In 2008 we experienced pediatric dentistry procedures. Sara Ellen was sedated on two occasions to have cavities filled so her baby teeth would be healthy until they fell out, which has now happened. Last month we experienced pediatric opthamology procedures.
Most newborns have closed tear ducts and they generally open up within a few months. Eliza’s left eye continued to drain out and often get stuck. Her first pediatrician treated her for pink eye, without testing. It didn’t clear up and she eventually took cultures. There was no unusual bacteria. We switched pediatricians. Dr. Shen took more cultures and said we’d wait until twelve months to see if it would open and clear on its own. When it wasn’t he referred us to Anne Ziffer, a pediatric opthamologist. She actually said the ducts could open on their own by eighteen months. So we kept waiting.
Eliza’s eye continued to drip, most thinking she was sad. And less frequently would drain green junk that would stick her lashes together. It wasn’t painful but it would irritate her at times and cause her to rub. We finally scheduled the procedure which would stick a tiny probe down the duct, push out the obstruction, and hopefully allow it to drain properly after healing. The procedure was rescheduled three times,and was finally performed a few days after she became nineteen months. The first time we cancelled was because she had a cold and the medical center person I spoke to said it couldn’t be done if her nasal passages were blocked. The second cancellation was on the doctors end. There was a chance the third one would be cancelled because she had yet another cold but a different medical center person said it could be done as long as her lungs were clear which they would test before the procedure.
In general, for anyone having anesthesia, doctors say not to eat or drink after midnight before the procedure. Anyone who nurses their babe overnight knows how trying this would be. I looked it up on kellymom and found several links saying human milk and water is safe up to two hours beforehand because it is so quickly and easily absorbed. Doctors won’t tell you this. You have to check it out and then confirm it. I asked and when they checked the papers, there it was. Our procedure was scheduled for 8:30AM. We woke at 6:30, I nursed her and we left for our 7:30AM check in.
Despite her cold, Eliza was well enough to proceed according to her heart rate, temperature, and lung sound. We spoke to several different nurses, all confirming her birthdate and purpose for being there. The anesthesiologist assumed I meant 6:30PM but the next technician was fairly shocked and went to confirm a morning drink was safe. Eliza was given a sedative to make her a little drowsy. It made her accept the doctor examining her and even rubbing her neck. When a nurse picked her up (in her Looney Tunes gown), she didn’t fuss at all. It was pretty amusing to watch her eyes and posture change. Tim and Dr. Ziffer marked her eye so everyone in the OR would know which eye was being done.
The procedure went quickly and successfully. A nurse let us know that we would be brought back when she started waking. She wasn’t the happiest but she quickly accepted the breast which they agreed was the best way to wake up (way to go health care pro’s). We were given drops to put in our struggling baby’s eye four times a day. Thankfully it was only two weeks, not all six weeks until the post-op. She is still acting herself, and her eye still drains out rather than down. Dr. Ziffer discovered during surgery that Eliza has smaller than average tear ducts which causes poorer draining.
We saw Dr. Shen today because Eliza has been experiencing a hacking cough for a week that wakes her at night. He diagnosed a sinus infection and believes that because of her sinus plumbing, it’s likely to continue. Naturally we can’t know how long it will persist. But it could continue to complicate the common cold. Last year it was bronciolitis which affects the very smallest branches in the lungs and maked it hard to breath when she was upset or coughing. When she gets sick we will be using saline nasal drops to help clear her up. Right now we are treating with Nasonex as well as amoxicillin for the infection.
So we have now experienced sedation for both our girls, right around the same age. It can cause a little anxiety but having pediatric doctors, and personal experience with anesthesiologists, makes a big difference.