Well it’s done. While it may have been a success in straightening her back – it’s been a long road so far in her recovery. Let me tell you a little story about a girl named Hannah….
If you don’t know the whole story – you can find the posts I’ve done in the past in the right side bar – all posts are linked up on that page, including this one. So Hannah is 11 (12 in February) and she made an adult decision. The night before surgery her doctor called and said he doesn’t think he’ll have to fuse the lower curve BUT she’ll have to wear a brace until skeletal maturity (think years more in a brace that hasn’t helped so far) AND there still may be a good chance that she’ll need surgery at a later date. Well, she decided to have go ahead and have both curves fused and honestly seeing what she’s going through now I know I wouldn’t want her going through it a second time!
So we arrived at the hospital at 5:30 a.m. on Friday the 25th. The doctors all came, the nurses all came and eventually they came and got her right on time at 7:30 a.m. After they did that my husband and I went to the cafeteria to get a quick breakfast and then went up to wait, and wait, and wait – did I mention we waited? At a little before 9 a.m. we got the call from the nurse in the surgery that the doctor had started making the incision – no turning back now!
The nurse was great even coming to the PICU waiting room in person to check on us, give us an update and see if we needed anything (our daughter, please?). At a little after 2 p.m. we got the call – the doctor had finished closing and she was going back to recovery. Approximately 7 hours without our daughter knowing that someone (even though we trust him) was cutting into her back. There was some issue we were told with closing because of her size – confusing since we were told her size works in her favor. Two hours later we were allowed back to her PICU room and got to see our beautiful, swollen Hannah. Besides the day she was born I was never so happy to see her – even if she couldn’t really talk to me.
Hubby stayed for a little while after that and then left to go home to get our other two children from his parent’s house where they stayed the night Thursday. I slept hardly at all and Hannah slept well because of all the medications even though the nurses were coming in every hour to turn her (an excruciating experience) and do vitals and make sure there was no neurological damage – our biggest fear was that she could be paralyzed. We were only supposed to be in one night but due to her developing a plural (sp?) effusion we got to stay another night as the surgical resident had to put in a chest tube – two rounds of lasix didn’t resolved the issue and her oxygen saturation was horrible. She was also given her one unit of blood she donated earlier, on the 2nd day. She lost about a pint and half during surgery and they gave some of that back using cell saver.
She started eating and drinking a little on the 2nd day which was great since she hadn’t had anything since 9:30 p.m. on Thursday. Since she still can’t sit up – her first several hours were spent lying completely flat and she still isn’t allowed any pillows. She was vomiting a lot on the first night even with anti-nausea meds. My mom stayed till 2 a.m. our 2nd night so I could sleep which was so wonderful to get a few mostly uninterrupted hours of sleep. I hated that she needed the chest tube but they got out almost approx 500 cc’s of fluid and blood in her chest cavity – that doesn’t account for the samples they took for testing – and her oxygen began improving but the pain is bad and she can’t be turned to her right side.
On our 3rd day we got moved to her regular room – the jostling set off a lot of pain so the anesthesiologist gave her 2 doses worth of morphine to get her through the night and they did. She and I both slept well as this floor is a bit more quiet even though the nurses and respiratory therapists are in and out all night. She still needs turned every couple hours to keep bed sores and such at bay and so they check her incision and epidural. Thankfully the surgery stopped at L3 as the doctor was worried he might have to fuse L4 which would have been bad for mobility. So far we’ve gotten good care and most everyone has been wonderful in making her comfortable – the only exception being that the one anesthesiologist isn’t the most patient and he talks fast so when I didn’t hear his question he waved me off and walked out of the room!
So that is the update for now – if you’re on Facebook you can follow along there – I’m trying to remember everything but in a sleep deprived mind things become fuzzy and since I haven’t left the hospital since Friday I haven’t had much daylight exposure either 😀
Thank you for reading.
(c) 2013, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws