On Friday, June 19, our little boy got cochlear implants. Leading up to surgery, I felt I had a pretty good idea of what to expect.
Still, nothing can really prepare you for your child’s cochlear implant surgery, which includes sending your child off with utter trust in their team, especially during a pandemic. Our experience was probably a little different for that reason, but I feel it’s important to share so that other parents can prepare accordingly for their child’s cochlear implant surgery.
The morning of June 19, we had to be at the hospital and checked in by 6 a.m. And when I say we, I mean just me and Coop. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, only one parent was allowed to be at surgery. We got a hotel nearby and my husband stayed there so that he was close if need be.
Upon getting to the pediatric surgery floor, we checked in and went over all our insurance information. We were taken back to the pre-op area fairly quickly. At this point, Coop was beginning to get agitated due to not being able to eat when he woke up, as well as being woken up earlier than normal.
A few different nurses and the anesthesiologist stopped in to chat with me about what to expect that morning. The biggest challenge was just to keep Cooper content until they could take him to the OR at 7:30. The hospital staff was great about bringing us toys and bubbles, which distracted him for the most part.
Around 7 a.m., a nurse gave Coop some medication to basically relax him before they took him back. This made him fairly zoned out, which was unsettling to see. At this point, my nerves hit and I began crying into him as he laid in the bed, unaware of what was going on.
After the medication had settled in, it was time for him to be taken back. I was able to walk down the hall with him, then handed him off to a nurse to carry him the rest of the way. Then, in the spirit of transparency, I wheeled my stroller into the bathroom and had a good sob session. I know it would have been easier had my husband been there, but there was something about being all alone that just got to me.