Once upon a time, I took Declan to a specialist for some reason - his lousy lungs, maybe? - and during the initial "head-to-toe" the good doctor discovered that the boy had a hydrocele, which is basically fluid around his testicle. It's pretty common, not a big deal, and if it ever became a big deal, it could easily be repaired with a simple surgery.
Fast forward about a year and I noticed that the hydrocele seemed enormous some days. So during his 2 year check-up, I mentioned it to our regular doctor and asked her to check it out. She gave me a funny look and said a hydrocele shouldn't come and go like that, and that she suspected he had a hernia low in his groin that was causing the bulge in the testicle. She referred us to a pediatric surgeon and sent us on our way. I assumed that would be the last we heard about it for a couple of months at least, because it takes time to get in to see specialists, right? Wrong. The next day the surgeon's office called with an appointment!
So we went to the surgeon's office. A med student did the initial assessment, then left to get the doctor - when they returned to the exam room, Declan looked up at the med student with a big grin and said "You looka my junk!" (The doctors looked to me for the standard 2 year old translation, so I just pretended I didn't understand what he had said. Jeez, kid, stop embarrassing me.) The surgeon confirmed that Declan had not one, but 2 hernias in his groin. Awesome.
Surgery was scheduled for this Friday, but last week on Wednesday the office actually called and said they were moving it up by a week. Up to that point, I hadn't been nervous about the surgery at all, but I was NOT MENTALLY PREPARED for my baby boy to have surgery in 2 days!!!!
We quickly did all the pre-op stuff and made arrangements for the girls on the big day - Uncle Kenty to the rescue! The hospital is super strict about the rules around fasting - I lost count of how many hospital employees told me "clean out your carseats because if he even finds half a cheerio and eats it, we cancel his surgery." (In my head I kept thinking "uh, yeah, if he finds and eats half a cheerio, I'M JUST NOT GOING TO TELL YOU.")
We got to the hospital right on time, got all registered and settled in the waiting room, only to be told that 2 emergencies had come in and the doctor was running way behind - instead of having surgery at 1pm, he might get in at 8pm, or might get bumped all together. What is with Declan and surgeries? The day he was born we also got bumped by 2 emergencies and ended up finally having the c-section about 12 hours later than planned. So we waited. But it ended up not being too much of a wait. He was allowed to bring something from home - I packed his monkey George but he insisted on bringing his hockey stick.
All in all, he did great. He barfed a little bit after but handled the anesthetic pretty well. His recovery has been amazing, you'd never know he had surgery last week - kids are so resilient. His mobility in general has improved like crazy - he can run much better, he can jump now, he can roll over much more fluidly than before. It makes us wonder how much those hernias held him back - would he have needed all those months of physiotherapy if we'd caught those hernias earlier? Did he not walk until he was 18 months old because he was physically limited by the hernias? Has he been in pain all this time but that was just his normal?
Here are some pics of the day: