Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Bye bye, Broviac

Phoebe's broviac (central catheter or "IV") was removed today. All went famously. The procedure required general anesthesia, and was completed within 45 minutes. What a cinch. We arrived at the hospital at 9:30 a.m. for our 11:00 "OR" time. They took us into the surgical acute care unit (SACU) for paperwork etc. at 10:00 and they took her for the procedure at 10:45. We wiped our misty eyes and went back to the waiting room. At 11:30, the surgeon visited us in the waiting room, telling us that everything went exactly as expected and that we could go see her as soon as she woke up. They called for us just a few minutes later. As we walked through the SACU, we could hear her crying, and as we came into view, she started reaching for us. It hit me that she is becoming such a big girl- looking more like a toddler than a baby, and able to communicate her basic desire to be with her parents.

No more:
-worrying about "line sepsis" (general infection of the Broviac line that goes right to her heart) when she finds the line in her shirt and would suck on it
-changing the dressing, which required tying up her arms so she couldn't pull at the exposed line or introduce germs to the sterile field
-changing the end cap
-flushing with saline and heparin daily
-sealing up the broviac entrance site with gauze and tegaderm (a large, clear plastic adhesive bandage) before a bath
-removing the tegaderm etc. after a bath (ouch!) and the protesting that accompanied it
-fielding questions

Now we can:
-rest assured that a fever is a fever and not line sepsis
-get rid of the boxes of medical supplies crowding her room
-have a tubby whenever we want because we don't have to worry about the Broviac site getting wet

We had a mini pizza party at home this afternoon to celebrate. Phoebe had Cheerios. This is the best Christmas gift we could want. Congratulations, Phoebe! On to enjoying life!!