Monday, 23 February 2015

Surgery Advice From One Parent to Another

Harry gowned up and ready to go!

Your child needing to have an operation whether they are a baby or a teenager is completely daunting and a scary thought. It could be the smallest of surgeries but you will still be filled with dread about the day and what it involves.  Just a couple of weeks ago my son Harry had a 6 hour long operation to have a cochlear implant, it was the most terrifying day of our lives but we got through it and surprisingly coped with it a lot better than we imagined we would!  These are the reasons why…


Harry in the recovery area straight after his operation

Knowledge
We knew exactly what was going to happen to Harry before, during and after the surgery and we had tons of information about expectations on the day.  We knew what to expect when he came round from the anaesthetic and there were no shocks or surprises.  Even though he looked such a swollen mess afterwards I knew that is what he would look like so I was prepared for it at least!
Make sure you have been provided absolutely everything you need to know about your childs operation, if you know everything good and bad you will automatically feel more confident about the whole process.  Questions to ask would usually be – how long will it take?  How long will the hospital stay be?  Can I stay with my child? What happens in the operating room? Whats the average recovery time? What extra precautions do I need to take after surgery?


In recovery and having his first sip of water!

Friends and Family
For me, having our family there to support us was so important and I’m so glad they came.  We were able to take it in turns to entertain Harry - who wasn’t allowed to eat or drink anything and didn’t actually go down to theatre until 2.30pm!!  It also helped having them there to talk about something other than the operation and to help take our minds on what was about to happen.  If you have someone who can come along with you to keep you company and help out where possible then take them up on their offer, trust me you will be grateful to have them there!


Back on the ward and downing all the water!

Look After Yourself
We made sure we had a bag jam packed with food and drink as we weren’t sure if we would be able to get access to anything whilst Harry was waiting for his surgery or when he was in recovery. This turned out to be pretty true after surgery, he was of course very clingey and I didn’t really want to leave his side either. Its really important you look after yourself during this time so you can deal with your little one as and when they need you! Things like crisps, biscuits, breakfast bars and energy drinks are good things to pack


Sucking on a biscuit the morning after the night before!


Fresh Air
As I mentioned Harrys surgery was 6 hours long and cochlear implant surgery is often up to 8 hours so once he had gone down to thatre, we actually took ourselves away from the hospital and went for lunch and a browse round the shops before heading back to be near our boy.  It felt really weird leaving him in the hands of surgeons but it did us the world of good to get some fresh air, fill our tummies and it made the time go a lot faster.  By the time we were back in the hospital he was pretty much back in my arms right away.  Even if you just go for a walk outside, get out there and breathe!

Just after having his bandages removed - look at his sticky out ears!

All the Medicine
We made sure we were super stocked up at home with Calpol and Nurofen as well as the antibiotics prescribed after his operation.  Its handy to have pain relief to hand if its really needed, Harry was dosed up for a good 4 or 5 days after his surgery and it was a lifesaver having it all at home ready without us having to drag ourselves to the chemist!
If your little one is due an operation, I wish you all the best and hope my tips help you to “keep calm and carry on” as they say!!

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11 comments

  1. Such good advice. I have been wondering about Harry's operation since you did your vlog. I am so pleased it went well. :-) x

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  2. Aww! Bless him! I hope the operation went well...
    Fantastic advice! My girls have both had open heart surgery and a weeks stay in hospital and I lived on cereal bars, crisps and energy drinks...Not the best diet but didn't want to be away from them.

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    1. It went very well! Ahh bless your little girls I hope they are both well now! Its so important to have food with you for hospital stays isn't it! x

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  3. I can only imagine what you have been through. My daughter only had a stomach virus last weekend and it was so tough to watch. I never thought I would worry so much in my life. And it feels as a mom the worry never stops. You are amazing!

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    1. Its crazy isn't it how much these little ones make us worry!! x

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  4. Great advice Lucie. What a sweet boy he is.

    I hope the implant is a huge success xx

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  5. Hello! That was an awesome accounting of how the cochlear surgery goes! My little boy was 2 years old with his first cochlear. He is now 5 years old and because of his CMV it has caused the rest of his hearing loss in his other ear. So he has a date set on April 20th to get his second one. I find myself getting very very nervous. I know to pack him food because of his texture issues, but can you remember packing or needing anything else?

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