Monday, October 04, 2010

Laser Treatment #9

Wow. #9. It’s hard to believe we’ve been to Children’s to see Laser Beam Doc 10 times now (once for the initial consult, 9 times for surgery). It’s been a regular part of our life since Caedmon was 8 months old. And now that we only have to go every 6 months, it is weird. But in a good way.

(A side story: This was the first time we’ve waited 6 months between treatments. Our normally scheduled time to have gone would’ve been at the end of June. Mid-June, Caedmon started asking me if it was time to go to “his hospital.” Normally it would’ve been. I am astonished at how he knew.)

Friday, our day started insanely early. After the day I had on Thursday, I was hoping for some solid sleep. It was not to be. I went to bed Thursday night at 10:30 and slept like poop until the alarm went off at 2:30 Friday morning. It’s like my brain wouldn’t shut off and let me sleep. We plopped into the Silver Sled and left the house at 3am. I would say “bright and early” except that it was very dark and not even the guys who were overly excited about the first day of deer season were up yet.

Even crazy people are more sane than us sometimes.

Caedmon rode quietly in the back seat after he got over the initial, “Look, Momma! The moon!” and “Look, Momma, the tunnel!” I tried to sleep, to no avail. About half way, Husband got tired and we switched out so I could drive the rest of the way. But first I had to pee. Of course. And so did Caedmon. Of course.

Taking a 3 year-old into a gas station to pee at 4:30 in the morning is a new experience for me. It seems that the fluorescent lights are brighter and things are a bit more creepy when there’s a single, solitary guy working behind the counter. I mean, who works at a gas station in in a small town at 4:30am? I’m glad he was there, though. Because I really had to go.

We arrived at Children’s about 6:15am, and it was still dark outside. Caedmon suddenly became Daddy-clingy as we went in.


In regular form, we were through the paperwork and back to our pre-op room in no time. Husband rocked with Caedmon for a while. Then Caedmon and I hung out and watched cartoons while Husband gassed the car and took a little nap. Everyone was sweet and loved on Caedmon, which made it easier for him. He’s old enough to be aware of what’s going on now and got a little teary-eyed a few times when he thought it was time for him to go. He was so tired. We all were.


During the regular progression of things, LBD’s resident came in to see Caedmon and have me sign the consent form. We have been marking Caedmon’s birthmark prior to going back to the OR the last several times. When I asked him about it, he assured me they would mark it after he fell asleep. I told him I really thought they were supposed to go ahead and do it here, but he didn’t want to and didn’t seem to care for me pushing the issue. He also completely ignored Caedmon as he tried to show the doc his (approximately) 73 stickers he’d racked up from the nurses who’d been in to see him. I was thinking two things: 1) he must be new on this rotation; and 2) he’s going to have to learn to talk to kids if he’s going to work at Children’s.

Finally, when Nurse J came to get Caedmon to take him to the OR, she noticed his face wasn’t marked. “Has the Resident not been in yet?” she asked. I told her he’d been in, but wanted to mark his face in the OR. Nurse J said that would not work and she would call him to come mark it. I felt better about life at that point, to be honest. He hadn’t been ugly or anything, but I felt like I’d done this more times than he had.

Apparently, the resident didn’t show up as quickly as Nurse J wanted, so she called LBD’s Specialty Nurse, Ms. D. We love Ms. D. She’s always been wonderful to us and takes great care of us. She immediately began fussing over Caedmon, telling him how much he was growing and what a handsome boy he was. Though Caedmon was a bit loopy from his “goofy juice”, he was pleased to see Ms. D and be loved on.

When Nurse J told her what was going on and that Caedmon’s face hadn’t been marked, Ms. D said, “Oh, that will never do. I’ll be right back.” She came back in just a minute with one of those special green markers and our consent paperwork. As she started looking over the paperwork, Ms. D shook her head. Apparently the resident didn’t do what he was supposed to do…at all. I said, “You’re still training him, aren’t you?” She smiled and said he was in trouble and it wasn’t even 9am yet.

So Ms. D marked Caedmon’s face, then went back over the paperwork with me. Apparently LBD wanted permission to use her new laser, the Alexandrite Laser, on Caedmon’s birthmark if she felt it was appropriate. And Mr. New Resident had neglected to get that consent. Ms. D saying he was in trouble was probably an understatement.

By this time, a second surgical nurse had come in (probably because we were taking so long), so there were three adoring ladies to take Caedmon to surgery. He rode on his bed and we walked beside him. He teared up a bit when we left him at the OR doors, but later Ms. D told me he never cried. He also told me later that he had a good time with the nurses.

LBD did use her new Alexandrite Laser on part of Caedmon’s birthmark. Apparently they’ve found that it’s more effective on the darker places, while the pulse-dye laser is more effective on the lighter spots. Also, the Alexandrite Laser doesn’t leave purple marks like the pulse-dye laser does.

The area on the top is where she used the Alexandrite. He didn’t even have any swelling, which we were expecting. The bottom part is where LBD used the pulse-dye laser we’re accustomed to.


We were leaving for home by 10am and made it home around 1pm. Caedmon played like a wild man and I put him down for a nap around 2pm. I. was. exhausted. Caedmon, however, played in his bed for a half hour before he finally went to sleep. We both got a three-hour nap. It was wonderful, although I could’ve stayed in bed the remainder of the day.

The rest of the weekend was filled with laziness and birthday parties and catching up on the DVR. It took all weekend to catch up on my rest. Hopefully this week will be nice and low-key.

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