My Son’s #DentalSurgery – Part 2 (#Autism)

(See yesterday’s post to read about my son’s pre-op appointment for his dental surgery)

The night before his surgery, my daughter spent the night at their dad’s as we had to be at the hospital by 6:30 the next morning. Eek! Of course, as I’m sure it’s stated in some “law” of some kind, my son slept in that morning, so I had to wake him up at 5:30am for us to get there.

My little man wasn’t happy with the hospital gown. I tried talking him through it while my man put it on him.

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He seemed ok, until he sat down and had to wait until it was our turn to go in. Honestly, I gave up the fight. He didn’t “need” to be in the hospital gown for tooth surgery (the staff told me that) so I gave in…he wanted his special Spiderman shirt on. Honestly, he was stressed enough with everything going on, that I didn’t want to put him through a meltdown too.

As we all know, there is NOTHING stronger than Autism-panic. Because of this, both my man and I “suited up” in outfits to wear into the operating room, in case my son panicked and I needed to tag-team my man in because he’s stronger than I am. Thankfully, it was also the same anesthesiologist as my daughter had a few months prior for her dental surgery so he already “knew” us. He was great at calmly saying “It’s ok, Uncle Bruno (Dr Bruno to me!) is here” while I was straddled on top of my son’s core and a medical staff person was trying to hold down his arm so my son couldn’t pull the mask off. I kept telling him “It’s ok. Mommy’s here. You’re safe. I love you”. Between Dr Bruno and I, we didn’t need to tag-in my man, but he was watching through the glass window in the door into the operating room, just in case.

During the surgery, my man and I walked across the street for a Starbucks for me (shocking, I know). We barely got back, settled in the surgery wait room and started drinking my chai when the surgery was over. I went into the recovery area and as soon as I saw him, I told the nurses “How much time until he wakes up? I told you not to have the IV in when…” and he started stirring, then bolted straight up in the bed, tried climbing out, headbutted a nurse in the nose (she went down quickly!) while everyone else tried holding him down.

I immediately jumped on top of the gurney and straddled him down, holding him in the way that we’ve all figured out how to manage through our child’s Autistic meltdown. Then I heard staff say “go get dad”…not the time to correct them when one nurse is down, 4 others are trying to hold him and keep the IV from ripping out, and I’m on him. They went and got my man…by the time he came in, I had my son controlled under me, telling them to “put him under again NOW”, my man held down my son’s feet because um, well, my son was “squaring” me (ouch!), and the medical staff were trying to figure out what dosage to give my son. As it turned out, they gave him meds that are equivalent to 2 margaritas…yup, they made my 9 year old “drunk”. He fought it but eventually, I felt him go limp under me, and he was out again. By the time I figured he was actually out, I told them “I told you not to let him wake up with an IV attached”, then started asking how the nurse was. Apparently I was the only one who saw him take her out. She came back in later and was sore, but fine. Nothing broken. Phew!

He looked so peaceful when he was knocked out the 2nd time:

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They removed his IV while he was asleep the 2nd time, and about 15 mins later, he started stirring awake, but I was ready to jump in again, including having my brace on my wrist (it wasn’t on before – ouch!). My right wrist has been injured so many times now (including a fracture a couple of years ago) that I’m a proud “owner” of a wrist with arthritis…in my late 30s! 😉

IMG_00006567It was a much more peaceful wake up, so I crawled in beside him for cuddles. When he woke up enough, he checked to see if the IV was still there. It was out, so it all was right in the world.

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For my daughter’s surgery, we had to go to an observation room after this wake-up room but, because my son has Autism, they kept him in the wake-up room longer than usual. After determining he was ok and didn’t have any reactions, we were discharged and sent home with a list of things to keep an eye out for. He fell asleep sitting up in the car a few times and, when we got home, he lay under his weighted blanket on the couch for about an hour, then started VERY slowly doing his circuits around the house, stimming his way through the stress of the day. By mid-afternoon, he was eating solid foods and drinking lemonaid. The next day, you wouldn’t even know that he had dental surgery the day before.

Other than the meltdown that happened when he woke up, he was an awesome superstar through the whole thing. I’m so proud!

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