Friday, 21 October 2016

The operation and its aftermath

Dominik had his Achilles tendon lengthening surgery on Monday.

Time has flown by and I cannot believe it's finally done.

Dominik has also been to see Bob Allen for a third time to check on his neurodevelopmental progress.

So, Bob Allen...well, we learned that Dominik has developed (?) his Moro reflex a significant percentage already. The difference is clear to see for those of us who know him well. Some changes to note: he has spent very little time gaming, he has spent a lot of time making new friends and communicating with his peers, he has been experiencing friendships and is being exposed to many variants of family life for the first time ever, he is speaking more slowly, he is more attentive and, perhaps, most importantly for those of us who live with him, he is communicating his needs far more clearly thereby avoiding most meltdown situations.

Other than being slightly edgy, he did not have any significant difficulties in the lead up to the operation. His pre-op appointment was uneventful although it did highlight his Autism. During the appointment, we saw the play therapy lady and a Jr Dr. He spoke in a mumble. He answered all their questions whilst looking only at me. He stimmed. He span on the spinning chair almost continuously. He fiddled with everything in sight. He didn't have any questions and declared that I had told him everything already! He loved the teenage gaming room in the ward and was almost excited to have some time away from home.

I think it is worth mentioning that his siblings have been very gentle with him. They understand how scary all this is and they want to make his days as simple as possible. Last week, for the first time in months, Hannon played with him for the whole afternoon. Earlier last week he spent a significant portion of the day with Lily and Harriet and I spent some of last Friday with him. Dominik has been mostly nocturnal again though so we must take that into account I guess. Lily and Hannon wrote him an adorable card and I know he appreciated their care and concern.

We are now day four post-op and I am so thrilled with how things have gone.

He has had painkillers on three occasions since he came home. He has been having fun trying to navigate the house in his wheelchair (even thought it is not self-propelling). He has come to the table for meals. He is mindful of how long he is sitting for and happily asks for help to elevate his legs when he feels it is necessary. He is dealing with the 'pee pot' and his commode with dignity and maturity. He is excited by the thought of being able to walk 'properly' when the time comes.

We had an emotional morning before the operation as there was obviously some waiting involved before he was called down to theatre. He finally went down at midday. He walked there without issue and let them insert the cannula and wire him up without complaint, although he HATED the blood pressure cuff! He went under quickly and smoothly.

He was a little longer in recovery than I was expecting which was very scary! I was expecting him back at 1.30pm and was finally allowed to collect him at 4pm! Not the nicest experience that's for sure.

He decided that he was confident to stay overnight in the hospital by himself which was astounding to me. In fact, truth be told, he was far more confident of his ability to manage than I was! He didn't even flinch at the thought and when I arrived early the next morning, he was beaming and very ready to leave!

We saw the Dr and received our instructions for care of his cast and were ready to come home by 11am. We did hit a snag here when I couldn't get him in the car. It was the only time he panicked and shed a few tears.

I ended up leaving him there and going to collect the wheelchair and commode from the Red Cross and ordering a wheelchair accessible taxi to collect him.

Once we were home, well, it has been plain sailing.

All in all, my young man has exceeded all expectations (even his own) and has his gaze fixed firmly on the end result.

N x

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