slept for several hours. She has only asked for Tylenol a couple times and has not complained about pain. So, yeah! It's all over.