Nathaniel and Mom waiting for surgery
I walk Nathaniel back to the operating room beside the anesthesiologist chatting about her twins and my eight and the first time I handed a child over to a doctor for surgery. Twenty-four years ago this summer. So many surgeries in between. But a mom never gets used to that moment when the baby or child disappears behind the doors. A lump in the throat. I bite my bottom lip. I walk quickly back to his pre-op room where I can wait in prayer. It does not matter how many times I have done this, my faith is stretched every time.
Today marked the third surgery for Nathaniel in ten months. A minor procedure that came up late last week and needed immediate attention. Minor is always a bit more complicated because of his trach. Everything takes longer, but he is home and resting peacefully.
We have added three new doctors to Nathaniel's team since I last wrote about his medical care: an urologist, an orthopedic hand specialist, and a dentist. I walk through the halls of St. Louis Children's Hospital and marvel that Nathaniel was born so close to these resources. We sit in waiting rooms with parents and children who travel hundreds of miles to see the doctors that we have access to weekly in our city. God's hand of grace on this little boy.
New to Nathaniel's team this spring:
Urology: More than likely a one visit specialist. We met him today before surgery. He addressed a concern in the operating room that the pediatrician wanted evaluated. Nathaniel does not need a follow up. Wonderful to have a face and name should we ever need an urologist again.
Orthopedic Surgeon (Hand): Nathaniel was diagnosed with TPH - "thumb in the plane of the hand" this spring. He will not be able to have thumb opposition with his right hand. The thumb looks and functions more like a fifth finger than a thumb. We already see this causing difficulty for fine motor skills. The situation requires further follow up.
Dentist: We noticed Nathaniel's front teeth looked decayed earlier this spring. Thankfully he was able to get into the pediatric dentist at Children's in less than a week. No decay - he grinds his teeth. He is too young for any sort of mouth guard, so we just wait this out and see what happens.
Waiting to go home