Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Sunrise in the hospital

Phoebe came out of surgery yesterday just fine. Everything went just as expected. At about 8:30, the transporter camte to Phoebe's room and he lead us to the surgery holding area. In that room, we were asked a million questions (again), her ID was checked, and we met with the surgeon and the anesthesiologist. The docs came in at about 9:00. They told us again everything that was in the plan for the day and gave us opportunities to ask any last-minute questions. Mommy could barely speak; there was a giant lump in her throat and there were tears were streaming down her face. The anesthesiologist came back into the room at about 9:45, and gave Phoebe a sedative that made her really loopy. We hadn't been able to feed her anything since 4 a.m., and it had now been five hours without anything in her stomach, after a day of just clear liquids. Needless to say, she was very tense wondering why she couldn't have any food. She instantly relaxed and this dopey expression came across her face. That's when Mommy really lost it. At about 10:00, Daddy handed Phoebe to the anesthesiologist and he took Phoebe in his arms and carried her to to the OR. Mommy and Daddy stayed in this room for about 15 minutes, and cried, reminded in such a way of the heartache we've already been through, and hoping that our little baby girl would come out ok on the other end of today's surgery. Once in the OR, it took about an hour to get her ready with the anesthesia; the surgery itself started at about 11 a.m., and was finished at about 3:30. The great news is that because the surgery was about 4 1/2 hours (under 6), Phoebe did not have to go to the PICU. She spent a couple of hours in the recovery room and was then taken right back to her regular hospital room.

Phoebe looks great, for having undergone major abdominal surgery. The docs are giving her extra IV fluids, so she looks a little puffy, and she is pretty zonked from the pain medications so she's sleeping a lot. She has several tubes going to and from various places in her body. There is an N-G tube draining any fluids her stomach produces, so they don't build up in her stomach and make her bloated and uncomfortable, and so they don't travel throughout her digestive system and irritate the sutures when her intestines wake up (the body stops them from working for a few days after they've been manipulated in surgery). There's her Broviac IV, which is duck soup, old hat. She's getting just some fluids at the moment. The docs are hoping to start TPN again maybe tomorrow or Friday. Then Phoebe has an epidural for pain management (like what Mommy had during delivery). The epidural is on a constant drip, and provides her with a local anesthetic and fentenyl, an opioid that makes her loopy. Coming out of Phoebe's incision is a tube draining fluid from inside the abdominal cavity. This is there because there is a ton of fluid in the abdomen after such a surgery; after the surgeons finish sewing up, they wash things off help stave off infection, and the "gut" naturally "weeps". This fluid needs to be removed because, as we all know, germs like dark, warm, wet places. The last tube is a catheter for urine. They gave her this for two reasons: to avoid manipulating her body for diaper changes (cuz of the major ow-ie on her belly), and to be able to measure her output so they can balance her fluids via IV. Her incision looks great, too. Overnight, Phoebe pulled out her N-G tube. The nurse called us (to tell us they put in another one) in our hotel room but we were sleeping so deeply that we didn't even hear the phone. They made loose little splints for her arms from gauze and tongue depressors to keep her from pulling it out in a frenzy again.

Phoebe did great. She is a champ. For now, she is resting quietly and healing up. Thanks for checking in!

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