SJ just made it through her 2nd Cochlear Implant surgery. The Doctors said it couldn’t have gone any better and all is well. I am actually at the hospital right now and since I am just waiting for them to finish up, I thought this would be a good time to share my CI surgery tips. I have always wanted to share these suggestions on the blog in hopes that it could be helpful insight for parents of children undergoing the CI surgery or a similar procedure.
1. Preregister for the surgery ahead of time
2. Make sure your child is bathed in preparation for surgery. It will be at least 48 before they can bathe again and even longer for washing hair.
3. Allow your child to stay up late and eat late since they will not be able to eat the next day and will be sleeping most of the day as well. Try high protein, high fiber foods to help them feel full longer. Make sure all food is hidden and definitely out of reach in the morning so there aren’t any sneaky snack mishaps. You may also want to eat before your child wakes up so that you are energized without having to eat in front of them.
4. Arrange someone to help out with siblings so that they do not get too bored or interrupt during critical moments at the hospital.
5. Have directions and itinerary for anyone you plan on coming to the hospital.
6. Bring snacks and reading material to have with you while waiting. You may know ahead of time that you are staying overnight, but even if you are told it’s outpatient that could change, so plan accordingly.
7. Dress your child comfortably and bring a couple changes of clothes. Choose shirts or pajamas that button up so that you don’t have to pull anything on over the”turban” and sensitive incision area.
8. Bring small books or toys for child to have during waiting time which could end up being a while. They can also make great distractions while they check blood pressure, heat rate etc.
(The doll was for her, the snack was for me)
9. After surgery have the nurses bandage up a doll or stuffed animal. You might also want to bring a familiar blanket or pillow case and a small photo album of loved ones to help comfort your little one.
10. During the time that the bandage stays on have plenty of hands on activities to change up frequently to keep your child from trying to pick at the headdress.
I have heard this referred to as a “sunshine basket” which might include stickers, puzzles, bubbles, you name it. They can be inexpensive and simple. The trick is to spread it out a little at a time. For example don’t give them a box of fun things, just give them one glow stick. Instead of a giant coloring book just give them one page to color, or cut out a couple stickers to peel off instead of the whole sheet. Otherwise it will all become boring and ineffective far too soon.
Obviously you know your child as an individual and your Doctor and surgical facility will be the best resource for how to prepare. These are just a few of things that helped me and SJ through both surgeries and I wanted to get it all documented while it is fresh on my mind.
On another note SJ should be coming out of the operating room any minute now and we’ll be staying at the hospital over night. I will be sure to update everyone on her progress, but so far everything is great. Thank you for your prayers and support!