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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Dental Surgery

Thursday morning was Kaitlynn's dental surgery / procedure. She had 5 cavities filled and had to be sedated because of the location of the cavities and because it would be too traumatic to do under general anesthesia.

Kaitlynn couldn't eat or drink anything after midnight on Wednesday. She was still asleep when it was time for us to leave and since we were told to bring her in her pajamas, we just scooped her up and put her in her car seat. She slept in the car the whole way there. She woke up when we arrived. We got to the surgery center 10 minutes early. We were told to be there at 8AM. While waiting in the waiting area, Kaitlynn played with the camera on Dave's cell phone. She didn't ask for anything to drink or eat, which we were worried about. We were taken back to a room around 8:40 by a nurse named Angel. Kaitlynn was excited about the surgery center bed and got right in it. She said "my bed!" Angel brought her a warm blanket and she was set. Kaitlynn and Angel put stickers on (heart monitor). The anesthesiologist came in to talk to us. He told us about the procedure and why sedation was the best route and that it was a common procedure. He also had to inform us that the procedure comes with some risks. He said that she would be out of it, asleep during the whole procedure. They would give her oxygen through her nose and she would have a breathing tube inserted down her throat. He said her nose may be bloody after the procedure due to the oxygen given to her through her nose. He said that her throat maybe sore because of the breathing tube. He said that there was a small risk that she could stop breathing during the surgery, but they would be monitoring her very well and take all precautions necessary. At this point, I was trying not to loose it. I was already nervous about the procedure, but then to hear those words (aloud). To hear that she was going to be totally out, with a breathing tube and that there was a small risk that she could stop breathing was almost too much for me. I just started praying silently for God to give me strength while in front of Kaitlynn. I just kept praying over and over. The anesthesiologist said that she would wake up crying and cranky because she wouldn't have anything to compare this experience too. She has never felt this way before (to be coming out of sedation) and it would cause her to cry and be cranky out of confusion. He said that Kaitlynn should do fine since she is a healthy child.

Tam (another nurse) brought some liquid medication for Kaitlynn to take. It was to help relax her and also contained Tylenol. We changed Kaitlynn into a Looney Tunes children's gown. Angel and Tam gave Kaitlynn a pink teddy bear. Kaitlynn also brought a Barney stuffed toy that Brandon gave her a few nights before. Once the leads were put on the heart monitors, I got in bed with Kaitlynn and just held her, secretly crying behind her back. Dave reminded me that I needed to be strong for Kaitlynn, so I was able to keep my composure. We watched Sesame Street. The pediatric dentist came in to see how Kaitlynn was doing and to see if we had any questions before the procedure. Kaitlynn started talking to him about her dog and how her dog doesn't poop in the house, he poops outside. Very random! Another nurse named Kathy and the anesthesiologist nurse, Erin, came in the room to bring Kaitlynn a mask. It smelled like cherries. They asked Kaitlynn what she named her new teddy bear. Kaitlynn told them "Teddy, Teddy Bear." (Duh?!) They asked Kaitlynn if she wanted to help them blow up a big green balloon. She said she did. So they wheeled her bed down the hall. We followed the bed. Immediately after they started rolling the bed out of the room and down the hall, I was crushed. I was so scared of the unknown and felt so vulnerable. I couldn't stop crying. Kaitlynn did awesome. She didn't cry for us. In fact, one of the nurses had to pick her up from the bed to carry her into the OR and she didn't look back for us or cry. She was comfortable. Thank You God for that sweet blessing. If she would have been crying and clinging to us, I don't know what I would have done.

The other nurses kept telling me she would be OK and that they would take care of her, as we went out to the waiting room. The waiting (while the surgery was going on) made me more sick than the waiting before surgery. A nurse came out at 9:45 to tell us that they just started the procedure and it would take about an hour. She said Kaitlynn was asleep and went down well. I had to excuse myself to go to the bathroom and cry and have a talk with Jesus. I prayed that Kaitlynn would make it through the procedure and that everyone of the staff that came in contact with her would have the knowledge and skill to keep her safe. I prayed for strength to get through the waiting. I prayed and prayed. God gave me the strength to be able to calm down. I felt an almost easiness come over me and I was able to watch the news and read some of the book I brought. Dave commented that he was proud of me. I asked for what. He said for being strong and not falling apart. I appreciated his kindness. I also appreciated my friend Nikki's kindness and support. She texted me throughout the procedure to see how I was doing and for news about Kaitlynn. She reminded me of how strong I am and that I have been through a lot recently, but I would remain strong because that is what Kaitlynn needed me to do. Her words were very helpful.

At 10:40, the pediatric dentist came out and told us that they were done and everything went fine. He said one of the cavities was worse than originally thought so they had to do a front and back filling. Damn genes! He said that she was awake but pretty cranky. I basically ran down the hall to her room, especially after hearing her cries. The nurses were attending to her. Kaitlynn was crying and trying to move while half asleep. They had padding over the bed rails to ensure she didn't hurt herself. She was kind of flailing about. They took her blood pressure and took the pads off one side of the rails so I could lay with her. I got in bed and held her and much as I could (with the monitor leads and IV). She kept crying on and off and saying "mama". It broke my heart to see her this way, but I was so thankful that she was OK. They monitored her for a bit longer and then took her off the monitors so I could hold her in the chair. Her nose was a little bloody. She kept pressing her right wrist up against my body and making the IV bleed. Tam said she could take the IV out if Kaitlynn could take a sip of juice and keep it down. Kaitlynn took a sip, so Tam took the IV out. Kaitlynn fought her while she was taking it out. She was bleeding pretty badly, so Tam and I were trying to get Kaitlynn to let us put some pressure on it. I was finally able to calm Kaitlynn down. She was just crying on and off, groggy, cranky, a little agitated and confused. Tam put some gauze and tape on it and said that there would probably be a bruise there, but not to worry about it. Tam said Kaitlynn was mad at her because she was the one to give Kaitlynn the yucky medicine. (The IV was put in after she was asleep - thankfully.) We watched Barney while the nurses kept checking in on us and monitoring her from outside the room. Erin kept talking about how cute Kaitlynn is. The anesthesiologist came by to make sure she was doing well. Tam gave Kaitlynn a Winnie the Pooh puzzle and told her when she was feeling better she could put it together. We stayed in recovery for about 45 minutes. Tam said Kaitlynn would probably feel better once she was at home. Kaitlynn had started waking up a bit and watching Barney while laying in my lap. Barney was at the beach and Kaitlynn started crying, saying that she wanted to go to the beach. I was ready to book a trip for later that day for us!! Kaitlynn said she was ready to go home, so we left (since everyone was comfortable with that decision). While in the recovery room, Dave called MawMaw to let her know Kaitlynn was OK.

In the car, Kaitlynn asked "What did the doctor do to me?" We told her that he took care of her teeth and that she didn't have to think about it anymore, just to relax. Then once we got close to home, she said "Hey, I thought we were watching Sesame Street? Where's my bracelet?" She wanted her surgery center bracelet back on. It was a little big on her and fell off. I put it back on her. We got home and I put her in our bed to rest and snuggle with. The dentist and nurses said she would probably sleep for about 2 hours when she came home and just to keep her calm and watch her if she wanted to get up and play. This kid was ready to start playing immediately! We put her new Winnie the Pooh puzzle together and she ate a popsicle while waiting for Dave to bring her a Diego DVD home. Once Dave got home with the DVD, she ate noodles and chili mac and was still ready to play. A few hours later, Dave took her to get milkshakes from Steak n Shake (we were hoping she would fall asleep in the car). Tam said it was best to give her popsicles, ice cream and milk shakes unless she wanted other things. While in the drive through, she told Dave she wanted a toy, so he got the milkshakes and then went by McDonald's to get her a Happy Meal. She ate a few bites of the hamburger and a few fries. Later they went for a walk and she fell asleep in her stroller (for 2 hours). She seemed to feel fine the rest of the day and didn't need any pain medication. Her voice was a little raspy or low (from the breathing tube). Her little voice sounded like she didn't feel well and she didn't look to well through her eyes. She looked a little puffy, too. Most of that went away by the next day.

Kaitlynn has such a wise soul! We are so proud of our big, brave girl (as we always are)! Another sort of "accomplishment" during the procedure / surgery is that she stayed dried. They said many kids urinate during the procedure.

Thank You God for our answered prayers, for Kaitlynn coming through the procedure well and not having any complications!


  1. Glad everything went good! Oh that was a scary post to read.

  2. God is good! It was a very scary and emotional day!