Namine’s frenulectomy has come and gone with no surprises. This is good; when it comes to surgery, we don’t like surprises. We did receive an unpleasant surprise on the day of surgery, however.
A year ago, Namine had her third heart surgery, the final step in repairing her heart defect to a life-sustainable state. There were complications — not with the surgery itself, but afterwards — which led to a MRSA infection in her chest incision.
Because it's hard to treat, MRSA is sometimes called a "super bug."
To cut a long story short (not to mention that I wrote about all of this as it was happening a year ago), Namine was put on a contact isolation status while in the hospital. A positive MRSA culture is no small matter, and they take it very seriously, indeed.
In order for Namine to be taken off the isolation status, she would need to have three independent negative MRSA cultures, taken at different intervals.
And Namine did have three negative cultures taken over the course of the following year; the problem was, one of them was mislabeled. Instead of being labeled as a MRSA culture, it was labeled as a routine culture, and as such, it did not count toward the three negative cultures necessary for Namine to be taken off isolation status.
Yes, while Namine was in the hospital for her frenulectomy, she was on isolation status. Doctors and nurses had to don the full getup: mask, paper gown, blue gloves.
Namine hates those blue gloves. She no longer has her irrational fear of doctors the way she once did, but as soon as she saw those gloves, she asked: “What are you going to do to me?” She knew the plan for that morning, she understood it and was fine with it. But those blue gloves tossed all rational thought out the window.
While Namine was asleep for the frenulectomy, they made sure to do the third MRSA culture (again), labeling it correctly this time. It was all but confirmed by the time we were out the door, later that day, that Namine no longer had MRSA — no kidding, right? — and that she was off contact isolation status.
Speaking of Namine’s frenulectomy, I learned that there are (unless I am mistaken) multiple terms for the same thing. When the subject of clipping her tongue came up — which wasn’t really for clipping her tongue but the webbing underneath it, called the frenulum — it was referred to as a “frenulotomy.” So that’s what I called it.
Then on the day of, it was referred to by the surgical team, including but not limited to the anesthesia team and the operating doctor herself, as a “frenulectomy.” I assumed then that I had either misheard or misremembered the first term, so I started calling it a frenulectomy instead.
After doing a little research, it seems that the terms are more or less interchangeable. Many sources online actually refer to the procedure as a “frenectomy,” not “frenulectomy.” Whatever. I think it’s clear what we’re talking about.