It was about an hour or so later that I received a call from a nurse in the recovery room asking my daughter and I to come in as my son was beginning to wake from the anaesthetic.
As we entered the room, he was momentarily opening his eyes then would zone out again. We waited about another hour before he woke up completely only to have him vomit as a result of the anaesthetic. This went on for quite a while (about 2 hours) as the nursing staff administered anti nausea medication.
He was quite delirious and hallucinating at times whilst my daughter and I stood beside the bed ready to comfort him.
A couple of times, he tried to get up out of the bed only to have us reassure him that he was ok and to stay in bed (while the anaesthetic wore off).
Once he had stopped vomiting, we offered him a drink and he was able keep that down without feeling sick. It was about this time that he asked for his ipad to play on and very quickly began to return to his usual self and had colour back in his face.
We then offered him some sandwiches and another drink and was able to hold them down as well!
We then got the all clear to take him home (about 7.30pm that night). The nurse on duty gave me a run down of the coming week beginning with trying to keep his leg rested for the next couple of days (to which I giggled at inside knowing that he doesn’t stay still ever!), the wounds needing to be redressed on the following Monday and a visit to the doctor on the Friday (a week after surgery).
She organised the community nurses to visit us at home on the Monday – when they arrived I did say to them both that they may have some difficulty taking his dressing off due to his anxiety and knowing that he could hurt. With my help, we attempted a few times to take the dressing off but to no avail. I asked them if they could leave all of the equipment and bandages needed to redress his wounds suggesting that I could try to do it myself when there was no-one else around (or people he didn’t know). They were happy to do that so I collected some things from them as they instructed me on what to do.
Later that night I tried to take his bandage off but he wasn’t at all happy for me to touch it. So at that point I decided to wait until he was asleep at least an hour before I would attempt it again…
He had his usual night time medication, panadol (for pain relief) and anti-biotic to combat any infection that may eventuate. He was in bed at his usual time and I waited about an hour or so.
I prepared the saline solution and bandages and sat them on the floor beside his bed. I began to lift the sticky tape off his bandage without a flinch from him so I continued. I managed to get the entire bandage off his leg and had a quick look at the wound. I doused it in solution and began to redress and wrap the new bandage around his leg. I had nearly finished wrapping when he moved and woke surprised to see me there. He immediately pulled his leg away but I reassured him that it was ok and that I had nearly finished. I managed to tape the bandage on and signed to him that I was finished. He was happy with that and he went back to sleep! Phew!! I did it!!
The next hurdle that we had was to keep him away from water for the rest of the week – so each day he had a sponge bath and on really hot days, two sponge baths!
Friday had arrived and my daughter and I were quite anxious about taking my son to the doctors to have them check his wound knowing that he wouldn’t be keen for anyone to touch the bandage. We arrived at the surgery and went straight into the doctor’s room. She proceeded to tell my son that she needed to look at his leg and leaned over to take his bandage off – he flinched and pushed her hand away! I then said to him ‘can mum help you?’ He indicated that I could and he let me take the bandage off. The doctor checked the wound and was very happy with how it was healing. She also said that it would be fine know to leave the bandages off! He was happy!
His leg healed very quickly and he is doing well now!
I wanted to share this story to highlight the importance of knowing what’s needed to make the experience as comfortable as possible and that when other people have an understanding of Autism and what to expect, then things progress a little more smoothly!
Sherri 🙂 x