On March 8 at 6:30 in the morning, Jeff, Graham and I were yawning and puffy eyed in the waiting room at the Mission Surgical Center. Jude was trying to overturn side tables and squealing in delight. It was the morning Jude would get tubes in his ears.
They called us back, and we entered a large prep room with about 8 occupied beds separated by curtains. The curtains were sort of pointless in the way of privacy; Jeff and I could not help overhearing a man across the room getting ready for a very uncomfortable and awkward procedure. Jude was still energetic as ever but now we had to keep him in our little bed section which was bugging him. After giving Jude and I matching hospital bracelets (memories of his birth!), they gave him a cherry red elixir that they said would make him feel like he'd "had a cocktail." They said we'd want to hold him after he took it because he might fall over. Jude gulped down the medicine but was still going strong and refused my lap until about 5 minutes later. He started looking a little wobbly and finally cuddled up next to me. It was so sweet/hilarious -- he kept looking back at me with this very focused look on his face, like he was trying to see through my eyes straight down to my soul, with this vague smile on his face. Then he'd snuggle up again. I could have stayed like that for hours and hours. Then the anesthesiologist came for him with a warm blanket. A 1 year old across the room was heading in for the same procedure and her parents left in tears. I had been worried I'd be a mess and although I was a little sad I felt very sure that this was the best thing for Jude.
It's a super sonic procedure. 15 minutes later we were called back to the recovery wing and my heart sank. I could hear Jude screaming around the corner. They had warned us that often toddlers do not react well to the delirium of coming out of anesthesia. He only wanted me, but beyond that only wanted to scream and thrash and throw his body around, and I almost wasn't strong enough to keep his tank-body on my lap. It broke my heart. He was obviously scared by the confusing fog that was stuck on him. A nurse brought popsicles, we had Lovey Monkey and a sippy of milk for him, he wanted none of it. After a few minutes I looked at Jeff and said, "How long is this going to last?? This is hell." After about 10 minutes, he just popped out of it like Mary Poppins' ghost had hovered above and snapped her fingers. Phew. And by the time we were in the parking lot with our validated parking stub, he was pointing out every truck he saw.
Our ENT had reported, "He had tons and tons of fluid back there. He needed this." He's healed well, is talking much more (although speech therapy will probably still happen once we get the insurance stuff worked out), and every morning he wakes up high on life and drug free. He's still a 300% two year old, but I can see a clear, positive difference in his mood. We see his winning smile much more, which I can understand since ear infections are the WORST, and he had 5 under his belt, the last one lasting over 2 months.
He'll have the tubes in for 2 years max, and until then has to wear ear plugs while bathing or swimming (which he hates). The only drawback.
I'm so grateful for doctors, medicine, and that we could get my buddy feeling much, much better.