Friday, December 3, 2010

Will these scares always be with us?

Yesterday was very long for Jillian and I, but even longer for Aurelia. We're stressed about so many things. Jillian is simply done with being away. I don't blame her. She hasn't said much at all on the blog about her ordeal, but this has been one of the hardest paths she's ever walked, if not the hardest. She's finished with being at the hospital, being away from home, living out of a suitcase, keeping Madison away from home, trying to balance her needs, Aurelia's needs, and the feelings and emotions of family and friends, and putting up with a sometimes petulant husband.

For my part, I've shared some posts laced with some of the emotional challenges I face and did so again yesterday as we moved throughout the day's surgery. The partial nissen went well, as did the hernia repair and her g-tube installation. She spent the evening in the CICU still intubated and under heavy sedation. One bonus of being with this team of amazing professionals for so long comes from working one on one with nearly every attending, fellow, and resident that cycles through the sixth floor heart units. For example, her surgeon yesterday was the same surgeon that did Aurelia's intestinal operation on day 1 of life; her anesthesiologist yesterday was also the one that repaired her first PICC line after it went bad a few weeks ago (a month ago already, maybe?), and the attending doctors last night and today/this evening, Drs. Naim and Kirnch, both cared for Aurelia for weeks at a time.

This mattered to us because the team knew to keep Aurelia sedated while still intubated or else risk her becoming fiercely worked up and potentially at greater risks for stress-generated troubles. It took longer than we hoped for her to be extubated today, but given her respiratory history their caution is understandable. As such she's still on high flow room air through a gargantuan nasal canula, but other than the discomfort that's causing her, her breathing has been good.

Her g-tube looks good and if she maintains positive numbers through night rounds they will start her up on feeds, probably at 1/4 her caloric needs. We're excited about this for obvious reasons, but also because Aurelia had been on fluids only so much this last week that her electrolytes have been all over the map. So much so that tonight, while Jillian and I were in a class on how to administer feeds and medication through a g-tube, her heart rate began to stutter with a few early beats before crashing to the 70s. Naturally this caused more than some panic. Thankfully our girl showed her grit and brought her rate back up on her own and showed no real issues on her EKG, meaning they didn't have to administer any real kind of resuscitation.

So, now with her hernia repaired, her nissen hopefully helping with her reflux, and barring any more cardiac scares this evening, we hope to be on the path to getting fed, stable, and out of here in a couple of weeks.

And yes, we're crossing our fingers. We're not really getting our hopes up because we've been there too many times before, but we are starting to finalize our action plan for all the things that have to be in place for departure so that whenever it happens we will be able to focus on our girls and not administrative poppycock.

Hope you're all doing well, and as always, thank you for your prayers and love, and support.

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