Tuesday, July 17, 2007

In the hospital room now

It's been a busy day and things are calm now and I wanted to take a moment to write an update.  It has been a very good day and we have much to be thankful for.  I have felt a calm about this surgery.  I know that God has given us a peace and also after her experience with heart surgery this just doesn't feel nearly as hard. 

A little after 9am, the surgeon came out to talk with us.  He is so very nice ,friendly and encouraging.  He told us that all went well.  The new g-tube will not be used until tomorrow to give it time to drain.  We thought that earlier someone had told us that she would have an NG again for the first day.  Dr. Rice told us that she wouldn't.  No more NG ever for Eliana!  (His words!)  The tube that she has now is good only for a year.  Dr. Rice said that he hopes she won't even need it that long!  :-)  Me too!  He talked with us some about the healing of the site.  Told us he expected us to be here a couple of days.  He recommended that we meet with a nutritionist, speech and OT people while we are here.  I'm fuzzy on some of the rest of what we discussed, but hopefully whatever I need will come back to me.  :-)  I need to take notes in my notebook.

About 9:20am we were told we could go see Eliana.  She was a little fussy when we saw her.  She was also having some trouble breathing.  This was due to a little too much of a pain med.  As her skin turned "dusky" from lack of oxygen, the nurses were trying to stimulate her to get the oxygen flowing again.  She also had an oxygen mask that they were keeping close to her face.  The photo below is soon after Eliana came out of surgery.

She had tubes again like the last time, but not nearly as many!  I took a peek at her new "button".  Here is what it looks like.  The surgical incision is in the center of her abdomen and the g-tube is on the left side above her stomach.  She won't have the tube coming out of it unless she is feedings.  It will close up and be fairly low in terms of how much it sticks up. 

This is a photo of Eliana and I with Dr Rice.

We remained in this room for a while until she was stabilized and there was a room ready upstairs in the hospital.  We were there until about 12:00.  I held Eliana in a rocker most of the time.  SHe was either awake or a little fussy.  There was one very small boy (about 1 or 1.5yo) there with none of his family.  His mom felt sick and had to leave.  Please say a prayer for this precious little one and his mom.  It was so hard to hear him cry.

We were taken via wheelchair to Eliana's room.  First some vitals were taken.  She continued the pattern of sleep and fussing, so I held her.  This seemed to comfort her and keep her happy most of the time.  One of the pediatric surgeons came in and said we were scheduled to see a lot of folks.  She wasn't sure if they would be by today or tomorrow.  Since it is now 3:45, I'm guessing that tomorrow will be a busy day!

Eliana won't be eating today.  She can't have anything in her stomach.  She is getting an IV to keep her hydrated.  She just had her first pain meds since surgery - tylenol.  Isn't that amazing?  Our sweet baby girl is a tough little fighter. 

Praises for today

  • Successful surgery!

  • Only one stick to get the IV in this time!  She has a cute little pink bandage around her left hand where the IV is attached.  The anesthesiologist said that to be fair that this stick was much easier than the one needed for cardiac surgery.  They could use any vein today but for cardiac care they needed a big one that could be used for a longer period of time.

  • Wonderful surgeon, anesthesiologists and nurses in the surgical area.  I commented to one of the nurses about how nice Dr. Rice was and she praised him very highly.  She said that all of them would do anything for him - because they knew that he would do the same for them.  He really has a great personality for a pediatric surgeon!  Everyone in there though was kind and helpful in answering our questions.  We were well taken care of.

  • Our sweet friend Rebecca who was with us during surgery and brought us lunch too.  It is a comfort to have support - and someone to help take photos as she has a great eye.

  • Sleep for Eliana.  I'm glad she is able to sleep through all of this as she is clearly not feeling well when she does wake up.  I'm told that it will take about 24 hours for the effects of general anesthesia to wear off.

  • My thoughtful little daughter.  She packed a goodie bag for me filled with a prayer journal that she made, book to read, puzzle book, snacks - one salty and one sweet, a pencil and pencil sharpener, throat lozenges (my throat was dry yesterday) and lotion.  She is an incredibly sweet and generous girl.

  • Many wonderful friends and family that are supporting and praying for all of us!

A Few Funnies

Eliana's hair is once again the subject of conversation.  Lots and lots of comments on the "waterspout" or "Pebbles" look and her bow.  I saw the anesthesiologist chuckle about her hair as she caught a glimpse of it standing up as she was coming to the room.  Later in the OR, she was stroking her hair and commented that she would have done this if she had had a girl.  Then she said that her boys didn't really like the style, especially her 10yo.  That just made me laugh.  The folks in the OR were all kind and seemed to be light-hearted and happy.

Admission questions.  A nurse was asking some questions and one was "Has she had any feeding troubles?"  I paused and then the nurse replied, "Dumb question, huh?".  I just had to chuckle.

I was asking the anesthesiologist some questions and one of them was "when could she roll onto her tummy?"  She asked if Eliana was a tummy sleeper and I confirmed that to be true.  I said that she did this even in her sleep.  Sometimes I will see her shoot her legs straight up into the air then flop them over to start her roll.  The anesthesiologist said that it was funny I should mention this.  When Eliana was coming out of surgery, she noted that she was very still.  Her  head was still,  her body was still, her eyes weren't yet opened and then her legs shot up into the air.  It is something that she does all the time - it is cute and it makes me laugh!

Prayer Requests

  • Eliana's pain would be minimal and well-managed.  I'm also praying that her recovery would be smooth and without complication

  • That the G-tube would work as it is supposed to and that Eliana would tolerate it.  She has not had problems with reflux so we are hopeful that she won't have any problems with the g-tube either.

  • Healing for her incision site.  I know that there can be "granulation" (not sure exactly what that is, but will probably find out) at the site.  Dr Rice said that it would happen less if there was less movement when she is plugged in being fed.  Guess we'll need to figure out a new way to do this as she likes to roll onto her tummy when she is being fed in bed (even when she is asleep).  We may need to return in a week or so to have the site area cauterized (?) if the granulation is occuring.  We'll deal with that when we need to.  (I'm not going to be borrowing any worries!)

  • Eliana's smile.  She has not  had one since surgery - and I miss it.  I'm hoping that it will be back tomorrow when she is feeling a little bit better.  I know that this is normal and I'm not worried - just looking forward to that smile that lights up a room!

  • Meeting with the nutritionist - that she/he would have wisdom on the best  plan for feeding Eliana.  Same with the speech/OT person we will be seeing.

  • Feeding - praying that Eliana would gain skills quickly due ot the removal of the NG tube.  I'm  hoping that this will really be a turning point for her.

  • Prayers for the little heart baby I met today and her parents.  I haven't been able to get an update yet, though I'm hoping I'll get one from a rounding doctor or that I'll be able to find the parents in the NICU waiting room.

I should probably close as I'm very tired.  Since Eliana is napping and there is nobody here wanting to poke her or ask questions, I should take this as a good time to nap.

I appreciate so very much your faithful prayers and notes of encouragment to me and my family!  I can't really explain how very much it means to me!  My heart is full and I am feeling much hope.

With love,


PS  I realize that I need to get behind the camera and take a few photos myself so that Roger is in some of the pictures.  I haven't had my hands off of our sweet little girl much today.

Surgery is close to an end!

It is 8:57am.  Almost an hour since surgery started.  We just received word that they are closing up Eliana.  The surgeon should be out here soon.  I'm looking forward to hearing from him and then seeing our little girl!

We should be taken to the PACU (post-anesthesia care unit) to see her.

I added one photo below if you haven't yet seen it.  More later.  Thank you for praying!



Eliana is in the OR

Hi All,

We are at the hospital now.  I just walked into the waiting room from the OR.  I was allowed to go back with her since she is older than 6 months.

We awoke on time.  :-)  Got in her fluids at 3:20am.  We left home about 5:30 and arrived at the hospital shortly before 6am.  Then the waiting began. 

It took awhile to wait to be checked in as nobody was here to do that yet.  Then we went back into the pre-op waiting area.  As we walked in, I saw the name of Eliana's heart surgeon on the board.  They listed the age of the child to be operated on - 18 days.  I saw the couple with a child this age in the room diagonal to ours.  They looked scared and young.  I debated about walking over to talk with them.  I didn't want to be intrusive, but wanted to be able to encourage them too.  I prayed for wisdom on what to do. 

We had a long wait and so I did walk over to talk with the couple.  They have not yet been home with their baby.  They wondered about the scar and what it would look like.  I asked if they would like to see Eliana's and they did.  I brought her over to show her scar.  We talked about the surgery, the recovery and more.  They had a lot of questions.  I was glad to be able to talk with them.  I was hoping to bring them encouragment.  If you are reading this, please pray for their little girl. 

We met with Eliana's surgeon, Dr Rice as well as her two anesthesiologists, Dr Ross & Dr Chen.  Everyone was very nice.  They all seemed to like her hair.  She has it up in a waterspout.  We dressed her in a small purple hospital gown and socks that both fit much better than the last time we were here.

About 7:30 I carried Eliana back to the OR.  It is beautifully decorated with a fish theme.  The walls and floors were painted.  There was a large screen tv with Nemo on it.  The operating table was tiny.  I layed Eliana on the table and they covered her with a warming blanket.  Soon afterwards they put a mask over her to put her to sleep.  She fought it at first, but then did go to sleep.  I was then escorted out to the waiting area.  Our sweet friend Rebecca is here with us. 

Praying that they are able to find a vein and that all goes well with the surgery.  We are supposed to hear when the surgery starts and then it will last about an hour.   We should be able to see her soon thereafter.  For now, I'm waiting ... and holding on to her little bow.

Thank you for praying!

ETA:  It's 7:59am we just heard that surgery has started and Eliana is doing fine!  Thank you God!



PS  Will try to add photos soon.  Sorry this is jumbled.  It's a little distracting out here.