Thursday, January 2, 2014

Reed’s Surgery – Take 2

We are home from Reed’s surgery and he is recovering well.

This surgery was the same, yet different. We knew what to expect, at least, though the after was much different this time around.

We arrived at ACH around 7:15 on Monday morning.IMG_4480

We got called back to admitting pretty quickly and the nurse who checked us in and weighed Reed took us from there immediately. Reed remembered what was coming next and was a bear while getting weighed, measured, and having his vitals checked. We were in his pre-op room for about an hour and he was pretty angry at first but eventually calmed down.IMG_4611 After a while waiting, he loosened up. He started talking about his bed being the toon car from Mickey Mouse, so we encouraged that and told him he’d be taking it for a drive soon. He was all about that.    IMG_4504IMG_4512 IMG_4514

They gave him some stuff to help calm him about 15 minutes before they took him to the OR. The first time, it didn’t do much except make him a little drowsy. This time it made him HILARIOUS. He was talking loudly, giggling, repeating things I said, and when he’d talk, he would spit. So funny. It helped though because as he was driving his toon car to the OR, he was laughing and didn’t freak out about being separated from us.

The surgery took about an hour. The doctor and anesthesiologist briefed us before we got to see him. The first surgery, the cyst was predominantly located on the left side of the hyoid bone. We’d been told at the office visit where we found it that they wouldn’t be removing any more of his hyoid bone this time. However, when they got in there, they found the cyst was attached to the remaining bone on the right side. To improve the chances of getting it all removed, they went ahead and took out the remaining segments of his hyoid bone. He once again needed to have the drain tube in and we ended up having to stay the night in the hospital. Because of needing to remove the bone on the other side, he now has an almost 2 inch scar that spans almost the entire underside of his jaw.

When we got to him, he was waking up and he was angry and agitated. He was mad at the drain tube and the bandage around his neck and kept trying to pull at it. When we got to him, I held him and they went ahead and gave him some pain medicine to help calm him down. IMG_4517

We stayed in post-op for about an hour before they had his bed ready upstairs. He talked some while we were there and one thing he said was “I want to go home!” He was angry, upset and agitated. Because of this, they let me walk with him this time to get to the elevators. Since they walk through the OR halls, they typically don’t allow this. When we got out of the elevator, he saw the outside and said he wanted to go outside.

After we’d been in the room about 30 minutes, his nurse got a little concerned about how he was breathing. He sounded very hoarse and was very raspy. She called for a respiratory therapist to come check on him and they decided he needed a breathing treatment. IMG_4522

That helped and after that he was able to rest. IMG_4524IMG_4526

He slept pretty soundly until about 3:00. When he woke up, he needed some more pain medicine and once that kicked in he was pretty happy and alert.IMG_4525

He was pretty calm for the most part but was angry about having in his IV and for the oxygen monitor on his toe. He wanted both of them off and was pretty vocal about it.

When he’d told us he wanted to go outside, our nurse told us when he felt better, we could get a wagon and walk to the atrium that had big windows and lots of plants. He was feeling good enough that evening that he wanted to take a ride. IMG_4528IMG_4533When we got back to his room, he told me he wanted to sit in his wagon for a bit. While he was in there, he was sneaky and worked the oxygen monitor off his toe. The nurse laughed at him when she saw that. Our night shift nurse was kind enough to leave it off until he’d fallen asleep for the night and then snuck it back on him.

Last time we had a hard time getting him to eat and drink, but he did much better this time. He drank consistently and he ate the entire meal we ordered for him. He ate 1/2 a personal pizza, tater tots and green beans. After his dinner, he took another ride to get a cup of ice cream out of the hospitality room.

I had two sweet twitter friends who work at ACH stop by to visit us and one of them brought us dinner. We were blessed in so many ways while there and seeing some sweet, friendly faces was definitely one of them!IMG_4549

Another blessing was that for the 2nd visit, we didn’t have a roommate in our shared room. Most of the other rooms with ENT patients had two rooms this time so we were very thankful we didn’t have to share. If we’d had to, only one of us could’ve stayed with him.

He slept pretty well (though Zach and I only got about 3 hours of sleep). He went to bed about 9:00 and woke up around 2:00 hurting. They gave him some more motrin and he went back to sleep. Around 3:00 he woke up and was a little goofy. He asked for some pretzels so he laid in bed and ate some. He also tried to share with me. He kept holding them up saying “You want a pretzel, mama? You need one.” He finally fell back asleep and we got to go back to sleep until about 6:00 a.m. IMG_4551

They came in around 7:00 and took his drain tube out. He drank his juice so we were able to be discharged fairly early. We were out of there by about 8:30!! IMG_4557 IMG_4561 

The night before we left for his surgery, Ava was awake a good part of the night worried about him. I was glad to get back to her on Tuesday. Reed did pretty good on Tuesday as long as we stayed ahead of his pain with alternating tylenol and motrin. In the hospital, he got agitated over taking medicine and we are still fighting it. He also has to take the nasty antibiotic he did the first time and it’s a 3 time a day medicine and it is a HUGE struggle getting that in him. Between that and cleaning his incision, he’s NOT happy with us.

We had a very low key New Year’s Eve, and that was perfectly fine with me because we were ALL exhausted. IMG_4570 IMG_4584 IMG_4586

Poor little Reed’s face is still swollen and puffy. We all went to bed early Tuesday. I think I was in bed by 9:00 and all of us but Ava slept past 8:00. When Reed got up, it’d been about 12 hours since his last dose of tylenol and he was hurting pretty badly. He also had a slight elevation in what his temp had been running, but after we got him some medicine, he felt better.

We had a hard time getting him to eat for several days the first time. This time he’s eating consistently though nowhere close to normal amounts. He has moments of not feeling great but overall he’s doing very well, considering what he just went through. The medicine giving is the worst part. Here’s my sweet boy last night. IMG_4603

We are thankful to have this behind us. I cannot say enough wonderful things about ACH and the treatment and care we have received there. His nurses were all wonderful, caring, and great! One of them was our nurse the first time and even remembered us. We had a great experience and they certainly made a tough situation easier.

Thank you also to each of you who has prayed for us, supported us and encouraged us in this journey. Your love and support have meant so much to us and have helped us more than you know.

Here’s to a healthy, completely healed, cyst free Reed in 2014!!!!


  1. STOP IT!!!! he is just too cute! and that hair?! PRECIOUS! love his "silly face" ;-)
    both of my girls have the same go to face any time we say, "silly face!"
    so happy that things went well with his surgery and praying with you for a healthy, completely healed, cyst free reed in 2014! xo

  2. SO glad that this is over for you guys, I pray that 2014 is a year of health for your family!!


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