Monday, April 11, 2011

15 minutes, 5 years & 5K - - 15 Minutes, Dr. Shell

This past week was eventful.  I am going to divide it into a couple of posts.

It usually takes us about 2 1/2 hours to get to Hill's plastic surgeon, only to see Dr. Shell for about 15 minutes.  Hill had his follow up appointment on Thursday afternoon, which was very productive.  It's always good to see those sweet ladies that work up there and of course I still want to keep Dr. Shell in my pocket 24-7.  I love him.  Anyway, they have all loved watching Hill grow up as much as we have.  Dr. Shell's nurse has a baby boy about 3 months older than Hill so we always have lots to chat about.  We love Dr. Shell, he makes my heart feel warm and fuzzy because he truly cares about Hill and his well being.  He knows his stuff and takes time to answer my 4 million questions - I keep notes on my phone throughout the week before our visit and he appreciates my being an  OCD parent. 

He said he'd like to go ahead and touch up Hill's lip where the pink part comes to an upward point.  He was pleased with the healing and said that if he could level out the pink part of the lip he feels that the rest, like the crease and droopy underneath part will fall into place.  He said his nose has healed perfectly and things look good.  He said what he would be doing is a "scar revision" so in my language, not technically speaking, it's not a cleft repair anymore, but just fixing up his scar from his cleft repair.  That is positive feedback.  I love how Dr. Shell is not arrogant and can admit, for lack of better words, that his work needed a touch up.  Not by any means did he do a bad job, but I think it takes a confident surgeon to want to go back in and perfect it.

The process is to go in through his current scar and just smooth things out.  It's an out-patient procedure and we have scheduled it for Friday, May 20th at LeBonheur East.  He doesn't even have to go to the big hospital.  Teresa, Dr. Shell's scheduling person, is so great and booked the hospital and got everything set up while we sat there.  We asked if we could have the same anesthesiologist, we loved Dr. Poorna, and the recovery nurse spoke her praises the whole time.  We noticed she was the only doctor in the recovery room checking on her patients progress and was very thorough with us during the pre-op. Dr. Shell said he felt as though since we requested her this next go round he could get her to be there again. 

Dr. Shell said he doesn't plan for Hill to have to wear the arm braces again.  That's a bonus.  He said that at Hill's age he understands the concept of - if you touch it - it hurts, so don't touch it.  Should Hill resist then we would have the arm braces, but Dr. Shell hates the thought of the braces as much as we do.  Ok, now the moment of truth.  I am a bad mama and have allowed Hill to still take a milk bottle in the morning and at night.  The bottle is comforting to  him and it still makes me feel like he's a baby.  It's awful, I know.  I should be beaten with a switch. Dr.  Shell said, no more.  He can't have it after his surgery...anything to suck on.  So, I guess it's a plus that 4-5 months ago we dropped the paci cold turkey to prep for this surgery.  I guess I just didn't think about the bottle.  *Sigh*  So, Hill has to stop hittin' the bottle.  (it's been a hard few mornings/nights going through ba-ba detox.) 

Hill's recovery time is 2 weeks.  He cannot go to daycare for those two weeks just as a precaution to potentially hurting his lip.  After the two weeks he can go back to normal activities which include swimming lessons and Country Clubbing and all the fun things little boys do in the summer time.
So, what's the plan?  We will arrive that Friday, May 20th at 6:15 am and surgery will begin at 7:15 and we'd be on our way home before lunch.  Amazing.  Absolutely amazing to me.  So as soon as we got in the car we booked our hotel and are ready to go. 

I'm ready...I'm prepared and I know that Chip and I have made the right decision.  We were given the option to do the surgery whenever and we decided sooner rather than later.  Dr. Shell was supportive and all is well with the world.

Continue to keep us in your prayers.  Hopefully we are on the last leg of our cleft repair.  This is quite possibly it.  The scar should be minimal as he grows, he will be able to pucker up and give smacking kisses, which he can't do right now.  That big ol smile from a year ago is still vivid in my memory, I hope it always will be...but I look forward to a big ol smack a roo from my little man in the very near future.  That makes my heart happy.

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