International Adoption Book

Sunday, December 6, 2009

C Had Surgery

Sorry about the delay in posting our recent activities, but (as you will see) it's been a bit hectic lately.

On December 3rd C was scheduled for surgery. Her ENT wanted to repair the Cochlear Implant that had slipped out of her right Cochlea and add a new device in her left ear. We chose this drastic route since C was diagnosed with Usher Syndrome Type I (which means that she will go blind. It's a progressive disease and her eyes are, at age 6, already functioning like a 40 year old's. She has limited periphreal vision and is most noticeable when she walks, especially at night, because she trips over everything, even the slight rise that is between the sidewalk and grass).

My day started out very early on Thursday. I was up at 5:00am. Knowing I would be getting up early that morning I went to bed at a decent hour. But, I was wired and had a hard time sleeping. Plus, C didn't want to sleep that night, either, making my night more miserable. MJ didn't help, either, because he tossed and turned quite a bit. But, I got up and ate breakfast since I knew I wasn't going to get to eat until C went into surgery... What parent would eat in front of their child when that poor little thing couldn't eat. I showered, too, of course. I had packed a couple of bags the previous day. I remembered well what happened a couple of months ago when MJ went to the ER and we ended up being transported to a larger hospital where we stayed for 5 days with nothing to do and no clean clothes (disgusting). I wasn't about to get caught in that same position this time!

C got up around 5:30 and swiftly got herslef taken care of. She had had her shower the previous night and so only really needed to get dressed and have a touch of water. She was so hungry, though, since she had not had anything to eat for nearly 12 hours. Once she was done we were off!

It was excessively foggy that morning, so our drive time was extended to nearly 2 hours. Plus I had forgotten to get money and gas, so I needed to stop and do that before we really got on the road. Thankfully, I was following several other cars into the area, so it cut down on the fog issues.

We arrived at UC Davis at 7:45 that morning and were shown into the pre-surgery room by 8:30, where we waited and waited and waited some more. C's surgery was originally due to begin between 9:45 and 10:00am. At 10:30 the staff came in to tell us that it would be maybe another 30 minutes to an hour before they would begin as they were running late.

At 11:30 C was finally wheeled into the OR where they began the scheduled 4-1/2 hour surgery to repair the right implant and insert a new implant on her left side.

When C was wheeled into the OR I took the time to run to the caffeteria. I made a quick stop at the little coffee shop, first, where I ordered myself a super large regular coffee (which tasted as if someone had burned the beans before filtering it into the coffe pot and burning it again). With my caffiene jolt safely in my hands I drug all my and C belongings into the lobby waiting area and made a few phone calls and sent a few texts.

My stomach was doing summer saults by this time, so I nixed the idea of eating lunch and instead ate a Nutrigrain Bar before meandering back to the Children's Surgery Center waiting area where I enjoyed an hour of gossip with one of the nurses on reception desk duty.

At 3:30pm a nurse dressed in typical operating room attire sat next to me and delivered some interesting news. The first thing out of her mouth was, "Your daughter is fine and doing well." But, she followed that with, "It's taking longer than we had anticipated. It will be at least another hour to an hour and a half." Two and a half hours later, C was finally wheeled out of surgery and into the recovery room!!! Yes, the surgery took nearly 7 hours!

Because the Children's Surgery Center closes at 6:00pm C was wheeled into the main recovery area on the second floor. Usually family is not allowed into that area at until the patient is stable and awake. I was allowed to go into the recovery area and sit with C the entire time. The nurses used the excuse that I was her interpreter, which I was. I was the only one who could communicate with her. Plus, because they couldn't communicate with her they didn't want her too frightened.

When C woke up enough for the first time to communicate, the first thing she said was that she was hungry and thirsty. So, her nurse gave her some apple juice. She downed that like it was a sacred currative. She followed that with a scoop of Strawberry Ice Cream. Scooping the ice cream out with the plastic spoon was like trying to carve a pumpkin with a plastic knife. But, once C had the first bite she yanked the small bowl of ice cream out of the nurse's hand with such fervour that we (literally) did not see her reacting until she had already had the bowl in her hand and the spoon into her mouth (that's how hungry she was). We both lunged for the ice cream to keep C from eating too fast and making herself sick. I was able to get it away from her, but couldn't feed her fast enough. C was deserate for any type of nourishment. She finally slowed down enough about half way through the ice cream to be able to allow it to settle into her tummy before reaching for more. Once the ice cream was about 2/3rds empty C finally relented to the drowsiness and drifted back to sleep.

C slept for another hour and then woke up again. This time she was more awake and I was able to ask her important questions about how she was feeling. Shortly thereafter they decided to release C. So, she sat up and began getting dressed. The next thing we know is she's vomitting. It wasn't much, but it was enough to spew out the Tylenol with Codiene that they had just given her. Suddenly, not 5 minutes later, C spewed out a large quantity of the fluids she had taken in during her recovery. But, she had to go potty, which was great since she hadn't urinated since 11:00 that morning and her pull-up was still dry. The staff still felt she could be released to go home for the remainder of her recovery, so they wheeled C out to the parking garage where they let her go. She and I took the elevator to the second floor and proceeded to get into the car. The moment I turned the van on C vomitted again! Thank goodness for the puke bucket they gave us because it would have been really nasty (and Mom would have had so much to clean up between me and C... Because I certainly would have puked right along side her if I had had to clean it up).

While we were waiting for C's Tylenol with codiene to arrive, I had searched for my validated parking ticket. It was GONE!!! I couldn't find it anywhere. I had to claim a "lost tickes" and ended up haivng to pay the full day's price, which considering where we were wasn't bad at all... It cost me $12 to leave the parking garage and, since they only take cash, I was glad I had stopped at the ATM that morning.

The rest of the journey home was a breaze. C fell asleep before we even hit the freeway and the night was clear. Matt kept texting me, and because California has a law against being on the phone and driving (which I totally agree with) I kept having to pull over. He finally called me to see how C was doing as I pulled into the driveway. Go figure!

We slept at my parents' house just to be on the safe side and woke up feeling pretty good. C had woken up several times from the pain, but was otherwise fine. No more vomitting! And I slept with MJ, as usual, but it was a smaller bed and he kept rolling inot me, so I didn't sleep very soundly. I talked to Matt more thoroughly that morning before heading off to breakfast at the local diner followed by a jaunt into town for pain medication for C. We arrived home in plenty of time to pick M up from school. Afterwards, C, MJ and C's new doll (from Aunt K-B) all took a much needed nap.

The next morning, C was up and moving as if nothing had happened to her. I've had to fight to keep her from wrestling with Papa and dancing in the kitchen. She has had only Tylenol (without codiene) for pain medication and has done a wonderful job in keeping her hands off her ears!!!

Enjoy the progressive pictures of the past few days!

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