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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

His Eyes are Straight-!

thWell, it’s been an entirely wonderful and miraculous 24 hours.   Thank you for your prayers and well-wishes.   Here’s the blow-by-blow:

Rising around 4:30 a.m., this could be termed “sleeping-in” in our household, only Tuesday is not a day that we need to get up so early.  So I’m tired.  But I shower and dress, and try to look sufficiently glamorous for my oldest son’s eye surgery.

He and his father wake up around 5:15, imagining themselves to be naturally glamorous, I would surgery_bg102805b_cmykaimagine.  Since none of us is going to eat anything pre-surgery, there’s not much to do.  They shower and shave a bit.  I enjoy some coffee, Benedetto has a spot of tea, and Petya continues to fast since late last night.  He awakens starved.  I told him he should have eaten something light before bed.

Scheduled to leave by 6:00, I ask my husband to feed the dogs, since prayer and fasting is not their thing.  Never late to anything, I somehow can’t seem to get myself in gear.  We leave at almost 6:10 a.m., and still make it to the surgery center by 6:25.

Multi-patientPost-OperativeRecoveryRoomIt’s a cold and rainy winter day.  Benedetto reminded us that his own horrific health scare happened eight years ago this Thursday.  It was a day just like this in terms of weather, maybe icier.  I get teary just thinking about it and would prefer to leave it in the past.

Today, we had planned for Benedetto to leave the surgery center, come home and check on the other three teens eating breakfast and starting school at home, and then return to pick up the two of us, but I decide no.

No, I don’t want to sit by myself in a waiting room and have surgeons bring me horrible, lifechanging veins-019news.  Please.  Just be there with me.  Let the kids try to handle two or three hours on their own.

We check into the ultra-modern facility, signing reams of paperwork, much of which was prepared online.  Nurses come and take Petya away, it happens rapidly and we are the only ones there this early.  Then they come and get us again.

“He’s only 17?” they ask.  “He looks so much older.  You need to come in and sign more forms for him.”

25f4e413c5bc42699c2525e2372077c5We walk into the land of curtained containment rooms, where he’s already in a gown and cap, IV started to hydrate him.  I like being by his side, rubbing his arm, telling him he’ll be fine.  The anesthesiologist comes and explains procedures, the opthamologic surgeon comes in to review once more what’s happening, and then the nurses say they’ll monitor him every step of the way.  Everyone asks us tons of questions about anyone in the family having adverse reactions to anethesia, etc., and all we can answer is, “Not that we 300px-Desinsertion_du_muscle_COknow of” without getting into his adoptive history.  Each person is positivity plus–kind, caring, and I’m starting to love this place.  Much cooler and calmer than a hospital setting, not to mention about half the price.

Within a few minutes, they wheel him away. 

The operation begins at 7:30 a.m. and is over by 8:30 a.m., shorter in time than the estimated 1.5 hours.  The surgeon meets us.

300_36591“Text-book case, no surprises, perfect outcome from what I can tell.  E-mail me a photo in two days unless you want to come in for an appointment, watch for infection or any changes, use these eyedrops twice a day.  I’m giving you a prescription for Percocet, but if he prefers not feeling out of control, Tylenol may be enough….”

We will go for a post-operative check-up in six weeks, and he warns us that sometimes the eyes weep faintly bloody tears in the beginning, Petya will feel like there’s sand in his eyes from the stitches, all may be blurry or double vision, the eyes might even appear crossed after the operation.

“Don’t panic.  It’s all normal.  The brain has to adjust to a new reality.  It’s used to sending a different main_eye_1message to the eyes, and it may take a few days,” he tells us.

By 9:30 a.m., Petya has recovered sufficiently to receive us.  He’s sitting up in his hospital bed, wet cloths on his eyes, sipping a Diet Coke.  Our son is groggy and mildly in pain, so we give him time to wake up and the nurse gives him a Tylenol.  He rates his pain at a 4 out of 10.  I talk to him, and then to his father, wanting him to hear my voice, yet not feel as though he needs to respond.

thThe post-operative nurse reviews what Petya will need to do as the anesthesia wears off.  He should avoid dairy and fried foods for 24 hours so as to not upset his stomach.  Maybe start him on some toast, rice, or applesauce, nothing heavy.

“Tomorrow, you can spoil him with the lobster and steak—“ they laugh.

We dress him and gather all of our instructions.  An attendant brings a wheelchair, and before you know it, we’re headed home, arriving by 10:30 a.m.

He can barely open his eyes, but by afternoon, he’s had toast, and sleep, and water, and sleep.  Petya Fotolia_10772372_XS-217x300opens his eyes more and more for brief periods. 

“Everything’s blurry,” he reports, “plus, I see two of everything….”

“Not to worry,” we reassure him.  “The doctor says your brain is adjusting.”

He laughs.  Our son is back.  He takes off the cloths and asks us to look at his eyes.

“How do they look to you?” he wonders.

“They’re straight!” I’m in shock after all of the expect-the-worst-in-the-beginning warnings.

Eye-DropsI feel like I’m smack in the middle of some Biblical miracle:  he takes off the gauze and his eyes are straight!  His father confirms the findings, and later on, Petya shows his siblings as he makes it to the dinner table and they ooh and ahh.  The girls actually help him upstairs to brush his teeth and take pride in leading him around for a few minutes, which is a nice end to his day.

There is a tiny bit of red around the corner of one eye, but none of the blood-red that I imagined.  He enjoys the cool cloths from time to time. We put in the drops and there is the occasional pink on a kleenex when he dabs for tears. That’s it. 

So far, so good.  Thank you, doctor.  Thank you, Lord.

The relief is amazing as mother and son konk out on couches near each other.  Never mind that my legs Scottie brindle Maggiedon’t fit on the loveseat and I am a parental pretzel.  I want to be able to hear him stir, give him water, cold cloths, and whatever else he may need.  But for now, we’re both simply bone tired.  One dog climbs on top of Petya’s legs, and another hunkers down near us, standing watch.   We have come through the thick of it and are on the road to recovery.

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4 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. avatar Cubby says:

    So happy that this turned out text book perfect! There are so many wonderful and miraculous things happening in medicine now. Happy eyesight to Pasha!

    • avatar admin says:

      Thank you, Cubby! His eyes did become more red after about 2-3 days, stayed that way for about a week in the corners (whites) of the eyes with slight pain, now at almost 2 weeks later, he has real freedom of movement, no pain, looks fantastic and just a bit of red in one corner. We’re so happy for him.

  2. avatar Cubby says:

    Whoops, meant to say Petya! Sorry Petya but glad this is over with for you and it went so well.

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