May 12, 2012

Surgery & Recovery Update

Annabelle had her surgery which was rescheduled from March (due to a cold & cough) on Friday May 11th.  They did a Tonsillectomy, Adenoidectomy and a bilateral myringotomy (no tubes).  Yikes!  It's no surprise she's not feeling so great.  Who know it was gong to be this difficult?  Not us!  I have to admit it's been a pretty rough 34 hours.  I was very disappointed when I read tonight that the healing process takes 7 -14 days.

Everything started off pretty well in preparation for the surgery.  Benjamin spent the night with Grammy and my Dad came over at 5:30 am to stay with Jack and take him to school.  THANK YOU MOM & DAD - you are the best!  Thankfully when we woke Annabelle at 5am she was in a happy and playful mood.  She was excited to wear her new strawberry jammies (thank you Moland Family for the super cute hand-me-downs).  Thankfully, she didn't know she would be having surgery and feeling so yucky in just a few hours.

She looked like such a big girl sitting there at the table playing with her toys.  I'm still wondering where my baby girl went.  In the blink of an eye she went from a tiny baby to this beautiful and happy young girl.

My Ipod was a major life savor to have when we are at the hospital waiting.  Thankfully we were the first case of the morning and were scheduled for 7:30 am so the wait wasn't so bad, just a bit stressful for Branden and I.  Annabelle continued to be her happy, Ipod obsessed self.
Branden and I have never really discussed it but for some reason I have always been the one to take her back into the operating room before a surgery.  I'm sure Branden would probably like to be with her as well, but I think he lets me because he knows I just need to hold her as long as I can.  I'm so thankful for that opportunity to be with her and make her feel as safe as possible until she falls asleep from the medicine.
Just hanging out with my girl and her "Daddy" doll until they call our name.
I'm happy to report that neither Annabelle or I cried in the OR this time.  She was such a strong, brave girl and I did my best to follow her example.  The doctor's kept commenting about how good she was being.  I knew she was scared but I just continued to whisper in her ear letting her know that everything was going to be alright.  I knew it would be.  I finally felt at peace about the surgery and about the team of doctors and nurses that wold be caring for her.  I guess my mini breakdown on Thursday night got all of the tears and out of control worrying out of my system.

It was a surprisingly short surgery.  I think they called us back to recovery in less than an hour.   However, I wasn't prepared for how much pain she was in.  She was sad, mad and obviously VERY uncomfortable.  She was not interested at all in any of the popsicle's, ice cream or juice boxes they offered her.  She did however like the little elephant they gave her.    
Unfortunately we were only able to get her to take 2 sips of water before we were released at noon.  Thankfully they agreed to release her and not keep us over night because she has the G-tube and they knew we would be able to keep her hydrated and nourished through her tube.  They did say that it was very important that she drink a little by mouth each day to keep her throat moist and healing.   
She was in a lot of pain when we got home and although she was tired she was too restless to sleep very much.  She was also unwilling to take anything by mouth.  She wouldn't even swallow her own saliva so she was (is) drooling a ton.  Sadly, this is what she looked like for the majority of Friday and throughout the night. 
She actually threw up at midnight, which was super sad and a huge mess.  Thankfully, Branden was willing to sleep in her room (on the floor) which were doctor's orders.  The poor guy was up almost every other hour all night with her.  The pain medicine doesn't seem to last very long and once it wears off she lets us know she's in pain.

Today (Saturday) has been slightly better for pain.  Although she is still quite uncomfortable she doesn't seem to be in as much pain.  Unfortunately, her tongue is super swollen and that seems to be really bothering her.  She is also not talking.  I'm guessing it's because of the swollen tongue.  It's very different not hearing her speak since we are so used to her being a chatterbox and communicating her needs so well.  I can tell she is frustrated by it as well.  She is also continuing to be very stubborn and not drinking anything.  We are hopeful she will be more willing tomorrow.  I am unsure what will happen if we can't get her to drink or swallow.  I hope we don't have to find out.

I can't begin to thank everyone who has been there supporting us through yet another surgery.  Surgery # 9!  We are hopeful this is the last surgery for a very long time.  We are hopeful that the healing process will get easier each day.  Thank you for your continued prayers.