Thursday, February 03, 2011


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

Picture time

This place has fabulous cupcakes

Even if it's not the healthiest, he DESERVED a chocolate cupcake AND a DP

Where the surgeries are taking place

On the giant caterpillar

Weighing in

Tall enough?

Taking vitals

The last day "Verne" will look like this. Yes, we named the ear "Verne." And his chest scar? "Steve"

Dr. Fearon (on the right) and his Fellow

Waking up on the big day

Going up to the surgical floor

Playing in the "tree-house" while waiting

MORE vitals

Waiting for the rolling bed

They have the same movies, but they are much more interesting when they belong to someone else

Drinking "goofy juice"

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.

In recovery

Lots of fluid. The yellow is a gauzy bandage stitched to the back of the ear.... protecting the new skin

No words. :-(


The rolling chair... always fun

The ear on Feb. 3rd. The surgery was Feb. 1st.

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.


Laurel Santiago said...

That is a wonderful thing that you are doing, posting all of this for those that need to know, and it's so good to see that he is going through this yet still feels good enough to play. HOotie hoo!

buzzanna said...

My 7 year old Ty and I just got done checking out the awesome pictures of your little guy. It looks amazing and scary too! Thanks so much for sharing your experience. We've been talking to Dr. F as well. I hope your $$ works out also. That's a big fat unknown for us so far as well.

Best wishes!
Ann Brough-SLC, UT

~LL~ said...

Ann - I HIGHLY recommend Dr. Fearon. He is superb in surgery AND bedside manner. You can tell he truly cares about these babies.

When my hubby and son were up there, we had the ice storm. He told hubby that if he was uncomfortable driving home, he would "order" a hospital stay just to keep him off the roads.

I feel very confident in our decision.

I don't know if you went further back, but if you check out the blog title "surgery"... that is our first surgery.

Good luck.

My Kids Mom said...

LL: I think it's AWESOME how you are detailing this. I hope and pray that the financial end of it works out for you folks. I see those pictures - and it's his happiness and excitement that gets my heart . . . this is absolutely the RIGHT thing to do for him. He will be SO glad when he's all done and "Verne" is perfected for him. That all said, his little bum looks like it should hurt! Gentle hugs to him (and you . . . I can't imagine how it felt to not be right there during it all).

About The Beardslee's said...

I took the time to share your story and blog with a friend of mine. Her daughter is going through something similar to your son. Thanks so much for sharing your story. You answered ALOT of questions she was having.

~LL~ said...

Awesome.... you know how to reach me through FB so if she needs to touch base with me personally, would you please put us into contact? THANKS!

Mommy Spice said...

Every once in a while, I look at the special needs list of kiddos in China, and this is one of the needs listed. Although we have not decided to go SN's yet, this is very informative! Thank you for sharing. And my goodness that little guy is getting big!

~LL~ said...

Mommy Spice.... it's not near as emotionally taxing as I would think other special needs are. You deal with it... you're done. BUT, this could be indicative of much more serious conditions, such as Treacher-Collins. Some are a lot more involved than what we are going through.


Unknown said...

I just have to say that PJ is ADORABLE! And that I am praying for GREAT healing.

~LL~ said...

Thanks, Lisa!