Friday, March 20, 2009

Anatomical Abnormality

K paced the floor like a cat.

The nurse had called to say that the surgery was finished and that the doctor would be out soon to talk to us, but thirty minutes had passed and we hadn't heard another word.

K stopped in front of me, visibly irritated.

"I don't think it's right that these doctors give parents their child's surgical results right here in the waiting room in front of all these people," he said.
I looked around.
"I think they only deliver good news out here. If there's bad news to be heard they take the family members to a consultation room."
Just then our doctor entered the waiting room and approached us.

He scanned the room.
"This is too public," he said, "follow me."
I thought K might pass out on his way to the family consultation room.

I looked over my shoulder at him and his eyes bugged out at me in this crazy, urgent way that said,

"THIS IS WHERE THEY TELL US HE DIED ON THE OPERATING TABLE!!"
I resolved not to look over my shoulder at him anymore and simply followed the doctor where he led us.

"First of all," he said, "everything is fine."
[Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you...]

"But..."
[BUT??!!]

"But he has an anatomical abnormality called a dehiscent jugular bulb."
[Por favor, speak-a di Engliss to me Il Doctorio!]

The surgeon explained that on the right side of his body, The Mayor's jugular vein travels through his ear on its way to his brain.

Apparently, fewer than 1% of the population have this variance in their anatomy.

The doctor told us that The Mayor would be admitted to the hospital and monitored overnight, even though this was originally supposed to be outpatient surgery, to make sure the jugular vein didn't bleed as a result of the surgery.

[Bleeding jugular = big, fat, freakin' emergency.]
"I tell ya," the surgeon said, "seeing that jugular vein took a year off my life!"
[Dear Mr. Doctor Man - While I appreciate your commitment to transparancy and the sharing of your feelings, I SO DID NOT NEED TO KNOW YOU GOT SCARED SH*TLESS DURING MY SON'S SURGERY! ]

He reassured us that the odd placement of The Mayor's jugular vein wouldn't pose any difficulties for The Mayor in life, for example, it won't limit his participation in sports or other activities.

It will make any further ear surgery that might be needed extremely complicated.
"If I never see your son's jugular vein again it will be too soon!" his Doctor exclaimed.
[You and me both, Mr. Doctor Man.]

Despite the alarming presence of the jugular, the tympanoplasty and mastoidectomy were successful and the doctor believes The Mayor will recover well.

K stayed at the hospital with him for the night and I am home with The Rooster.

As scary as it was, the weight of far greater tragedies surround you at a children's hospital and ground you in the truth of your own good fortune.

The Mayor will heal.

38 comments:

Karen said...

Wow! My ex-mother-in-law found out through an annual physical exam years ago that her heart was on the opposite side of her body than most people's is. So, she wasn't actually heartless, it's just that her heart was in the wrong place, I guess.

I'm glad for you that M's juglar vein was seen by the doctor before something happened.

Hope he is feeling better soon.

Moxie said...

Wow! What unexpected news. But thank goodness all else is well.

Joie said...

Reading your post had my heart pumping faster than usual so I can only imagine what those moments were like for you and K.

HOWEVER, having had my little boy in the hospital before for a week and then various other small surgeries, what you said in the end about being surrounded by the weight of far greater tragedies is true.

Patience said...

Holy Schmoly! We knew The Mayor was really special, but didn't know he was jugular special!

Prefers Her Fantasy Life said...

I'm glad to hear he came through it OK.

And damn that doctor. Let's hope he was up on his CPR 'cause someday someone will have a heart attack with the "this is too public" comment.

The Sour Kraut said...

I'm so glad to hear he's okay.

Yeah, doctors don't realize how we hang on every single word they say and that our minds can think a thousand thoughts in a second.

Mama Goose said...

Holy Cats! That post took a year off my life. So glad to hear the procedure went well...

WILLIAM said...

I am glad everything went well.

3carnations said...

Oh my gosh! I'm so glad he's okay.

And yeah, the doctor didn't need to tell you that what he saw scared him. He needed to show you confidence: "When I saw that, my vast medical knowledge assured me this would be fine..."

John Ross said...

YIKES! Very glad to hear Mayor is ok. So, how many gray hairs did THAT event incite? I swear, Kids are why I'm about 75% bald now ;-)
Couldn't possibly be hereditary.

verification word: painnu(pronounced Pain-U)

Mary G said...

Good Grief! I bet your hair was standing on end.
I hope the Rooster had a good night and is ready to dance today. Or at least soon.

Karly said...

Oh my gosh! Scaring a doctor is never a good thing!

MetroDad said...

Glad to hear that the Mayor is ok. Can't imagine how scary that ordeal must have been for you guys.

Natalie said...

Yowza! That sounds like something they'd find during a Grey's Anatomy surgery! (so what if I still watch it?) Yeah, the doc might want to keep his feelings to himself the next time he finds an "anatomical abnormality". He was probably still pumped up with andrenaline when he said that and is kicking himself in the butt for reacting that way now. I'm glad everything went well.

Mrs. Chicken said...

Holy CRAP. Your heart must have been ready to implode. So glad that The Mayor is OK -- and amazed that even now you keep your funny intact. I need to take a cue from you, my friend, and keep things in perspective.

oxoxo

Fran Loosen said...

Oh yes, the ways we don't want our children to be special...

Ok, the doc saying the "year off my life" part...I would have punched him or said "gee, glad you had your coffee this morning, aren't you!" Sigh.

Hugs to you. And IceCream for the Mayor.

JoeinVegas said...

Glad he is OK, and hope he is hearing well.

Jessica said...

Thank you for updating. Get well soon, Mayor!

Barbara said...

In the waiting room, couldn't he have said "Everything went fine, but I'd like to speak with you in private a minute." Rather than to scare the beejezus out of you. I'm glad to hear he's doing well.

Merrily Down the Stream said...

Oh lawdy - me thinks I may have spit up in my mouth in the middle of that conversation. So glad the little man will be A-Okay! Give him kisses for me.

Avitable said...

Glad to hear that he'll be fine.

Amy @ Milk Breath and Margaritas said...

I have never heard of such a thing! I'm so glad he's going to be fine.

I quite agree with you about being fine with not knowing that the surgeon crapped his pants during your kids operation. (O M G)

Janet said...

Note to dr.: work on post-op news delivey methods.

I'm glad all went well. Speedy healing.

BOSSY said...

Lord lord lord lord lord lord. Phew.

flutter said...

Holy CRAP! Oh man, jess. i am thinking of you and yours. Love you

Life in Eden said...

Wow! I'm impressed with your ability to write such a clever rendition after that news! Glad things went well and the Major is on the mend. Hoping for no more surgery.

Heather, Queen of Shake Shake said...

Oh My Gack!

So glad everything turned out ok.

the new girl said...

I don't know why but right now, I feel like WEEPING.

Perhaps, it's the pregnancy hormones. I'm glad that everything is all right.

Twisted Cinderella said...

Wow, it is never good to hear that your doctor was scared sh*tless!

On the upside, I am glad The Mayor is doing well.

Stephanie said...

Oh, my gosh!! This story scared ME Sh*tless. I am so glad The Mayor will be okay... which means you, K and The Rooster will be okay.

Amanda said...

My comment could be five four letter profanities followed by the invoking of a certain name beginning with J and ending with hrist.

Instead I'll just wish swift healing.

Little Nut Tree Blog said...

Je-ay-sus....

Well done Doctor and well done Mayor.... phew x

Jenn said...

"The Mayor will heal".

Amen.

Ruth Dynamite said...

I can only imagine how terrifying this was. So glad he's OK.

Kyla said...

Glad it went well and he is recovering. Here's hoping for no more ear surgery!

Miss Ash said...

Whoa! Eek!

Well,
Hooray for Mayor's quick recovery. Much love to you and your family!

Mel said...

Ooof.

(((You guys)))

MicheleH said...

J-

My offer for movies and Rooster-care still stands! Sounds scary, this and previous post made me a bit teary. Sweet Mayor. I'm glad he's back to school and getting into the swing of healing.