Oct 21, 2008

Nissen Surgery Today

We checked in at registration at 6:30 am and were brought back to the surgery prep area. I run into Ainsley's neurosurgeon a nice man who reminds me a lot of Santa Claus. It seems I can't go to Children's anymore without running into people who know her but I'm always thrilled when people get to see how well she's doing. But there is only time for a quick hug and few words since he's in his surgery scrubs and we're off to surgery. They took vitals and went through all their checks and balances. They take extra precautions because of her trach and complex medical history. I met with the anesthesiologists, nurse and surgeon. We joke about the size of her chart (3 inches thick) , I think he says chart number 107, but actually it's only 1 of 7. We laugh that that would be a new record. But then, she's only 2, sixteen years from now who knows.... I'm told the operation will take upwards of three hours. They want to give her a sedative but I ask not to and at 7:30 they take her away to the OR with hardly a whimper, the sweet girl. I get breakfast at the cafeteria and kill some time in the Parent Resource Room while I wait there for Steve after he gets the older kids off to school. A doctor came to talk to us about participation in a Reflux research study. That took up about all the time and by 10:00 they page us to come wait for the surgeon.

At 10:20 he arrived to tell us the surgery went well. He wrapped her fundo (plication) tight so it should hold tight no matter how much coughing she does. We are feeling good. The weight of the decision is off our shoulders now that it's done. We head to the Giraffe wing to meet Ainsley in her room. We receive a visit from Ainsley's dietitian to review Ainsley's eating plan. We meet our roommate. A friendly woman whose son with Down Syndrome had heart surgery the prior week. With the common bond of having a third child with special needs we hit it off and have lots to talk about while our children recover. The well-respected occupational therapist here at Children's happens to visit her son and she's nice enough to come to our side of the room and talk at length about Ainsley's case in relation to eating. She gives me great insight into how to make sense of a very complex issue. I'm thrilled to get a chance to talk to her since she normally only sees the babies. Hospital time. It sure goes fast.

Ainsley is on morphine but was obviously uncomfortable and would arch in pain every 20 minutes or so as if she was getting a cramp, and her heart rate would shoot into the 180-190's. We keep paging the nurse for boluses of morphine. After every 3 boluses she ups the drip rate. Six hours later we feel like it's finally at about the right level. She's still sedated and may not "wake" up for a few more hours. It's been 11 months since her last surgery so I am really not sure what to expect from her once she's awake. I don't know if she'll be as easily content to lay in the crib.

Her incision looks really good. It is about twice as long as it was and goes directly over her g-tube incision scar. It's covered with the glue and tape rather than stitches and hardly looks new or bloody at all. I think it's going to heal nicely.

They say it is possible we could go home tomorrow, but if not then the next day.We can't wait to get home and see how she does. We can't believe she will be vomit free. It's almost too good to be true.

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