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Surgery for three year old Lock Rss

My three year old son is scheduled to have major cranial surgery in a few weeks time at Sydney Children's Hospital. Does anyone have any tips for preparing him for the trip, stay in hospital, recovery etc - any children's books that might be good to read to him about going to hospital? Also, I'm five months pregnant so any tips on helping my husband and I get throught it would be good too.

Bron, Mum to Lachie

When my son was 1 he had cranio-facial surgery done at the Royal Childresn hospital. So i am not much help when it comes to advice on preparing him for the trip, hospital stay etc. as he was too young to understand. Finding some books sounds like a good idea to get him prepared. So i am sorry i am not much help but i really just wanted to wish you all the best for your sons operation and i hope that everything goes well and he has a smooth, quick recovery. All the best.

[Edited on 19/04/2007]

2 yrs

Hi Bronwyn,

First of all, good luck for the surgery as I am sure it is and will be a stressful time for all of you, especially being pregnant too. My "tips" for your are the following:

Call the hospital/ward that he will be staying in to see if you can all go as a family to visit the ward that he will be in.

You could perhaps buy a play "doctors kit" to get him used to the equipemnt they have in the hospital (eg thermometer, blood pressure monitor etc..) and demonstrate it on a teddy for example.

Like any trip away, favourite toys, books, pj's to take with him.

In some units of hospitals they have books specifically written for children about hospital stays, this may be available to you choose to call the hospital/ward he will be staying in.

Hope this helps a little bit, but am sure more people will have more tips for you.

All the best,

SJ
hey there Bronwyn, my son had major brain surgery when he was three and was the most amazing little trooper through the whole thing.
Firstly let me say i understand exactly what your going through and i know what its like to be the one trying to hold it all together for everyone around you!

Make sure that you give your son credit-the great thing about three year olds is the way that they just take things as they come but even better is the way thier littlebodies bounce back from injuries and surgery and heal at a great rate compared with us oldies!! My son had his brain tumor removed and within 5 days they sent us home coz they couldnt keep him still or in the hossy room any longer!!

If he is going to a childrens hospital they are awsome! they will have great kids meals the kids acutally eat and enjoy, they pop dvd's on for the kids to watch. in the first day or two after surgery they are quite sleepy and upset but after that they bounce back and start demanding things and stuff!

My sister gave Zack a special hospital teddy. Zack named him Emo and anything that happened to Zack also happened to Emo. If zack had a needle so did Emo, if Zack had to have bandages around his head(which he hated) so did Emo. The hard part is the medicines and stuff. Zack was able to take tablets(i know-how rare is a 3 year old who swallows tablets!!) but when they do get in a bit of a down mood it can be very hard to get them to take thier meds.

hmm...what else can i tell you!! Make sure that you take good breaks for yourself-it can be really tough being in there constantly. Remember that he is going through something tough so he is going to have "down" moments and stuff so just try and be patient with him.

Zack was not interested in playing with toys or anything he just really watched tv!
Zack was a really easy going kid-very active but also very cruisy and just accepted what was happening with little question. He now is very proud of his cool scar and likes to look at the photos of his post surgery-with lots of face bruising! Take photos even though it looks yuck-this is part of his journey and his story and one say he will want to know what happened.

As a Mum the worst part was as he went into surgery-having to go under the anasthetic and then say good bye to him. During the surgery my hubby and i decided not to hang around the hospital so we went down the street for lunch-i was 6 months pregnant with my second baby too!! So many similaraties!!!!

If you wanna chat or ask questions feel free
Kath

Mumma to Zack-4, Toby-2 1/2 & Molly 1

Good luck with your sons surgery, When my son went into surgery . This book helped prepare him. There's a hippopotamus eating cake on the hospital roof by Hazel Edwards. I had to contact her by her web site. She was very nice and posted me the book. At that time they where not being sold at book stores. That was 2 years ago.

Good luck

Bernie
Hi Kath
Thanks so much for your reply, it's good to talk to other mums who have had similar experiences (ours appear to have a lot of similiarities!). We had another visit to the hospital last week, the last one with the surgeons before the op. They had a social worker there for us too and she was great, she gave us a book to read Lachlan about going to hospital, as well as some information for my husband and I to read up on. The information on how to prepare Lachlan is good, as I really have no idea what to say to him!

Lachie loves a bit of tv too, although I try not to try and let him watch too much, if that's what he wants when he is in hospital then I figure that's ok too.

I think the hard part as you say will be sending him off with the surgeons and then waiting (they say it will be around 5-6 hours).

Did your pregnancy progress ok with Toby when Zack was having his op? I've been unwell this last week, my Doc thinks it's from worrying about Lachlan.

Thanks for chatting and sharing your story with me.
Bron

Bron, Mum to Lachie

Hi Kath
Thanks so much for your reply, it's good to talk to other mums who have had similar experiences (ours appear to have a lot of similiarities!). We had another visit to the hospital last week, the last one with the surgeons before the op. They had a social worker there for us too and she was great, she gave us a book to read Lachlan about going to hospital, as well as some information for my husband and I to read up on. The information on how to prepare Lachlan is good, as I really have no idea what to say to him!

Lachie loves a bit of tv too, although I try not to try and let him watch too much, if that's what he wants when he is in hospital then I figure that's ok too.

I think the hard part as you say will be sending him off with the surgeons and then waiting (they say it will be around 5-6 hours).

Did your pregnancy progress ok with Toby when Zack was having his op? I've been unwell this last week, my Doc thinks it's from worrying about Lachlan.

Thanks for chatting and sharing your story with me.
Bron

Bron, Mum to Lachie

Hi Kath
Thanks so much for your reply, it's good to talk to other mums who have had similar experiences (ours appear to have a lot of similiarities!). We had another visit to the hospital last week, the last one with the surgeons before the op. They had a social worker there for us too and she was great, she gave us a book to read Lachlan about going to hospital, as well as some information for my husband and I to read up on. The information on how to prepare Lachlan is good, as I really have no idea what to say to him!

Lachie loves a bit of tv too, although I try not to try and let him watch too much, if that's what he wants when he is in hospital then I figure that's ok too.

I think the hard part as you say will be sending him off with the surgeons and then waiting (they say it will be around 5-6 hours).

Did your pregnancy progress ok with Toby when Zack was having his op? I've been unwell this last week, my Doc thinks it's from worrying about Lachlan.

Thanks for chatting and sharing your story with me.
Bron

Bron, Mum to Lachie

Hi Kath
Thanks so much for your reply, it's good to talk to other mums who have had similar experiences (ours appear to have a lot of similiarities!). We had another visit to the hospital last week, the last one with the surgeons before the op. They had a social worker there for us too and she was great, she gave us a book to read Lachlan about going to hospital, as well as some information for my husband and I to read up on. The information on how to prepare Lachlan is good, as I really have no idea what to say to him!

Lachie loves a bit of tv too, although I try not to try and let him watch too much, if that's what he wants when he is in hospital then I figure that's ok too.

I think the hard part as you say will be sending him off with the surgeons and then waiting (they say it will be around 5-6 hours).

Did your pregnancy progress ok with Toby when Zack was having his op? I've been unwell this last week, my Doc thinks it's from worrying about Lachlan.

Thanks for chatting and sharing your story with me.
Bron

Bron, Mum to Lachie

I have not been through anything like this but wanted to wish you and your family all the best! I hope that the OP is a complete success and that your little one heals quickly.

All the best
x
Hi,
My ds had major back surgery at 8 days old so in regards to how to prepare him ect I am useless. SORRY
I just wanted to say have a good book handy for yourself and keep yourself busy whilst hes under, because Im sure you already know it will be the longest time of your life. My ds was only meant to be in surgery for about 3 hrs but due to complications he was under for over 6.
Take care and my thoughts are with you.
Nikki
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