We are home!
Joey had surgery yesterday to remove the inexplicably swollen lymph node in his neck, and all went very well, thanks be to God. Nonetheless, his surgeon admitted him for observation overnight and as anyone who has ever been in the hospital knows, it is a bit like the roach motel...you can check in, but you can't check out! It took hours and hours to clear him for departure today and we were both literally dancing out of the ward when we were finally released.
Since I've had such a life-saving experience at UCLA we chose to have Joey's surgery there. Once again I was impressed by the care we received, not just medically but from a human standpoint as well. Everyone was so very kind and accommodating, which helps a lot when you are worried about your kid.
The surgery took about two hours and left Joey with a roughly two inch incision mid-neck with a small drain, which was removed right before we left today. He was amazingly stoic throughout the whole thing and didn't even need any pain meds at all today. His doctor ended up removing two lymph nodes rather than just the one since it had become fused to its neighbor due to its significant swelling. She assured me that he still has plenty left and that he won't miss these at all. Since she managed to deftly avoid the two nerves that ran right through the area and maintain all of Joey's facial movement I am feeling quite grateful to her.
Joey's lymph node is now in pathology where it will be dissected and cultured a dozen ways to see if they can figure out exactly what went haywire with it. We should have results in a few days. His blood shows no sign of infection of any kind, so if the pathology is clean this may be the end of this all. I certainly hope that is the case.
Thanks to those of you who have been praying for him and checking in to see how he is. We are truly grateful.
Here is a picture of Joey acting goofy right as they were wheeling him into the OR. The meds hadn't yet put him under but clearly had done their job in relaxing him. You can see the lymph node protruding from the left side (his right). He is not sorry to have that bulge gone.
Here's to great medical insurance...hip hip hooray!