Last night, Max was taken into emergency surgery to investigate what had made his abdomen swell beyond it's normal size of about 50 cm, to nearly 80cm within 24 hours. It was an awful day full of butting heads with doctors, increasing pain and discomfort for Max, and an overall feeling of being out of control. It finally came to a head when at 8:00pm they finally got a good picture of the blockage and saw that he needed to be taken in for emergency surgery to remove a blockage. They weren't sure what they would find when they got in there, as a picture, CT scan, xray, and barium images can only tell you so much.
By the time we got to the OR, he was getting a fever, and was so, so miserable. I was worried senseless, and had already found myself a blubbering crying mess all over his sweet metabolic nurse's nice sweater. I just couldn't stop crying. Friends were texting and calling, family was texting and calling, and I just couldn't hold it all together. I had to have Steve call everyone because I knew I couldn't even get the words out.
In all of the surgeries Max has had, I think we're at 6 now, this is the only unplanned one. And it really threw me. Steve was, as always, perfectly calm in the midst of our storm. And I was hoping they weren't going to find something unfixable in Max during surgery.
After they took him back, we went to the cafeteria to eat some really awful food while we waited to hear from the nurse after the first hour. She called and said in that first hour they had set the arterial line, given him a catheter for urine output, given him the epidural to block pain to his mid-region and were just finishing up the central line. Then, they were going to cut open his abdomen and see what was going on in there.
The nurse came out with some blankets and pillows for us, and put us in a private family room to rest. I tried for about an hour, but then startled awake because I didn't hear my phone ring at midnight, so I stayed awake until I heard from the nurse again. (She was to call every hour on the hour.)
She did call and told us they were closing him up, and should come out to talk to us within the hour. I think they took him in at 10:00pm, and at midnight they were finishing up surgery!
The surgeon came out and talked with us. She was happy that his distention had gone down, but confused about how they fixed it. As soon as they opened him up, the pressure kind of moved through and the place that was kinked fixed itself. There are a lot more terms that I could go into...but mostly a portion of his colon got too full and collapsed down from the weight, causing the obstruction. When they opened him up, it worked out that they didn't need to really do much but clean out the liquid inside of his bowels. They got a liter and a half of fluid out of him.
We went back about an hour later to see him kicking the covers off and trying to put his left hand up to his mouth to tell us something. And he was hollering for us, Momma, Dad-Dad! Once we got to him, he calmed a lot. Enough to go back up to the floor and avoid the ICU altogether! When we got to the floor at about 3:30am, and he had one short seizure, which is not unexpected after an operation, and then he went to sleep.
He's been resting pretty good today, and not in too much discomfort. I don't have my camera chord up here at the hospital, but I have photos of the "before" shots of his huge belly. I can't believe how big it got!
Today is a day of resting, and maybe tomorrow too. We're so thrilled the problem seemed to have corrected itself, and hoping he can quickly wean off of the epidural, and get back to eating by his gtube before we get home...hopefully in time for Christmas.