Joel and I took Adam down to Denver Monday for his skin graft surgery. My sister, Adrienne, stayed with Jenna and Will and took them to their Dentist appointments in Cheyenne. Thank you, Adrienne!
We got to Denver in more than enough time, and continued to be amazed by the Children's Hospital. They are very efficient, quick, kind, and thoughtful. It's great to be at a hospital that is just for children, because they really think of everything. After we got checked in and taken back to Adam's pre-op room a nurse and NP came to take a look at him. After checking vitals and looking in ears and all that good stuff we pretty much just had to wait until it was time for surgery. They had a great playroom to wait in, and Adam got out some wiggles.
After quite a lot of time in the playroom we were talked to by the anesthesiologist and then Dr. Moulton (the 'head burn guy' and surgeon). Everyone explained things very well so we understood just what they would be doing. Joel and I were both able to go back with Adam to the OR until he fell asleep. He didn't like it when Joel laid him on the operating table, and he really didn't like it when they put the mask on his face to sedate him. But once they put it on he only screamed for maybe 10 seconds before he was out. It was a little hard for me to watch, and after he went out he made squeaking noises like he couldn't breath. I didn't like that at all, and I asked them what it was. They just said, "That's normal, sometimes they squeak a little." Then we had to give him a kiss and leave. I didn't like leaving him in the OR, but I knew he was in good hands. The anesthesiologist also gave him a caudal block (which is similar to an epidural) so his bottom half would be numb for awhile after surgery, helping to manage pain.
The surgery went very well. The nurse called us about halfway through to let us know how things were going, and that was much appreciated. They took partial thickness grafts from his left thigh and placed them on his right. Dr. Moulton did a sheet graft, which means he didn't put the donor skin through a contraption that stretches and perforates the skin, he just placed in on the burned areas that needed it. They also cleaned the burn on his torso really well while he was out, so it looks pretty amazing now.
His right leg is now splinted down to the ankle and wrapped tightly. We have to limit his mobility because the last thing we want is for the graft to shift. His left thigh is also wrapped, and they put artificial skin on that area to help it heal. The doctor said that the donor site should heal in 10-14 days, and the graft area should be basically healed in about a week.
Shortly after the surgery we went back to the PACU so we would be there when Adam woke up. Right when we got there he opened his eyes for the first time. He was so out of it he could barely focus his eyes, but it didn't take long for him become a little more alert. We offered him water and juice, but he didn't want either of those. As soon as we mentioned popsicles, however, he was all over that. His appetite showed up as soon as he woke up, which isn't surprising considering he hadn't had any solid food at all that day.
They moved him to a recovery room where he had more popsicles and some crackers. He complained a little about his toes hurting; we assume they were just tingling from the caudal block starting to wear off. Other than that he didn't really complain about pain at all. We only had to be in the recovery room for about 45 minutes and then we were free to go home. We were all excited to get back home!
Above and below: before surgery, just hanging out and waiting.
Below: the first crackers: they seriously improved his mood
It hasn't been all fun and games since we got home. We aren't letting Adam walk anywhere, and he's in plenty of pain, so he is quite cranky. We have a few different meds for pain and others for itching, but he is still uncomfortable and cantankerous quite a bit. He does sleep fine, which is a big relief. He complains much more about his left leg (the donor site) than the right, which makes sense. He also complains about his torso being itchy, and today at the store he scratched so much that he drew some blood. We are trying to keep that under control with ointments and the oral meds.
We go back to Denver on Tuesday and they will change the dressings. I am anxious to see what it looks like, and to see what progress has been made. Hopefully he won't have to be in a splint after that! Adrienne will go home on Saturday and we will be sad to see her go. It has been really nice to have an extra set of hands, especially when Adam needs so much attention.