Thursday, November 13, 2008

Successful Surgery

I'm happy to report that Emily's surgery went well and she is already recovering quickly. We left the house by 8 and started pre-op by 9. This was a pretty intensive interview of her past heath history, including her 3 month NICU stay and heart surgery information. All of yesterday was spent scrambling to get faxes from her cardiologist and pediatrician to get clearance for surgery (including Eli at Kinkos at 10pm). I was a little nervous because in the past few weeks she has had an ear infection, strep throat, a sinus infection, and an awful stomach bug, thus meaning clearance for surgery was in jeopardy.
We proceeded to pre-surgery to talk to all the doctors, nurses, and anesthesiologists, and sign all the wavers. This was at about 10am and the melt down began (starvation plus missed nap = unhappy baby). Luckily she was given the first round of anesthesia, meaning that within 20 minutes she was groggy and literally falling out of my arms. Eli and I got a kick out of her hospital pjs, because one pant leg alone was about the size of her whole body (see picture above). I really enjoyed spending this time with her because she was calm and let me hold her. Then when she was almost asleep, the nurses wheeled her into surgery, leaving Eli and I behind. (yes, I was an emotional wreck...her eyes just looked so sad and she was trying reach for us and climb out of the rolling crib)

Surgery began around 10:45, and we went out to the waiting room to find Eli's Aunt Joan waiting for us. It was SO sweet of her to come and help us get our mind off of things. We oftentimes feel very alone in Dallas without much family here, and I can't tell you how much it meant to us to know that we had support. Our dear friends Anne and Rebecca, who work at Childrens, came to be with us too. The doctor came out around at 11:45 and told us that things went very well. The large hemangioma on the left arm was fully removed and was stitched up like a drawstring purse. In other words, the skin wont actually lay flat for a month or so, and the middle section of the scar will be red. This is mainly because there wasn't enough skin to cover the lesion without doing a skin graft. The small hemangioma on her right hand was lasered and will eventually loose color and lay flat in about 5 years.

From there I went to Post-Anesthesia Recovery and Eli had to wait outside. As soon as they opened the door I could hear Emily screaming. I was so frantic that I was practically sprinting through the eternally long room, passing at least 15 patients, hoping each one was her. When I finally saw her, she was sitting in a nurse's lap trying to claw her to death. That poor woman!!! She calmed down when we got her some apple juice and took off some of the monitors. Still really groggy and confused, she was lashing and screaming at anyone who tried to touch her. Before we could proceed, we had to call the doctor to re-bandage her arm because she lost circulation in her tiny purple hand.

After about 4 bottles, Emily was moved to Recovery. This was kind of hard for me because Emily was visibly in so much pain, but at least Eli was there with me. We opted out of the intense pain killers because studies have shown that Tylenol creates less side effects and she wouldn't be able to sleep if she took the narcotics. After an hour or so, we realized that she hadn't been given any Tylenol, and soon thereafter she began to feel better. At around 2:00 Emily was discharged and had the biggest smile on her face when we walked out the doors to the main hospital.

At home we spent the rest of the day with more apple juice and changing diapers. The swelling went down in a few hours, and she got her energy back for a little while in order to rip off the bandaids from the IVs and unravel the ace bandage. What did they expect? Toddlers are curious! After a long and stressful day, Emily went to bed early and we haven't heard a peep from her since.
Eli and I would like to send out a warm thank you to everyone who called, texted, emailed, or facebooked us to tell us they were praying for Emily. This surgery was especially taxing on our emotions because it reopened the wounds from her heart surgery a year ago. Back then we were numb to say the least. We were nothing but robots, going in the motions of being new parents in pain and confusion. It is now that we recognize and process the risks and worries of surgery on a small child. We literally could not do it without the constant love, support and prayers of those who truly care about Emily. I have said this many times before, and I will say it many times more: BoldEmily is the best example I know of the virtues fortitude and perseverance, and we all could learn so much from following her lead. She is the most beautiful child of God!!

1 comment:

Meaghan said...

We are so happy and thankful! God bless Emmy and her amazing parents!