February 1st brought the 2nd surgery for my sweet boy. If you click on some of these links, you will kind of get an idea of our journey:
The day before my hubby and 3rd son made the trek to the hospital to begin all of the pre-op stuff. Along with their departure came weather. Bad. Weather.
I had debated dropping off my 3 other children at school, then going to the hospital to sit through the surgery and recover and then return to pick up the boys. I never got the chance as icy conditions closed every school in the metroplex.
All that aside, let me give you a run down of what went down.
The boys left about 1:30 Monday afternoon. They went for pictures of #3s ears. He had vitals taken. And then the surgeon, and his Fellow, checked out the ear and gave last minute instructions.
After, Daddy and son ate at the food court of the area mall. I don't know. I would have chosen something different, however, I'm sure Daddy did what #3 wanted. Then, they went to see "Gulliver's Travels" and had even more junk food.
They stayed in a hotel overnight, as they had to check in at 6 in the morning. Good thing, too, as the ice on the roads would have prevented the trip, in all likelihood.
Number 3 went back right away to have more vitals taken, change into his gown, and drink his "goofy juice." After watching a bit of a movie, the goofy juice kicked in and #3 was wheeled to surgery.
Unlike the last 5 hour surgery, this one only took about 3 hours. He still had a little nausea coming out of the anesthesia, but he was able to eat a bit sooner than last time. They braved the weather and made it home about 5:00 p.m.
SO, what did they do? Well, they actually cut around the cartilage and lifted his ear off his head. So, think about that.... when it's lifted, on the back of the ear you have bare cartilage and where the ear was, you have skull. To cover that, the surgeons performed a skin-graft. The skin came from his heiney-bo.... and that is the most uncomfortable for him right now. It's just itchy.
Before we get to the pictures, let's talk money.
The surgeries.... well, I don't even know how much all 3 will cost, but so far, we have been billed about $100,000. At this point, we have paid about $500 for the first. I don't know how typical this is, nor do I know what will be our final out-of-pocket for the first surgery. Our surgeon's people and the insurance company are still working on things.
For the 2nd surgery, we have not received a bill yet, but we have paid about $3,000.
We are praying, of course. Praying that we get it all worked out. Praying that we don't have to pay NEAR what has already been billed, much less what will be billed. But, you know what? God provides. There has never been any question as to whether, or not, we would do this.
Now, on to the pictures:
In the waiting room awaiting pre-op
The last day "Verne" will look like this. Yes, we named the ear "Verne." And his chest scar? "Steve"
I feel so bad that he was alone while waiting. And when I say, "alone,".... well, look at the place. #3's was the only surgery going on at the time.
Lots of fluid. The yellow is a gauzy bandage stitched to the back of the ear.... protecting the new skin
I know this is a bit graphic, but my goal with these posts is FULL-DISCLOSURE. I had trouble finding out this stuff. I want anyone going through this to be able to know about the money issues, the doctors/hospitals we deal with and the actual procedure. The "bloody" pack is actually expected and normal. As long as the color doesn't change and there is no "off" smell, we are good. You can see, the top left of the "patch" the raw skin.
As horrible and painful as it all looks, this is #3 on Feb. 2nd.... playing "ice-soccer" in the backyard. I had to call him off the trampoline several times.
To all my friends and family reading this, thank you for the continued prayers.
To anyone researching this, if you have any questions, I am happy to answer them. Just leave a comment and a way to contact you. I will tell you all I can.