Bill and I cringe everytime we look at the incisions and stitches but so far, it hasn't been enough to bring on a fainting spell. It just looks like it would hurt to be even moving around. But just a day after his most recent surgical procedure, our little trooper seemed like his usual self. The pediatric urologist was right about how it would be hard to keep Matthew from unallowed activities post-surgery such as climbing, running, and other vigorous activities. From his experience, he observed kids with Down syndrome to bounce back almost instantly. Matthew does have a relatively high tolerance for pain.
It was in October 2010 (last year) at his pediatrician's office when we first learned he might need to have surgery. A visit to a highly recommended pediatric urologist in December confirmed it. We were able to push it off until this summer. We were told that it was important to get it done but not urgent.
July 27, 2011 was the day of surgery - an orchiopexy and inguinal hernia repair (also closing the inguinal canal to prevent a potentially bigger problem down the road). On the same day last year, Matthew had a sedated ABR (hearing test). In October 2010, he had a tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy, and his second set of ear tubes. We hope he won't need more surgical procedures or other procedures that require anesthesia for a l-o-n-g time.
We hid all the riding toys in the unfinished side of our basement. We encouraged him to sit and listen to music, play on his vReader, mobigo, and on my iPhone. We encouraged drawing, play-doh, and other fine motor activities. But as hard as we tried, it seemed that he couldn't bear to miss a day of rough-housing with his little sister and annoying the cat - climbing up and down the living room chairs, in and out of the ball pool, running after the cat, and tickling Elizabeth.
The Day of Surgery
Matthew and I were at the hospital by 6:30am. Bill and Elizabeth stayed home. Surgery was at 8:30am. He was out of surgery by 9:45am. While recovering in the hospital, a few hours after surgery, he was in good spirits as long as I offered him a bottomless supply of apple juice and graham crackers. We were discharged at 1:45pm on the same day.
The caudal block, which is a regional anesthesia injected into the end of the spinal canal and administered in addition to general anesthesia, proved to be a very effective pain reliever for Matthew. He didn't need the tylenol with codeine until 8pm that evening.
Step Back in Potty Training
Potty training has taken a back seat and we have him in pull-ups all day instead of big boy underwear. We also figured that the pull-up would help keep the lower incision site dry. The discomfort in *that* area is making him go in the toilet more challenging than it was as he fusses more about using the toilet than he used to. Despite the resistance, he still has many successes at holding and keeping his pull-up dry. However, he finds it more comfortable to poop in the pull-up. We'll get back into it when the incisions have healed and the bruising is gone.