Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Journey's hand surgery update

Ok my plan had been to post pictures of her hands and describe the procedure before she actually had it, but I never found the time, so I'll just post my update.

The morning of the surgery we were instructed to bathe Journey with antibacterial soap. She also had to take her medicine before the 7am no liquids deadline. Vivi woke up and wanted to take a bath too. I had slowly started telling Vivi about the surgery over the last few days, her favorite line that she liked to repeat was "Journey maybe a little bit of grumpy" (after the surgery). While they were in the bath I was telling Vivi more about what we were going to do and what to expect, and she started getting a little concerned about her sister. I took this video of them playing, a last glimpse of Journey using her fused fingers:

During the video you hear Vivi asking if she was going to have surgery too. I assured her that she wasn't, just Journey, and that she would play with Daddy and Nana and Bapa while I took Journey back, and then I would come back and play and Journey would stay with the doctors. She didn't like the sound of that and started demanding that she go with Journey too. My sweet girl!

We checked into the hospital and went into the pre-op room where she was weighed, measured, vitals checked, and her arms were marked. We put her in a hospital gown and then we waited. My parents came to help with Vivi and we spent a lot of time in the little toy room they have in pre-op. As soon as we went into the pre-op area, even though it was a different hospital, Journey knew what was going on and started getting upset. It probably didn't help that she had her eye procedure just a month ago and recognized the room as a place where she was going to get poked and prodded. Vivi was a little bit worried about Journey's fussing and was telling everyone "Journey sad!" but then she got busy with the toys and felt better :)

Because she was so upset and because of the recent adoption, they recommended a medication they give to help calm the patient down. The oral medication had dye in it, which we found out she seems to be intolerant to, but they had a nasal one that was dye free, so she got that one. The surgeons and anesthesia came to talk to us, and pretty soon it was time to go back. The nurse said they would just come and take her, but I asked to go back. She didn't seem to want me to, but I mentioned that I did it with her last surgery, so she went and told anesthesia, who came over and said "are you sure? You saw it before, and you were ok with the eyes rolling back and the arms going limp?" I don't recall being given a choice at the other hospital, it seemed like all the parents went back. I assured them I was fine and they got me a suit, hair net, and mask to wear. I carried her down to the OR and held her hand while they put the mask on and she fell asleep. The calming medicine had definitely worked because she didn't get all upset or fight like she did last time.

I was escorted back to pre-op and then we went down to the family waiting room. I told everyone else to go get some food and I was going to just wait there. I checked in at the desk and was given a cell phone to hold, and she said "just let me know if you're going somewhere". Yeah technology! We all went down and ate, then wandered back up and my sister had just gotten there. Vivi loved having her favorite family members all to herself :)

We hung out in the waiting room for awhile, and then the doctor who works with the main surgeon came out and told us that the surgery was over and had gone really well, and it had gone so well that she didn't think she needed the hard casts, so she just put on soft bandages. She also said we didn't need to wait a full 2 weeks for her post-op appointment and changed it to one week. All good news! She said we  would get to see her in about an hour, so we hung out a little longer, then Eric, my mom and sister took Vivi down to get lunch. Not long after they left, they came and asked if we were ready to see her.

She was crying when we got there and a nurse was rocking her, trying to calm her down. After I took her and sat in the chair, she fussed for awhile and then calmed down and fell asleep. Her breathing was a little funny and the alarm with the red light that was on her toe went off a couple of times, so they decided to give her some oxygen. Pretty soon she was doing better and we were moved from phase 1 post-op to phase 2, which was quieter and the chair was more comfy :). Everyone was able to come back and see her in phase 2, and Journey started perking up a little. Her face the first time she realized that her arm was all bandaged was priceless, her eyebrows went up and she was rotating her arm and moving it and looked surprised that the bandage moved with her arm.

We were instructed on after care and they gave us a form with the numbers to call if we had a problem. They weren't able to give her any tylenol or other meds there because they didn't have any that didn't have dye...which surprised me at a children's hospital. Journey drank a juice box and I even got a few smiles out of her. After awhile, we were discharged and were ready to head home.

***To be continued***

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