Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sam’s Recovery

Sam is a soldier. He marched through his surgery and into his recovery with bravery and strength. He is my little trooper.

I tried to take pictures everyday during the first few weeks of his recovery so we could see step-by-step just how the healing process unfolded.

February 20, 2012 Pre Surgery1.1Oh my goodness! This beautiful face. Even a month later and I still miss seeing my old Sam.

February 20, 2012 Post Surgery1.2Just a few hours later, but what a difference! While in the hospital, Sam slept a significant portion of the time. He was laying on my chest most of the day and I could smell the anesthesia coming out of his lungs every time he exhaled.

When he was awake he wasn’t in much pain and was pretty quiet and subdued. Sam bled a small amount through his nose and mouth throughout the day.

He ate like like a linebacker which let me know that everything was a-okay!

February 21, 2012 One Day After Surgery2.2Keeping a stiff upper lip. The day after his surgery Sam was quiet, once again but appeared to be pain free. His upper lip was numbed pretty heavily during surgery so it didn’t move much. In fact the swelling in his entire face kept him from being too animated. No smiles today.

The steri-strip across his lip was supposed to stay in place until it fell off on its own, in about a week or so. The arm restraints (nicknamed no-no’s) were in place to ensure that Sam did not touch his face. He didn’t seem to mind them at all and would even hold his arm out straight for me to put them on.

The bleeding through his nose stopped but it left big, hard, dry, nasty clumps that almost closed off each nostril. Ummm, yuck.

Sam played and ate soft foods throughout the day, but took a longer than usual nap.

And he drooled. Sigh.

On the second day after surgery (sorry, no picture) Sam woke with half of his steri-strip hanging off. Even while wearing his no-no’s, he still managed to rub his face.

Sam’s appetite grew. He wanted to eat a bigger variety of things, but still preferred softer foods. He had more energy and wanted to jump and run. We had to keep reminding him to slow down and be careful.

Although he had more energy, he wanted to be held and carried by momma a lot more than usual. Of course I complied. Darn, I hate it when I have to love on my kids!

Sam vocalized more on day two, but still not up to his usual jabberjaw self. And yes, the drool continued.

February 23, 2012 Three Days After Surgery4.1By the third day post surgery, Sam’s appetite returned in full. He began to eat crackers and pretzels and other crunchy foods.

The numbing medication in his upper lip began to wear off and he seemed to be in a bit more pain. Despite this he had much more energy, and was laughing, smiling and vocalizing a lot. He even let me clean the clotted blood from his nostrils.

He still needed lots and lots of momma cuddles…wish he was like this all of the time!

February 24, 2012 Four Days After Surgery5.1Four days after surgery and Sam was much, much cheerier. His pain seemed to lessen and his energy level really increased.

So did the drool. We are talking buckets and buckets of drool. It was like someone turned on the drool faucet and left it running. All day. Can’t even tell you how many bibs we went through on this day and for the next several days. Holy cow. There was a lot of drool. A lot. Just saying.

February 25, 2012 Five Days After Surgery6.2By five days post surgery, I would Say that Sam was back to his old self. All of his energy returned, his appetite was awesome (taking huge bites of food despite all of the sutures in face) and much of the swelling had gone down. The final piece of steri-strip fell off (woo hoo!) and we could finally see his whole face!

He no longer needed any type of pain medication and we began living life like normal. Well, normal with no-nos. And drool. Big gushing buckets of drool.

February 26, 2012 Six Days After Surgery7.2By day six we were constantly having to tell Sam to slow down, not to jump off of furniture and be carful! That’s all we needed was for him to bust open his incision. Geesh!

  The swelling on the right side of Sam’s face (left side of picture) was all but gone, but the left side (right side of picture) was still pretty puffy. It gave the appearance that his lip was drooping on that side.

February 27, 2012 Seven Days After Surgery8.3Day seven and continuing to improve. We were amazed at how fast the healing process was, all things considered. Sam was even drooling less. By less I mean, the faucet was ratcheted back, but not off. We returned to pre surgery level drool.

February 28, 2012 Eight Days After Surgery9.1For some reason on day eight Sam got this icky scab on his lip, which made him look worse, not better. All part of the process, I suppose.

Even after eight days, he did not mind his no-nos. When one fell off, he brought it to me and held out his arm so that I could put it back on. What kid does that?

March 1, 2012 Ten After Surgery10.1Although he was a bit crabby in this picture, Sam’s face was all but healed by day ten. Amazing! We visited the surgeon who gave Sam the green light for returning to all kinds of rough and tumble boy behavior. Now we just have to massage Sam’s scar several times a day to help improve its appearance.

The surgeon even released Sam from his no-nos. At least he tried to. When the doctor took one off, Sam cried and then handed  it back to him and held out his arm for it to be put back on. What a nut!

March 2, 2012 Eleven Days After Surgery11.3Day eleven and Sam was free of the arm restraints and looking good!

March 4, 2012 Thirteen Days After Surgery12.1Day thirteen and looking even better. Still drooling at pre surgery levels, which will probably continue until after his palate is repaired. I was kinda hoping that the drool would stop once the lip had been closed but knew it was was more of a pipe dream than reality. I have accepted the drool and will dutifully continue with our drool management routine.

March 5, 2012 Fourteen Days After Surgery13.2Two full weeks after surgery and my boy is lookin’ fine!

I have said it before and I will say it again: This boy is my hero! He takes whatever life throws at him, accepts it and makes the most of it without complaining.

  • Cut open my face and sew it back up? Fine!
  • Put arm restraints on me so I can’t bend my arms? Sure, go ahead!
  • Pick gross bloody boogers out of my nose? Go for it!
  • Massage my sore and tender lip multiple times a day? No problem!

Sam really knows how to take lemons and make lemonade. He accepts the situation and finds the best way to move forward every single time an obstacle is placed in his path. All with a smile on his face and a spring in his step. I have a lot to learn about life from this little guy.

Such a blessing he is to our family!


Jenn said...

That is AMAZING!!! I love reading your blog! We have also adopted our son, and one day hope to adopt from China as well!!

Anonymous said...

You deserve the best.
You got them all. Molly & Sam.
Enjoy the new life with the "CHILDREN" now, YES, it's PLURAL!

Anonymous said...

he is such a cutie :)

Blessings, Renee