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the eric update - day 107: inguinal hernia surgery and a speedy recovery?

well, today was the big day for inguinal hernia surgery! the whole process went very smoothly; we stopped feeding odin at 1 a.m. ( i think from his perspective not eating was probably the most traumatic part of the entire day ) and at 7:30 a.m. we took him to the hospital to be admitted and prepped for surgery. at 9 a.m. he was wisked away for the surgery ( despite numorous attempts on my part, i couldn't convince anyone to let me watch the procedure ), which only took about an hour.

after being wheeled into the operating room they administered a general anesthetic and put him back on the ventilator. during the surgery, they made two small incisions near his groin which allowed them to close the openings in his abdomen which were causing the hernias. near the end of the surgery, odin was given a shot near the base of his spine known as a caudal block which is a form of postoperative analgesia. thanks to the effects of the caudal block, odin only needed occasional does of tylenol to help manage post-op pain.

soon after he was out of the operating room, they brought us into the post-op room so that we could be with him as he woke up. it took about a half an hour for the general anesthetic to wear off and he required an oxygen mask to help him to maintain his blood oxygen levels, since the lingering amounts of general anesthetic left in his system would occasionally cause him to forget to breathe, which is quite normal.

odin stayed in post-op for about an hour and was then wheeled off to his own private pediatric room. after about 5 hours he let us know that he was quite tired of only getting intravenous fluids and he started guzzling bottles. amazingly he didn't seem to have any nausea and was able to keep down his normal 45 cc bottles, which is a great sign that he's going to recover quickly and not have his "reserve capacity" wiped out like he did after his ROP surgery!

he'll stay in the hospital overnight just to make sure that he doesn't develop any complications and to give him plently of time for the lingering effects of the general anesthetic to wear off and if everything goes as planned he should be released early tommorrow morning.

it's amazing to think that with a little luck, maybe - just maybe - little odin won't ever need to see the inside of another operating room again and we can finally close this chapter of his story and move on to day after boring day of sleeping, feeding and growing.

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10/19/2004 11:49:00 PM 3 comments


Such wonderful news! What a great outcome! So glad little Odin is continuing to thrive and has come through this latest challenge with his usual flying colors!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:02 PM  

My whole office is so happy for your family. He is such a cute baby! Good luck in the future and hopefully you will keep posting for a long time to come.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:17 PM  

Wheww!!! So glad to hear that my grandson came through with flying colors. It's reassuring to know that his "reserve capacity" has increased and he can weather these insults to his little body. He is such a fighter. I agree. I hope that this will be the last time he sees the inside of an operating room - and that he will be like Nana Rier with no hospitalizations for about 80 years! Sending my love to all of you. Love, Mom

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:59 PM  

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"it is hard to be brave," said piglet, sniffing slightly, "when you're only a Very Small Animal." rabbit, who had begun to write very busily, looked up and said: "it is because you are a very small animal that you will be Useful in the adventure before us."

the complete tales & poems of winnie the pooh

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this site chronicles the continuing adventures of my son, odin, who was unexpectedly born on the fourth of july at 25 weeks gestation, weighing 1 pound 7 ounces.

he's quite a fighter and you can always send him a postcard to the most current address listed here if you're inspired by his adventures. see the postcard project/google maps mashup to see a map of the postcards.

if you're new, you can browse the archives to catch up. and don't forget to watch a few movies that i made while we were in the neonatal intensive care unit. or if you want the abridged version and you can find a copy, you can read about his adventures in the november 2005 issue of parents magazine.

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