Surgery with Music Case History #3: a 3-year-old boy with open heart surgery

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This is not my patient

Initially, the customer was a very anxious grandmother.  She ordered the headphones but wasn’t at all sure that this would help.  After receiving the headphones, her anxiety level was so high, even though she was a retired nurse, that she could not carefully read the instructions to make sure her headphones were charged fully.  Initially she sent me an email that conveyed her level of frustration and despair and I, of course, wrote her back immediately to reassure her. Her only grandchild was having open heart surgery and the procedure was having procedure to replace a valve and apprently there was considerable risk involved.  Grandmother had read about the benefits of music during surgery and when she discover our Surgical Serenity Headphones, she was determined to get them for her grandson. Because Grandmother was terrified of losing her grandson, she was greatly comforted to learn of all the research that documents that reduced anesthesia, reduced pain medication, and faster recovery frequently result, when music is added to the procedure; and that music through headphones is even better because they create a healing, protective “cocoon” for the patient, so that the patient doesn’t hear conversations, music that the doctor has chosen for himself, or operating room sounds such as cutting, snipping, and other sounds that may be disconcerting.  The surgery was scheduled for mid-August, 2012. On August 22, I received this letter from Grandmother: The heart surgery was excellent but “Jason” (not his real name!) did have a few issues as far as recovery is concerned during the first 3 days. During that time he listened to the headphones almost constantly. Not only did they serve to keep him calm most of the time, but also importantly utilized to keep out the side noises of people and hospital equipment. By the third day I realized “Jason” was using the headphones to “escape” (he seemed depressed), so I made a rule that he could only use them at night to go to sleep. We corrected the issues which had to do with the pain medication and today he is doing fabulously! His happy personality is once again showing through with lots of smiles. We are so happy! Thanks Alice for asking and for thinking about us and also for the opportunity for “Jason” to recover with your healing music. All the Best to You and Your Family, Needless to say, I love getting these letters and finding out that music really does make a difference for people of all ages!  This patient was my youngest by far, and I was worried that the headphones might be too big, but his grandmother was able to get them situated on his little head so that he heard the music throughout his surgery, as well as before and after. We’ve created a new brief description of what our headphones do:  “Delivering healthy music and rhythm…stabilizing vital signs and decreasing side-effects of anesthesia.”  What more could you want?

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Benefits of Less Anesthesia

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As I talk to people about the benefits of music during surgery, invariably I get the question, “But Alice, why would you want less anesthesia during surgery…I want MORE anesthesia!” OK, I know what you’re thinking: you don’t want to risk feeling any pain or being “accidentally awake” though the doctors think you are asleep. Yes, there’s been a lot in the news about that recently. Here are some of the many benefits of using less anestheisa:

  • anesthesia can take up to 6 months to completely leave your system
  • all bodily systems are brought to an almost complete halt by anesthesia, severe constipation being a common result of this
  • anesthesia is fraught with adverse reactions in patients including allergy and just plain sever side-effects
  • side-effects include prolonged nausea, dizziness, fuzzy thinking, rashes, double vision and depression
  • the less anesthesia you have, the sooner you can leave the hospital, begin your healing journey and get on with your life!

If you could have beautiful music playing through headphones cordless, self-contained, lightweight headphones during your procedure and take less anesthesia without an increase in pain, wouldn’t you do it?? Please let me know! Thank you!

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