Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. This post and all my blog posts are my experiences and opinions only.
This is Part 2 – The Surgery in my series about my son’s Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) Surgery. If you haven’t read the first part of my SDR posts, Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) Surgery – Part 1, I’d suggest reading it first HERE.
The Week Before
You will receive a call from the hospital to confirm your upcoming appointment for Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy Surgery. During the call, they will inform you about an app that you can download to access relevant information ahead of time. I found the app to be incredibly helpful as it provided detailed instructions for each day leading up to the surgery. It was reassuring to have all the necessary information easily accessible. I highly recommend downloading the app to make the preparation process smoother.
2 Days Before Surgery
Two days before my son’s Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy Surgery, my mother, son, and I left for St. Louis. We did this to allow ourselves plenty of time to drive there. The journey from our home takes about nine hours, and with a toddler, we wanted to be able to drive at our own pace. The drive itself went smoothly overall.
1 Day Before Surgery
The day before the Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) Surgery, you have an appointment with Dr. Park and Physical Therapy on the 4th floor of the hospital. The appointment with Dr. Park lasts for about 30 minutes, during which he discusses your son’s condition, prognosis and surgery details. Dr. Park is very direct, thorough, and descriptive, which helped in setting our expectations. We were able to call my husband during the appointment so he could also hear the conversation. The PT appointment lasted for about an hour. They took measurements, observed our son, and asked questions about his mobility to establish a good baseline before the surgery.
The night before the surgery, we gave our son a bath, washed his hair, and changed his sheets to avoid infection. The instructions were straightforward. We found a helpful video with a lot of information about the entire process of the surgery and hospital stay.
Day of Surgery (Day 0)
Our son’s Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) Surgery was scheduled for 7:30 AM, and we had to be at the hospital by 5:45 AM. This wasn’t surprising, as most hospitals schedule younger children for surgeries first. Seth couldn’t eat or drink anything after midnight, which made him pretty cranky in the morning. We arrived at the hospital and reported to the 6th floor, bringing minimal items with us, including my son’s comfort item, a tablet, and insurance information.
In the pre-surgery room, we saw many doctors and nurses who explained everything to us and answered any questions we had. They changed Seth into a gown, took his vitals, and gave him a liquid medicine to calm him down, which is common for young children. After a tearful goodbye, they carried him away at exactly 7:30 AM. They did allow him to take his golf club with him, which was sweet.
During the surgery, someone called me every 1-1.5 hours to give me an update, which was reassuring. My mom and I ate and then waited in the family room on the 3rd floor of the hospital. The family room was nice, and there was even a dog there that lifted our spirits.
After about 4 hours, we got the call to meet Dr. Park in his waiting room on the 6th floor. He informed us that the surgery went well and that he would see us later. We waited in that room until a nurse came to get us and brought us into the recovery area to see Seth.
Thankfully, Seth came out of anesthesia well and didn’t have to go to the PICU. However, we were informed that there was always a chance that he might have to go there, depending on how he woke up from the anesthesia. Once he woke up and the recovery nurse was happy with his stats, he was moved to the 12th floor for the rest of his stay.
The 12th Floor
Seth’s Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy Surgery was complete! The scariest part was over. This gets us up to the 12th floor and Seth’s 5 Day hospital stay. I hope the posts have been informative so far!
For Part 3 in this Series, please click HERE.
All kids need is a little help, a little hope and somebody who believes in them.Magic Johnson