Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Leah puts the 'Out' in OutPatient

We're home from the hospital!!!!! Forgive me for being so excited but after spending pretty much the entire month of July in there, we were ecstatic to be able to go home less than 7 hours after arriving! We showed up pretty much on time (6:10ish) and as scheduled, Leah was taken back to an OR around 7:30. I managed to not cry while saying goodbye to her as they wheeled her away - probably because she was looking around at all the nurses so those big blue eyes couldn't get to me the way they sometimes do.

Jeff and I went and sat in the waiting lounge. I held Leahs fuzzy yellow ducky and did my mantra that is part-prayer, part-demand: 'Breathe Leah, breathe. Breathe Leah, breathe.' I did it back in July while standing in the hallway waiting for the social worker on the night her emergency trach surgery was performed. I like to think it helped because her surgeon said he was amazed that she had never stopped breathing throughout the whole ordeal.

Around 8:30 Dr. Preciado (Leah's ENT surgeon) brought Jeff and I back to speak with us. He said Leah did great, that she was back in recovery slowly waking up; but that her airway is still being affected by her EB. With the trach she is fine - but without it we'd be in deep doo doo (my words, not his). So the trach is our friend.

Apparently Leahs vocal cords are now appearing "abnormal" while before they were "severely swollen". I don't know what would be 'normal' for a JEB baby with airway swelling and a trach (nor, most likely does the doctor) so I'll take that for what it is. And I can't say I'm surprised by his evaluation: obviously her EB is the reason for her trach and so obviously her airway and throat will be an issue.

Then we got to go back to see her. I was pleasantly surprised that she looked good, despite being somewhat askew in her bed and obviously upset and confused by what was going on. She had a trach-full of blood but other than that she was fine. All the staff there was great with really paying attention to being extra careful with her skin - after we drilled the whole 'butterfly wings' idea into their heads.

The nurse told us we'd be in the recovery room until about 1, when a doctor would come by to see how Leah was doing, and our discharge or admittance would be determined then. Their main concern was the amount of blood in her trach but thankfully, it decreased dramatically after a few suctions. Around 9:30 I gave her about 2 ounces of pedialyte, just to see if she could hold liquids down. After that we did half-formula, half-pedialyte. She drank a good 4 ounces in all and kept it all down. Then I read the entire collection of 'Where is the Puppy?' Sesame Street books (4) to her and just tried to keep her calm and happy. Somewhere around 10:30 she dozed off for a nap.

Then at 12:30 one of the ENT doctors we've come to know well came by to check on us and to our surprise, said we were good to go home!!! Jeff took some bags down to the car while I gave Leah another bottle (5 1/2 oz) to tide her over for the car ride home. Her IV came out, diaper got changed and we were on the road and home by 1:30!

At the moment she's watching Handy Manny and playing with her binky. Jeff is napping on the couch (and periodically startling Leah with his snoring) since we had to get up at 4:30 this morning. He'll wake up in a bit and take over with Leah until the nurse gets here so I can go to bed early.

Alright, I just wanted to update everyone on surgery day!


Linda said...

So glad that everything went so well. What a little trooper my granddaughter is being. We are truly blessed. Thanks for the update!!!!
Give her big hug and kiss for me.

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