May 31st, 2010 by

Saw the Surgeon Again

I saw my surgeon again on Friday.  After reading the report from the rheum, he asked me if we wanted to set a date up for surgery.  My left wrist is the one that is bothering me the most, so we are fusing that wrist first.  Surgery is set for June 23rd.  I’ll go in at 11 am, and the surgery is scheduled for 1 pm.  They booked the OR for 2 hours, and said I should be back in recovery with Chris and Charlie by 4 pm.

Right now we are fighting for the right to breastfeed after surgery.  I know Charlie will need a bottle while I’m in the surgery, which frightens me to no end, but the doctors are telling me they don’t want me nursing for 24 hours after surgery.  That isn’t going to happen.  All the literature shows that a nursing mom can nurse as soon as she is alert.  There is no danger to baby except the possibility of passing out and smothering the child – so it should never be done without supervision.  I tried to explain this to them, but they weren’t listening and the scheduling nurse was very condescending.  I told her I’d contact my IBCLC if that would help, and she set me up with a liaison at the hospital where the surgery would be.  The hospital agreed to allow Chris and Charlie to room with me, so that was one hurdle that was cleared.  On Tuesday my IBCLC is contacting the hospital on my behalf and working it out with anesthesiologist, not only for me but to educate him for future surgeries on lactating women.  It will be quite a feat to nurse, but I will let nothing deter me. 

For the first week after the surgery I can’t move my arm at all, I can’t even bend my fingers.  It will require a lot of discipline on my part, and I think I’ll spend most of it in bed with Charlie.  For that week I’ll be in a heavy gauze wrapping, and a half cast.  After one week I’ll be put in a hard cast up to my elbow for 6 weeks, and then I will be put in a removable brace for 6 more weeks.  The fusion will be complete after 9-12 months at which point I’ll have the metal bracing removed.  A few months after my left wrist is operated on we’ll do the same to the right wrist. My IBCLC is coming out to teach me to nurse one armed, and bringing me a special pillow to assist me.  I really do love her.  She’s been there since I had Anastasia.  She was shocked when she got the message that I needed help, she knew I didn’t need latching or the normal type help.  I’m constantly keeping her on her feet!

Now that surgery is scheduled the reality of it is hitting me.  This just plain sucks.  My arm is going to look deformed and scarred up.  I will never move my wrist again.  I will have to relearn how to live and function. Three more weeks is all I have with mobility in my wrist and unscarred arms.

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One Response to “Saw the Surgeon Again”

  1. avatar David says:

    Hi there Beth, how are you feeling? I kind of know what you are going through I might be facing a fusion as well but can’t imagine dealing with pregnancy as well. My wife is pregnant now and will nurse if we can be of any help please ask. Where are you from? I hope you email me and here if you need to vent.

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