The day we've been waiting for... on August 19, 2014, Max got his new pacemaker. We got to the surgery waiting room at 10:30 and our good friend, Lara, was waiting to greet us. Lara works on the pediatric surgery floor and was the charge nurse for the day. We couldn't have been more thankful for her because she took such good care of us. She took us back to the pre-op area and helped us get ready for surgery. The sitting and waiting was really hard on all of us, but Lara made us feel so comfortable. They took vital signs, changed his clothes, introduced us to the nurses and anesthesiologists that would be taking care of him, and also let Max talk to the Child Life Specialist again.
Playing with toys in the holding area
Sporting his "Jake and the Neverland Pirates" jammies that he got special for today
Lara taking his vital signs
The staff was all so wonderful and it was so special that Lara was a part of our special day.
The Child Life Specialist visited Max again and went over exactly what would happen today. He even got to pick out the flavor chapstick that he would smell in his mask when he went to sleep. Of course, he kept repeating that he didn't want a pacemaker and that he also didn't want to go night night. That part was really hard for all three of us, but thank goodness the markers saved the day! When Max got really anxious the Child Life Specialist brought him markers so he could color all over his bed. He thought that was the coolest thing he had ever seen and so did we!
That kept him busy and relaxed for a while.
Then he started getting really anxious again so we decided to pre-medicate him with Versed. This is a picture of before the Versed while watching Mickey Mouse on the IPAD....
...and here is about 10 minutes after the Versed was given. He became very relaxed and calm.
Surgery took about 2 hours and couldn't have gone any better. Mom, Dad, Eric, Chelsea, Tressa Kate, and Nana waited with us in the waiting room. It was really nice to have family there to help support us. When it was over, Dr. Mettler, the surgeon, came to talk to us and said that everything went better than expected. It was nice to have that part over with.
We asked to keep his old pacemaker so we could show Max what it looks like, so Dr. Mettler graciously gave it to us.
Here is what it looks like. As Tyler said, "Thank you pacemaker for doing your job for the past 3 years!"
Then we were called back to recovery and the fun began. Max had a really hard time waking up from anesthesia and was terribly uncomfortable. He stayed in recovery where we held him for about 2 hours before he was moved to his room on the cardiac unit.
His incision is significantly longer than his initial one because the new generator is larger.
Dr. Donahue was the anesthesiologist that took care of Max. After talking briefly, we found out that he knows Tyler's whole family that lives in Hartford, WI. What a small world!
All tucked in with Monkey beside him.
Uncle Eric, Aunt Chelsea, and Tressa Kate came to support us and visit Max. They brought Max a dress up costume so he could play doctor. What a thoughtful gift!
Mimi and Pal stayed for a long time, as well, and brought us all kinds of goodies for us. Before surgery, Max asked for not one, but two, chocolate cupcakes. Pal was so sweet to go them from Max's favorite cupcake store so he could eat them when he felt like it.
We are so overwhelmed and comforted by all of our friends and family that have prayed for us, sent us well wishes, and sent Max gifts. We are so incredibly blessed in so many ways and are so thankful for you all. Thank you also for your continued support as Max heals from his surgery over the next few weeks.
Dr. Mettler, the cardiac surgeon, came to visit Max the evening of surgery. It is beyond words how thankful we are for this man as well as his colleague, Dr. Radbill, who is Max's electrophysiologist. It's overwhelming for us to think about how these men impact families lives everyday in a way that is literally lifesaving. I wonder if they will ever know how much these families appreciate them?