Friday, October 2, 2009

What I Wish I Knew Before Surgery

There seem to be so many little things that I wish I had known before KayLi's palate surgery. My sweet friend Traci tried to clue me in and I'm so thankful for the heads up she gave me on a few things. So I thought I would post a list of the things I wish I had known and try to give anyone else who has this in there future a heads up too.

Be warned though that most of these "tips" have to do with the liquid diet issue. It's by far the most challenging part of this procedure. So Rachelle, this list is written with you in mind but I'd still love it if you called :0)

If you don't have palate repair surgery in your future, please enjoy a couple pictures of KayLi and know that she is doing great!

Oh and if you happen to have already gone through this and lip revision or nose reconstruction, I would love to hear from you and learn you tips for recovery.

Love the "Candy Milk" mustache going on in this picture!
So here's my corny list"

Freezing yogurt in ice cube trays, then popping them out and putting them into a freezer bag is a wonderful way to have frozen yogurt ready for smoothies.

It's really hard to cook for yourself and the rest of your family when you are trying to keep food away from a toddler that wants to be where you are. So cook and freeze meals in advance. I really wish I had done this...would have saved us many meals of cold cereal or tv dinners :0)

Slightly thawed popsicles with juice smashed into them are a great cold treat. Especially the first few days when their little throats are so sore.

"Creamy" oatmeal ie, "Peaches & Cream" or "Blueberries & Cream" are great thinned down with milk. As long as you remove the fruit before you cook it. If you put it in the blender it gets gross and frothy. Just thin it way down and you're all set.

Nap when they nap the first several days because you will be up several times through out the night. Or better yet beg your mom to stay with you to give you a nap break every once in awhile. Thanks mom!

Potatoes boiled in half water half beef broth actually taste like roasted potatoes. If you thin the "potato soup", mash it like crazy and strain it with a fork, you don't have to put it in the gets frothy too...yuck!

Chowders blend really well. They are one of the few things that don't gross me out.

A three year old is capable of understanding that food will hurt her mouth and that when it gets better she can have cookies. I didn't think KayLi would get this. I thought she would think we were evil food Natzi's. She gets it....she's not always happy about it but she gets it.

Kids recover very quickly! You literally couldn't keep her down long. She was happy and playing so much sooner than I thought she would be.

Elmo party cups that I can throw away ROCK!

Drinkable yogurt makes a great snack and will buy you a little time when the "real" food is still cooking.

Cheddar Cheese soup (yes they make such a thing) works as a great cheese substitute and gives soups a nice consistency.

Instant potato flakes are a great way to make any soup more creamy and filling.

KayLi "eats" best if I feed her while she mindlessly watches Sesame Street. Pitiful I know but it's working for us. She has only lost one pound so far. Plus her counting skills are coming along very well. She counted the dishes, all the way to five, while I filled the dishwasher today. I guess her Elmo addiction has a few benefits.

Carnation Instant Breakfast and ice cream make a somewhat nutritious milk shake :0)

Pediasure is not nearly as great as I hoped it would be. The chocolate isn't too bad but the vanilla and strawberry are only working for us in smoothies. If I had it to do over I wouldn't have bought them and just used the instant breakfast. It has more sugar but she likes it and it's lots cheaper.

The first week or so we had to use Saline spray for KayLi's nose every four hours. If your doctor also wants you to do this, start trying to teach your child that nasal spray is not evil as soon as possible. Maybe you can let your child see you use it and pretend to use it on them. Or let them use a little. It was awful to use this, when KayLi was so disoriented and had no idea what it was. Now she thinks it's great fun to spray it in our noses once we have sprayed hers.

KayLi loves to drop strawberries or noodles into the blender and push the button. It's a lot of fun and it has helped her to understand that she IS getting food.

Time passes really quickly when you are preparing "meals" every 2-3 hours. I can't believe we only have 3.5 days left until she can eat again!!!!!

If God called you to this, He WILL see you through this! He promises!!! Philippians 1:6!!!!!
But I bet you already knew that :0)


WilxFamily said...

Thanks for the tips...just know that your trials and experiments will not go to waste!! I don't know what Evan will need as far as surgery (surgeries) or when, but I know there WILL be some in the future.

Food Nazi....that's hilarious!!

What an added bonus KayLi is honing in her counting skills with the help of Elmo! Though the theme song is annoying after 17 times, it's better than Little People! That one leaves parents cringing after the first go of it. :0)

Praise the Lord KayLi is flourishing! Keep up the good work!

Melissa said...

Lisa - I am so impressed with KayLi and YOUR updates post surgery! You have been quite busy, I'd say! And, for those parents that are or will be going through this, this is great! KayLi looks SO happy in all of the pictures, and just wanted you to know you are doing a heck of a job as a Mommy getting her through this tough time!!!! Will keep thinking of you making all of your special meals:)

Apsara said...

Great post!

Huge kiss to Kayli.