Saturday, June 19, 2010

Yesterday in Word (pictures follow!)

We had hoped to leave early enough in order to have time to visit our friends Giana and Dana in the PICU, but with traffic and construction we only got to the hospital 10 minutes early. The good news, though, was that they were packing up to go home anyway. Yes! By the time we got to the pre-op area it was 9:28. All that effort and we were only 2 minutes early!

They took Sumana back fairly quickly and started to get her ready for surgery. Once they found the requests for nerve monitoring, they had to move us to 'the quiet room' because of the fumes. What a great room! It was a private room with a door, not just a curtain! (It felt like the Taj Mahal!)

As she sat up in the bed, doctors and nurses were coming in and out, in and out. 90% of the people remembered Sumana from previous surgeries. It was so funny! It was like she was a celebrity and everyone wanted to come and get her autograph! (Actually, Sumana's crazy mom was taking pictures of all of them with her!)

We had seen Dr. Sangeev in the hallway as we came down to the pre-op waiting area. He told us that it was his last day and he was moving to New York City. We were soooo bummed. It was always nice to see him and Sumana together . . . they were both born in the same Indian City. Anyway, he made a point of stopping in to see Sumana before her surgery and to say good bye. We'll really miss him, but we're happy to see him moving ahead with his career. If you're reading, Dr. Sangeev, Sumana and her family with you the very BEST for your future!!!

We got to meet the Dr. Constantine, who's in the next class of anesthesiologists after Dr. Sangeev. He took all of Sumana's info and was very friendly and kept Sumana laughing. He was great at setting her at ease. We'll look forward to seeing him at future surgeries.

At the same time, Miss Geri came in with posters and markers, stickers and chapsticks! She's a Child Life Specialist, who's job is to play with kids before their surgery!! She and Sumana had so much fun experimenting with chapstick flavors for her mask. Sumana still insists on having the laughing gas before any needles touch her body! I think it's more about playing with chap stick, though!!!

Dr. Sanders came in to see our girl next and he was his usual efficient AND friendly self. (It's such a nice combination!!!) He marked up Sumana's back and explained his plan again. At that point I asked him if we could go home that night if things went well. He was more than happy to agree to that as long as there were no complications in the surgery.

By 10:50, the OR was ready and Dr. Constantine came to take Sumana back. She and Rocky (her stuffed Black Lab with hospital bracelet and matching surgical cap!)rolled off for surgery 10 minutes early. Greig and I hung out in the waiting room and were joined by Mrs. Curtis, Miss Melody and then Miss Sonja. Thankfully, there were only 2 or 3 more children taken back after Sumana, so we had the whole place to ourselves and we could eat our lunch in our own private dining room (LOL!!!). It really helped pass the time to have these ladies with us.

We didn't have any updates til Dr. Sanders came out at 2:15ish (I think). He said the surgery had gone well. He replaced the lower portion of the far rod with the largest rod he could fit in. This will hopefully allow for many future expansions. The rod closest to her spine was expanded 2 cm and the previously broken rib held up well. I guess there's still a chance it might break again, but he has no concerns at this early stage. So, in a nutshell, things went extremely well and we are very grateful to Dr. Sanders' team and our own prayer team.

Since this post is getting WAY long, I'll try to speed through the 5 hours she was in 'recovery'. When she first woke up she announced to the post-op nurse that she wanted her DAD!!!! UGH!!! So, when they came out to get ONE parent to go back, i stood up and started back, but the nurse said, 'Is dad here? She's asking for him' Whatever!!! I'm just chopped liver (LOL!!) After only 20 minutes or so, they let me go back to, so I guess I'm not holding too much of a grudge!

By the way: they put her in 'the quiet room' again til we moved to the PICU or went home. It was such a great room, because we could close the door if it got noisy and it had 3 chairs and a TV! It was the perfect place to hang out for an extended time. And, we were glad not to have to visit our PICU staff friends!

She started having to do 'number one' within an hour of surgery and so we are now acquainted with another form of 'medical equipment' . . . the bed pan. Not to embarrass her, but let me just say her bed pan got a LOT of use over a 3 hour period!! We had to wait til 7:30 to get a final dose of Toridol (sp?)for the road. Just before that, Sumana WALKED to the bathroom, 25-30 feet away! Then she PULLED herself back into bed for her IV. AMAZING!

We left right after the IV and Sumana slept ALL the way home. THEN, she walked up our grassy hill (in her hospital socks)and in our back door. I've said it before and I'll say it again . . . WHAT A TROOPER!! We gave her an albuterol treatment and gave her a snack, drink and meds and tucked her in her comfy couch! I took the other couch and set the alarm for 2 am. Thankfully, she needed a bathroom break at 1:30 am, so she got her next dose of pain meds without having to be woken up. She was still up every hour or two for bathroom breaks, but no pain issues or lung issues overnight.

So far today her pain level has been at a 10 even with the meds, but the TV seems to help distract her. She also said she wants to play on the Wii balance board with help later, so I'm thinking the pain isn't a true '10'. We'll see how the day goes. As long as we can manage her pain she can stay home, otherwise we may need to take her back in. But, since she knows that I'm thinking she'll do everything she can to stay home.


  1. Soooooooooooo glad to hear that things went so well! We'll keep on praying that the healing goes smoothly! Please pass along gentle hugs to Sumana! :)

  2. Go Sumana!!!! So thrilled that you got a speed-pass out of there :) Hope your pain subsides quickly - I'm sure the wii will help, hehehe.
    Dana & Giana