The firstborn has been through over a dozen surgeries without incident. He’s back up and running within a day of having his eyes operated on and we have a very quick followup appointment with nothing to report.
There’s always that chance of something weird happening in the days following an operation. This operation was apparently the firstborn’s time to throw a wrench into the process.
The first 48 hours after a surgery are the important hours in preventing infections. He made it through that time period just fine. Happy, enjoying the outdoors, not enthusiastic about the antibacterial goop he has to put on the eye but that happens every surgery; generally a healthy and unstoppable lad.
Monday morning he woke up crying, feverish and unsure of what hurts.
He has fevers all the time. He even had a fever with a cold one time. That doctor visit was a weird one. He’s never had one so soon after a surgery though. I kept thinking back to an episode of Scrubs where they use a green glow to show how germs spread from patient to patient. I know whatever infection he has did not come from the hospital, but I thought back to weekend. The green glow of potential germ exposure was all over the play set. The lacrosse sticks he loves to play catch with that always stay outside. The hug he gave his drool soaked brother on Sunday. The high five I gave him as we played in the sand box out back. So many sources and so little work on my part to keep him clean.
His fever was just high enough to cause alarm, but was manageable with acetaminophen. I called off work for the day (something I have not done in a very long time, another weird phone call) and he and I sat on a couch for the day watching Curious George.
Curious George was the tipping point for me. He’s been into action packed shows like Star Wars Rebels and Power Rangers of late. That he requested something so tame, it was telling that he did not feel good.
There’s a helplessness as a parent when the kid is unable to find the words for their problem. The heart feels heavy and the stress causes nothing but a sleepiness that cannot be sated. We push food and fluids on the kid, but cannot bring ourselves to consume a calorie until the problem is solved. The kid of course shows no other signs of trouble; he’s happy and active.
My wife took him to the doctor and it turned out to be a slight ear infection. A simple ear infection. Likely brought on by the outdoor play and his inherited allergies to…well, everything really. Spring sucks around this house.
There’s a follow up with his ophthalmologist this afternoon and for the first time the follow-up appointment will include the phrase, “he’s fine, but…” We’ll know more about what the weekend development means for his recovery by nightfall. He’ll likely be back on eye patches as well for a time. The kid is having a rough week.