Friday, February 12, 2010


Eileen is the name of Adam's nurse today at the hospital. She was Adam's nurse for BOTH visits today. I will forever love this nurse. Adam loved her too. If not for her, our day would have been MUCH more difficult. Thank you Eileen! (Not that she'll ever read this but still.)
Adam had surgery this morning. It was a routine surgery. Finally after being scheduled three times Adam is now circumcised. Owen had been circumcised at birth, only to require a second circumcision because the doctor messed up the first one. We decided not to have Adam circumcised because of this. Then, it turns out it was medically necessary because of problems with the foreskin.
Adam and I arrived at the hospital at 7:30 AM. We met with a couple of nurses. This was the first time I realized that Adam knew where he was and was NOT happy about it. He was not compliant AT ALL when nurses tried to get his heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature. I think all this medical stuff is finally getting to him. After the two nurses left the anaesthesiologist came in to see us, asking questions and prepping us for what was about to happen. Due to Adam's allergies the doctors decided not to use a medication they normally give patients to help knock them out. It has dyes in it. Instead it was just the gas mask. The anaesthesiologist also mentioned that they would tube him, which I hadn't expected, just to make sure his airways stayed clear.
The procedure was to begin at 8:30 AM. I walked Adam to the doors of the surgical room and handed him over to another nurse. Eileen was there, but she wasn't the main nurse. At about 10 AM they brought Adam back to his room. This time Eileen was with him. She had held him when he woke up. She brought comfort when he was missing his Mommy, and LOVED him to pieces. When I was battling another nurse to have his IV taken out, she was my advocate.
Adam had nothing to eat or drink since 8 PM the night before. No formula was allowed after midnight. No water was allowed after 4:30 AM. Jason and I woke Adam up at 4:25 for one last bottle of water knowing he would wake up within the hour for his usual bottle. Of course he refused the water and also refused to go back to sleep. We took turns staying up with him until it was time to leave for the hospital.
Needless to say he was extremely hungry and thirsty when he came out of recovery. He downed 2 bottles of Elecare in 3 minutes flat. Then he fell fast asleep again in my lap. It was there I noticed that the hand without the IV in it had 4 needle pricks. It wasn't until the fifth try that they were actually able to find a vein to use for his IV. I am so grateful he was asleep when they did that. Then I noticed a little bruising on Adam's neck. It almost looked like a scratch that didn't bleed on the surface, but underneath. I asked Eileen about it. The anaesthesiologist looked at it. It was documented.
Eileen played with Adam as we walked the halls waiting for discharge. She held him while I went to get the car and gave him a kiss when we left. Our experience in the hospital was very pleasant that morning. Especially as Adam decided right after having surgery, he wanted to walk the halls. Still groggy Eileen and I each held a hand as he walked the halls and said hello to everyone. When Adam had gained more strength he decided to break free from us and run to every exit door he had seen open during the course of our stay, trying to escape. It was quite adorable.
Adam and I arrived at home about 11:30 AM. He took another bottle, ate some Trix, said hello to Owen and was ready for a nap by noon. Owen and I took a nap too. At about 3 PM Owen woke up. Adam was still asleep. This is very abnormal for him. He continued to sleep until 5 PM when I woke him up for dinner. As I woke him up I noticed his eyes were VERY puffy and swelled up along with his lips. Honestly his whole face looked quite odd, but I just attributed it to the fact that he just woke up.
Adam ate four helpings at dinner and covered himself in goulash. At about 5:30 Jason took off his shirt and pants to put in the wash. That's when we saw everything. There were welts all over Adam's stomach, chest, and back. The outline of the stickers that were used to monitor his heart rate during the surgery were bright red. Adam had broken out in HIVES!
Immediately I told Jason to get the Benadryl. His face still swollen I realized it was all allergic reactions. Time to call the doctor, but which one? His surgeon? His urologist? His pediatrician? I decided to call our pediatrician's office. Thank goodness I was able to speak directly with him.
Stating that we had already given Adam Benadryl, I asked if there as anything else we could do. He explained that would be fine unless his symptoms got to a certain point and then he would need to be taken to the ER, (He had only been told Adam was having an allergic reaction.). I asked him what point that would be. He asked for me to describe his symptoms. Immediately he said to take him in.
I called our neighbors to take Owen. Thankfully they were home and were most gracious to watch him. Jason came with me, which was heavenly. I had already spent 4 hours in the hospital with Adam today alone and 15 hours last month in the ER alone with Baby O. Going it alone was not going to be cool in the least bit. It was a good thing he came too because it took both of us to manage Adam while waiting for the doctor. Adam was NOT pleased to be back at the hospital, in a hospital gown, and stuck in a little room.
By the time we reached the hospital the swelling in Adam's face had gone down thanks to the Benadryl. The welts had also diminished a little bit. We were seen by a nurse immediately and then taken straight to a room. Another nurse came in to take vitals, which Adam didn't like very much at all. It was then that I realized somehow the Vaseline and antibiotics I needed for Adam at every diaper change didn't make it into the bag. I asked the nurse if I could have some Vaseline. His response, "We don't carry that down here." WHAT? I told Jason I was going to the nurse's station to ask someone else. After all I knew most of the nurses from when Baby O was in the ER last month. That was when I saw her. It was Eileen.
She was on duty in the ER tonight. Eileen was a little shocked to see me. I explained what happened and she immediately wanted to see Adam. He was actually pretty excited to see her, as excited as he could be to see anyone. She looked at his face, swollen, red, and blotchy. She looked at his chest, stomach, and back noticing the welts and redness. To her it was all quite unbelievable. She KNEW he hadn't looked like that when he left the hospital this morning. Immediately she gave us Vaseline for Adam. We were wondering if we could give Adam a bottle, since it was that time. She went and asked the head nurse and then checked to see how long the wait for the doctor was. Eileen checked in almost every 5 minutes before the doctor came. To know she had been with us this morning and now again tonight brought SO much comfort to me. Comfort that I wasn't going crazy. Comfort that someone else had witnessed everything that had gone on through the course of the day. Comfort in knowing Adam would receive the best care because someone cared.
The doctor came in and asked for a medical background on Adam. I'm learning I need to keep a list of all the medical procedures and dates they were done with me at all times, along with a list of the foods Adam's not allergic to. It's easier to recite those. He looked at Jason and I in disbelief. Then he examined Adam. As he looked at Adam's chest, stomach, and back, he was shocked. He had never seen such a reaction from stickers before. Openly he admitted he wasn't sure what to do. Steroids were an option, the only option, but he wasn't ready to give them. He complimented us as parents, amazed that Adam looks so great despite such a messed up immune system. We made the right decision by giving him Benadryl. Things could have gotten much worse very quickly. The doctor wanted to discuss the case with Adam's pediatrician before deciding on a course of action.
He returned shortly. It was decided that it was for sure the stickers causing the reaction. But, to determine what's in the stickers that specifically caused the reaction... We have to call the manufacturer. The doctor explained that most reactions of this magnitude are caused by ingestion of the substance, not the touch. To react so drastically to the touch means the allergy is very severe. After talking to the pediatrician it was decided that steroid treatment would be held off. They're so hesitant about treating Adam's reactions with steroids. If he blisters or his reaction does not improve or gets worse in the next 24 hours we are to return to the ER. We're all hoping it doesn't. For now he is being treated with very strong cortisone ointment and a high dose of Benadryl every 4-6 hours.
The doctor wished us good luck, complimented us again, and then shook his head in disbelief at Adam's reaction. Eileen returned to the room shortly after. She asked about everything. When we mentioned needing to know the exact equipment used on Adam and the manufacturer she promptly went and retrieved everything, including the package with bar code etc... I honestly don't know what we would have done without Eileen there tonight. She said her goodbyes to us and to Adam who smiled at her.
After only 3 hours we returned home, relieved, exhausted, and a little shaken. What will cause Adam to have an allergic reaction next? His food allergies are bad, but we've never had to take him to the ER over them before. Tonight we've gained more experience, a little more paranoia, and also confidence in ourselves as parents. We did do the right thing in the very beginning when things really mattered. That made all the difference.
This definitely wasn't a fun situation, but it could have been much worse! Honestly a nurse named Eileen made all the difference.


  1. What kind of problems were there that led to the circumcision?

    Were you retracting and cleaning under the foreskin?

  2. The foreskin would not retract at all, therefore it could not be cleaned. There was only the tiniest opening at the top.

  3. Oh my word!! I'm glad everything is ok (as ok as it can be). Continue to take confidence in yourself. You'll always be guided to know how to help your children!

  4. At birth, the foreskin is normally attached or fused to the glans (like the fingernail to the finger), and slowly
    separates as part of normal development until the child reaches puberty. The fact that a baby's foreskin won't retract
    is completely normal and healthy. As long as your baby can urinate, the foreskin is not too tight and is perfectly

    Found on