Jul 27, 2015

Recovering From Stoma Closure

It's been a tough few hours. I was paged to post-op around noon (surgery ran long due to the "complication"). It's been a trend the last few times we've been here that they are concerned and call me back. She was crying and her heartrate was 150. When she cries hard enough her airway shuts and she can't breathe unless she calms herself. Now that the trach stoma is surgically closed the pressure has nowhere to go and I could see the panic in her eyes as she gasped for breath. When she cries she gets a headache and then the headache hurts and so she cries. An extra tiny dose of Morphine and we were able to calm her, relieve the headache (with the help of an icepack) and then her respiratory rate and heartrate slowed down to a more normal range so we could get her out of the recovery room. It's a hard place to be, there is always a baby or two crying inconsolably in a way that makes it very difficult to "feel better". It's not a place to truly recover, it's the bridge between surgery and the hospital room. 

Things got much better once we were in the room. However there have been some tough moments. She had to use the bathroom, but we had to bring the IV pole, disconnect the monitors, and since she can't walk without help and has abdominal incisions it was hard to get her the 8 feet to the toilet. Because she was crying she peed on the floor and then she cried because she'd peed on the floor. Then she couldn't breathe because she was crying and then her headache came back. You get the idea. 

While Steve has here I ran up to the playroom and grabbed some DVD's. We took turns going to eat so we didn't eat in her presence, but then he went home to let Penny out.  Between visits from the doctors, cleaning up and all the usual post-op paperwork we've watched  movies. 
I am in her hospital bed with her as I type this. And more movies it will be.

Unfortunately she's hungry and thirsty and once you pass the 12 hours without food mark it gets hard.  She was already NPO for the surgery and they want her 24 hours NPO post-surgery so it will be 36 hours minimum with no food or water. She's just not going to be happy for awhile.

I did get some swabs to clean out her mouth and that tiny bit of moisture helps. As long as I'm sitting in the bed she's calm. So here I will remain during our movie marathon. 

It looks like our discharge will be delayed a bit due to the complication (it seems her stomach got nicked/sliced during the incision causing g-tube tract to require a second repair and more opening of the stomach). This is mostly because of the NPO orders that were needed because the stomach surgery was more involved and needs a chance to heal. Her incisions were ooozing earlier but that seemed to be from the pressure caused by the crying, and is better now that she's calmed so infection doesn't look to be a risk at the moment.

We are excited to get out of here and recover more fully at home.  She looks to be a bit swollen, and her vocal cords are likely a bit traumatized. I am hopeful that the scary moments we've experienced are something that will get better once her airway's recovered a bit from the intubation and she's had a chance to adjust to the feeling of pressure when she cries and manage through it. The alternative is the unthinkable, retraching. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers that this will be a successful closure of her life so far as a tubie.

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