July 7 was intense and overwhelming. Jackson had surgery that Tuesday to fix his teeth and have his undescended testicles lowered (i.e. orchiopexy). It was scheduled as out patient. We arrived at the hospital two hours early so that Jackson could be assessed by the doctors before the procedures.
Everything went fine until the anesthesiologist came in. He asked us if Jackson was seen by pulmonology and we told him no. He went on to explain to that we have an uphill battle, kids with these types of conditions develop pulmonary complications as they get older, and he did not feel comfortable proceeding until Jackson was seen by a pulmonologist. Great. Just what every parent needs to hear before their child goes under for his first surgery. But, the pulmonologist came in, asked us some questions, examined Jackson, and cleared him for surgery. And I took a deep breath of relief.
Three hours after our arrival, Jackson was taken back to the operating room. Both the dentist and the urologist gave us an anticpated timeframe for their parts of the surgery…and both surgeries took longer than expected. Cue the nerves and anxiety.
Before surgery, we knew Jackson had at least five cavities. After a very long wait, one of the dental residents came out and told us the team had to do a lot more work than expected. Another thing no parent ever wants to hear. Jackson had sixteen teeth at the beginning of the operation. They pulled the four lower front bottom teeth and crowned the remaining twelve teeth. It was difficult to hear that my three year old son had to have extensive dental work done on every single tooth in his mouth. I couldn’t believe his teeth had gotten so bad in such a short period of time. The dentist explained that a Pediasure and pureed food diet is very bad for anyone’s teeth.
After our meeting with the dentist, it was back to the waiting room to again watch the minutes tick by. The orchiopexy, like the dental procedure, took longer than the doctor told us it would. Josh and I went up to the receptionist several times to check Jackson’s status. FINALLY, the urologist came out to give us the 411 on his portion of the surgery. Jackson’s testicles were higher than he expected, but he found them, lowered them, and used a needle, thread, and buttons to hold them down. The buttons were attached on the outside of his scrotum and would fall off in a few days. In the meantime, the buttons were holding the balls down to make sure they stay in place. A parent never wants to hear that a doctor has sewn buttons on her son’s ball sac. When he said buttons, he meant buttons:
Josh and I were so happy to get to the recovery room to see Jackson. Jackson was irritable, out of sorts, and in pain. His oxygen levels were a little low, so he was admitted for the night after spending several hours in the recovery room. However, we were discharged the next day. Needless to say, I hope we never have to go through that again. It was scary, nerve-wracking, and intense.
It’s been a little over one month since the surgery and Jackson (and his parents) is doing much better. We think Jackson is happier with his new teeth. Josh and I can’t help but think that with so many cavities, Jackson’s teeth were bothering him and he couldn’t tell us. Jackson’s teeth are now brushed four times a day, after each of his meals. We brush Jackson’s teeth so much that Luca got jealous. So, Luca has his own toothbrush and Luca brushes his teeth several times a day too. The buttons fell off after several days and the scars down below are healing nicely.
Since the surgery, life has returned to normal. We’ve been busy tooling around town, cheering on the Redlegs, and celebrating birthdays. Hopefully there are no more road bumps for quite some time.