Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Making a List and Checking It Twice... The Importance of Having a Pre-Op and Post-Op Plan

After Dear Son's recent surgery, I made a list of things that made it successful this time. One thing I noticed was that while I had a great pre-op plan, I really didn't have a post-op plan. I was so worried about getting through the surgery that I totally forgot about it. I realized this last week when he was starting to cough and had some breathing issues. I was able to turn things around by increasing the Now Foods Organic Virgin Coconut Oil and increasing his nebulizer (breathing) treatments. I realized then that I needed to have a better post op plan and that I needed to document it for future surgeries.
Prior to his surgery, I focused on keeping him well and making sure he was as healthy as could be before the surgery. Typically, his diet can range from 30-75% organic per week and prior to the surgery, I made certain to increase that to 75% or more. I made sure all of his fruit was organic so that he'd have as many antioxidants and as few toxins as possible. While normally, he gets 1 tbsp of Now Foods Organic Virgin Coconut Oil to prevent pneumonia, I gave him 2 tbsp/day. I gave him a breathing treatment the morning of the surgery, the first treatment he had since May of this year since he really didn't need them anymore.
For post-op, I realize that I needed to do a few things:

  • Increases Miralax to twice a day for the first 10 days after surgery.  Since Dear Son couldn't be repositioned much in bed due to his incision, he wasn't moving around as much making it more difficult to have a bowel movement. In addition, the anesthesia made him more constipated so he needs additional help. He was constipated for 9 days after the surgery and is now back to normal.
  • For the coconut oil, I'll increase it to twice a day for the first week, then cut back to once a day for the second week but give him 2 tbsp. For the third week, he can go back to 1 tbsp/day. This way, it will keep him from getting any pneumonia, when he can't be moved as much. The additional coconut oil will also help him overcome the constipation from the surgery.
  • I think he benefits from nebulizer treatments for a while after surgery. I'll do 2 treatments/day week one and then go down to 1 treatment a day for the next week or so and then off the treatments.
  • I'll use the Scopolamine patch to dry  up secretions, if they get too intense. On Friday, I noticed he was choking on his secretions and coughing a lot. I put the patch on for one day and it dried up secretions enough that he could rest comfortably. Less secretions means that he has less chance of aspiration.
  • Chest pt-I was doing some chest pt after the surgery so I would just make certain to do it a few times a day, every day to keep his lungs clear.
Since Dear Son is medically fragile and since he needs this Vagus Nerve Stimulator to control seizures, I know that I need to have a great pre and post surgical plan in place for any future surgeries. I feel confident now that I have a good plan in place for the future.
Dear Son is doing much better than he was a week ago. His bowels are moving daily, he looks good and I continue to give him one nebulizer treatment a day. He smiles when he sees me get it out so I know it helps him.I suspect I can stop that in another week or so. 
My goal is to keep him the best he can be. It's been wonderful this year to see him improve so much with this blenderized diet. He is so much better cognitively and it's working great on every level. It's also been a lot of fun seeing him enjoy life so much and for the first time in umpteen years, it seems like things were easier for him to be him.   As a mother, all you ever really want for your kids is to see them happy. For a kid like Dear Son, keeping him well and keeping him healthy requires constant diligence since even minor slip ups can have a huge impact on him.

Tomorrow he goes back to school so it should be an exciting day. He is really looking forward to it and I feel confident that he is ready.


Eileen said...

I missed all this - been lazy about keeping up with blogs recently!

I'm so glad to hear the surgery went so well and you had a good Thanksgiving. You sound to be happier too - and your health is just as important as Dear Son's.

Hope the rest of the holiday season continues to be a good one. I'll be checking more often in future!

Dream Mom said...

Thanks, Eileen. Best wishes to you too for a wonderful holiday season. I know I don't post as much anymore but it's pretty busy here making everything from scratch and taking care of Dear Son. But it's the BEST kind of busy; I have such a wonderful boy and it's been a great year for him.

Kevin O'Leary said...

Just found your blog and wanted to thank you. I need to find some gifts to give my friend's daughter, who has mobility challenges and uses a feeding tube. Thank you for your insight!

Kevin O'Leary said...

Just discovered your blog. I need to find some gifts to give my friend's daughter, who has major mobility issues and uses a feeding tube. Thank you for your insight!

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