Our day began bright and early, and we picked up Ostin and Karla at the Ronald McDonald House at 6:30 a.m. Ostin had been scheduled for an MRI which required anesthesia and therefore he couldn’t eat after midnight. We drove to NYU and spent the next few hours filling out forms, having the exam and waiting for the CD which we needed to take to Lenox for the surgeons to review prior to surgery. As soon as we had the disc in hand, we were on our way, and running late.
There is no way to rationalize with a toddler that he can’t eat before surgery. Ostin is still breast feeding, and he was hysterical and grabbing at his mother. We had to separate the two, and remove a wailing child into a small “cut through” between two hallways, which was separated from the other patients. We were hoping to muffle the sounds which were spreading into every waiting area. After a half an hour or so, Ostin exhausted himself and Tom’s soothing voice comforted him, and he calmed down.
At last he was ready for pre-op. The surgeons explained the operation, the anesthesiologist described his role, and Karla dressed in a gown, hat and shoe covers so that she could carry Ostin into the OR. There was an interpreter by Karla’s side who also provided support while Inside Edition was filming Ostin’s story. Karla remained strong as she carried Ostin away but when she returned alone, this is when she allowed herself to let the tears stream down. She was frightened and overwhelmed…we tried to reassure her he was receiving top notch care, and thankfully she has a strong spiritual faith.
The surgery took about three hours, and afterwards the doctors met with us to discuss their satisfaction with the accomplishments of the surgery. They were able to clean out the lymphatic build up behind the eyeball allowing it to fit back into the bony socket. He was left with a drainage tube close to his eye which helps remove any accumulation after the surgery, and will remain in place for up to four weeks. Ostin’s next surgery will be in March when the doctors will be focusing their attention on his cheek and neck.
Karla breathed a huge sigh of relief and expressed her appreciation to all the doctors and physician assistant. We then waited anxiously to hear from the recovery room that it was time we could visit Ostin.