I was hoping for a lie-in this morning, not because I wanted a lie-in (although....) but because we were due at the hospital at 9:45 for Ev to have his hamstring and heel cord lengthening op, and he was nil-by-mouth. Although he could have a little clear liquid before 7:30, it was still difficult for a little boy who loves his breakfast. So, a 5:53 start wasnt ideal (in more than one respect) but we switched on the new baby-sitter (Scooby Doo DVD) and Ev laid happily enough watching this for a couple of hours until we got dressed and caught the shuttle to Children's.
It was pretty much the same schedule as with the first op, but with the obvious (massive) exception that Loup wasnt with us... :( ~ and also when they came to wheel him off they wheeled me off as well. Literally. They said that as kids know what's coming with two ops in two weeks they try to keep someone with them that they know. So, I had the experience of seeing him "go under" - which isnt really something to recommend for a parent, but it was what Ev needed.
As with the SDR, it was back to a waiting cubicle and I busied myself with the laptop - couple of emails, facebook updates, twitter updates, news from work, etc, so it was simple to pass the time until I got the call from Dr Dobbs himself. We knew they were lengthening both hamstrings and the right heel cord but they were going to take a look at the left, which they did indeed lengthen a little bit. He was so nice, and provided a full update - just minutes after completing the surgery. It's testament to the entire hospital that I have never felt worried about leaving Ev with them. I know he has been in the safest hands possible.
I then got a second call to go through to recovery. This was tougher than last week as he was coming out of anaesthetic and a little upset. He gets anxious when laid on his back and his problem was that he wanted (a) a hug, (b) someone to hold his hands so he could feel safe and (c) a bigger hug. I managed to complete all three tasks - although a little sad that I was stealing someone else's job. I hope i'm an adequate replacement (but, let's face it guys - Dad's should know their place.... )
We then moved up to Ward 10. Sandy passed us onto Lydia - there have been so many people who come and go and you never really get chance to speak to them but they are truly fantastic and clearly love working in an environment that is massively rewarding and massively sad in equal measure.
I'd actually broken a promise to Ev that he wouldnt have all of the wires. He had one - providing saline until he had plenty to drink, so the deal was that it would go when he had been able to have a drink and something to eat. He was still very groggy and I was 50/50 whether we would need to stay in overnight - but, as ever, Ev was remarkable and was soon tucking into Chicken fingers, fries, grean beans, choc milk and chocolate cake - all delivered by the Moose Brigade (dont ask....). In fact, it was the best he has eaten since we got to STL.
One of Dr Dobbs' team came to check on Ev and was happy for him to leave on the condition that everything was ok (peeing, eating without puking, - you know, the usuals...) as well as getting the ok from the PT that he was ok to be transferred to/from the wheelchair. I passed this test and we were "good to go". I got Ev dressed and he grimaced every time I touched him - this was the worry that I had, how to get him home without causing him massive discomfort or even significant damage. We have about a 10/15 minute trip home but having had two bouts of surgery on back, then hamstrings and heels it's difficult to find somewhere that you can get hold of to get him into the shuttle/taxi.
Arnold arrived in the hotel's shuttle bus and it was the moment of truth - how to get him in. I said to Ev, that he needed to help me as I didnt want to hurt him but if he worked with me it would be ok. He immediately snapped his DS together (losing his place - a massive sacrifice) and looked at me. He was a little pale but still had those big blue eyes. He saluted (learnt earlier from the Scooby Doo DVD) and said, "Dad, I wont let you down !".
No Evan, you never do...