Make sure you read P Flap: Pre Op.
Ok. Sorry it has taken me so long to get around to this post!
So I last left you hanging with Josie being wheeled off to surgery.
Well after this (around 8am), we went back to the hotel to grab Grandma, Mary and Baby Mike. Dr Ricalde had told us to expect the surgery to last 2 hours, maybe a little longer. We got one phoned update from a nurse shortly after they started (30 minutes in or so) that she had been intubated smoothly.
We left the hotel about 9:00 and arrived to the surgical waiting area about 9:30 and the volunteer / receptionist / candy striper girl got really excited when she saw us and said, “Ooh! I have a message for you!” Which freaked me out. And I checked my phone and they hadn’t called.
She kind of fumbled around for a minute at the desk and someone else announces that she’s out of surgery! She’s in the PACU!
To which news we all went, oh. Ok. Wait. Wow. What? Ok.
The total surgery had been under 2 hours.
And as the volunteer / receptionist / candy striper girl walked us to the PACU, I murmured, “I can’t believe she’s out in under 2 hours!”
The girl responded, “Yeah surgeries never take as long as they say they will.”
Which left me a bit dumbfounded, cause uh. No. Not in our case ever. So I said something vague like, “Well I mean, my daughter usually has long surgeries…”
But really in my head, I was like,
Girl. You don’t even know.
Same thing happened later that day with a nurse when I told her about all the blood from Josie’s palate repair when she was a baby. The nurse was like, “Yeah a little bit of bleeding from the head looks worse than it is”
Yeeeeeah… couldn’t be that she hemorrhaged out of her mouth, nose and ears, had a transfusion and 2 emergency reintubations and it actually was a lot of blood. Yada yada…I just take deep breaths. Gets me through as I silently bite my tongue. Ouch.
Anyway, Thursday post-op, late morning–
We get back to the PACU and had a chatty, pushy nurse (actually almost every PACU nurse we’ve ever had has been chatty and a bit pushy come to think of it. That’s a weird, revelation. They’re always full of many directions and helpful info when all you want to do is see that your child opens her eyes again).
Josie was in and out of consciousness. Not appearing to be in any pain and barely swollen at all.
My beautiful girl:
We ran into the surgeon in the hall immediately following the surgery. She gave us a quick run down, but all I heard was, “smooth as silk” and “doing great” or something like that.
From this point she mostly slept the next 8 hours straight. Her stats were great.
My brain (and Brian’s) was so jumbled from the stress, and elation, and worry, and a million other things, we spent the next hour trying to suss out random stuff–like who’d have the little ones since they weren’t allowed in the PICU and how we’d coordinate a swap, and where to meet, and who / what to feed the littles, and how we’d get our stuff we left in the PCU (that our nurse had told us to leave everything bc we were returning to the room, though I knew better but whatever when your baby’s going to surgery. Who cares where the stroller ends up at that moment), etc…
We got her up to a room in the PICU. There was a very loud young nurse yelling at everyone to suit up because of MRSA. And I was like, whoa what is going on. And lots of yelling between 3 nurses and the charge nurse and the next thing I know everyone including myself is in a mask, yellow paper gown and gloves because no one had swabbed Josie’s nose prior to admittance.
So we had to swab poor post-op Josie’s nose for MRSA and wait all suited up while our nurse apologized 337897 times for the procedure. Honestly I didn’t mind. I don’t want MRSA to spread either.
An hour later our nurse goes, ok the results are here. Everything off. And alerts everyone else at the nursing desk. Then she flips though the chart asking about a shunt or something, and I’m going… uh… Lady, I got no idea what we’re talking about.
Wrong patient chart. Whoops.
So we all suit back up again! haha.
A couple more hours later and we get the real results back. No MRSA. Whew. I knew that but thankfully the results were proof
positive err… negative?
Josie meanwhile developed crazy huge swollen duck lips and was very grumpy. Poor girl. She was also very nauseous and retched a few times off and on. Mostly after every time someone came in the room and woke her and gave her a med. She’d put up a huge fight and then retched for 20 minutes afterward every. single. time.
That night, she stayed on IV fluids, a laxative, prednisone for swelling, anti-nausea stuff, Factor XII, some Morphine and then Tylenol as the night wore on; she slept well, but sometime that evening she ended up throwing up for the first time ever.
Technically, as a baby she had spit up a bit of barium following a swallow-study at a month and a half old. She had the nissen-fundo right after that, so nope, she’s never thrown up. Sounds great, but it’s actually miserable.
Yes finally, nearly 5 years after she had the Nissen Fundoplication surgery, that sucker is history. Adios. Good riddance.
Soo, that night, after one horrible vomit of pink bloody mucus (thank God nothing like her palate repair when I poured a pint of blood that looked like black sludge out of her G-tube), she settled down and started to do better.
In the morning, I started pushing 2 sips of water in between episodes of Disney Junior programming because the rumor on the street was that the hematologist had reviewed Josie’s case and was going to switch us off IV clotting meds and send us home on Amicar for a few days. She was actually talking comfortably; it just seemed to be swallowing that hurt her.
They turned the fluids off that afternoon. She didn’t seem to be in any pain and the swelling had gone down, so we went to grab a bite to eat and soon afterward this happened.
Woohoo! We got discharged so quick, we didn’t even have her clothes to wear home. We had to steal a purple gown!
We’re about a week post op. We made the trek down to Tampa (and back) just yesterday, and according to Dr Ricalde “the stitches look softer” whatever that means. Feel free to explain to me if you know, please. All I cared about is she looks good. Healing is on track. And we know what to look out for in case of an infection. Praying that she heals quick and well!!!
Josie is also officially allowed a soft diet (rather than only the purees she’s been suffering through this week).
Josie starts preschool (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) soon too, so I have to figure out a good “soft food” lunch for her (no bread allowed).
Leaving the doctor’s office she feasted on mac and cheese and was a happy girl.
Due back for another Tampa check up with Dr Ricalde in a couple weeks.
Please keep little Josie in your prayers still since her throat will take about 3 weeks total to heal. Thanks!!