Thursday, January 13, 2011

Day of surgery -- 1/12/11

An update on Cassie's surgery (this post is from Daddy, as Mommy is currently occupied.)

Cassie's surgery went well. There were no surprises and no complications. Of course there is still recovery, removal of stitches, and a few other things to keep us awake but the riskiest part is behind us. The next three weeks will be, shall we say, interesting.

Cassie was sent home with a "no-no". A no-no is a pair of arm splints designed to keep the elbows from bending. These are connected by a strap that runs behind her back. The end-game is to keep her hands away from her mouth. Not surprisingly, Cassie is not amused. She would very much like to NOT have a no-no. But for the next three weeks, she will. I like to think that the term "no-no" is a reference to the amount of sleep the parents get while a child is wearing one of these things. There is no truth to this, but I'm having fun with the idea anyway.

Also in store for the next three weeks is a soft diet. Soup, oatmeal, purees, etc. Also, no valves in any sippy cups, as she must not be allowed to suck. Right now, she prefers to be fed through an oral syringe. This works well so long as the food is pureed. The only trouble with this is that Chloe wants all the same things as Cassie gets. That includes being fed through a syringe.

Cassie seems to be herself today, which is to say that she is smiling, laughing, and wanting to run around the house. We've got her on Tylenol 3, so her trademark energy is tempered just a bit. Last night, she was not herself. I think that was the Versed working its way through her system. She's telling us when she's in pain, so that's a big help.

FYI - for any parents out there who find it challenging to get your child to take Tylenol 3, here is what we are doing. The medicine comes in liquid form with no flavoring, which means it tastes like industrial chemicals. We pull the prescribed amount into an oral syringe, and then fill the remainder of the syringe with vanilla syrup we normally use to flavor coffee. That's a so-called simple-syrup (two parts sugar, one water, brought to a boil, then cooled) flavored with vanilla extract.

Cassie has a followup appointment next Thursday (Jan 20). Hopefully her stitches will be removed then. She also has some dissolving stitches which will need no further intervention.

Now for few things to make you smile:
1. Detroit Children's Hospital does a lot of really nice things for the kids. There was a "Life Coach" assigned to Cassie. A Life Coach's job is to keep the kids at ease, and I have to say that the one we had was very good at her job. She had a bag full of toys and a bright smile and soothing voice. Cassie still has a lot of anxiety issues, so strangers are always hit and miss with her. When she's upset, it's more miss than hit. However, her Life Coach won her over in just a few short minutes. She stayed with Cassie all the way to surgery, leaving only when Cassie was completely under.

2. When we got home, I went to the local pharmacy to pick up Cassie's prescriptions (antibiotics, Tylenol 3). I took Chloe with me to keep her out of Momma's hair while she tended to Cassie. At the back of the pharmacy, while waiting for the prescriptions to be filled, an employee came up to me and said "There's been a report of unbelievable cuteness near the pharmacy counter. I've been sent to investigate." Then she asked me if she could give Chloe a balloon. (Gee, I thought she was talking about me. Bummer.) Of course I said yes, but that turns out to have been a small mistake. I should have said that I can accept zero or two balloons but not one. When I got home, a squabble ensued over the one balloon. So I packed Chloe up in the car and went back. I told them the story and they gave me five more balloons. They SELL these balloons at the pharmacy, but today they were free. There is nothing people won't do for you when you've got a cute kid in tow.

And now, some pictures.

Before surgery, enjoying a Slurpee. Doctor's orders. See prior post.

All smiles. She knows she's going to the hospital today so they can fix her lip. We've been telling her for a few days. She knows, but she doesn't fully understand what's in store.

Pre-op. Playing with bubbles given to her by the life coach. Chloe's in the background wearing a resident surgeon's hat. The resident had come to see Cassie earlier. In the world of "hits and misses" (see above), this guy was a miss. He knew it too, so he took off his hat and said "See? I'm not a doctor anymore. Wanna wear my hat?" She wasn't having any of that, so Chloe ended up with the hat.

Here is a close-up of Cassie's lip, pre-op. The surgeon has been in the room, and made a few marks with a purple marker.

Several hours later, Cassie wakes up. Momma is there to hold her. She's really feeling the anesthetic at this point. Barely awake.

Here's a closer view.

And here's a shot a few hours later, at home. You can see the stitches protruding from the bottom of her lip. On her right arm is one half of a "no-no". When Cassie gets tired or stressed, her thumb finds its way into her mouth. She's going to be in this no-no for three weeks. It will be interesting to see if the habit gets broken.

Another shot - with better lighting.

And now a close-up. Poor baby.

Another close-up, with flash.


LynnieB said...

Precious angel! Praying for the next three weeks to go quickly and for fast healing. Thomas wore no no's. NO fun!

Melissa said...

SO glad the surgery went well. The nono's don't sound like much fun for anyone. I love how they tried to at least make them appear cute. Good luck with the healing and sleeping over the next couple of weeks.

Heather Hale said...

I think Emmalyne would have an absolute conniption fit about the no-no's. Poor baby girl. Sending lots of love and healing out for baby and mama and baba (and some in advance for Chloe).

groovy mama said...

Hoping all is still going good! I am sure in 3 weeks all things will be perfect!...hugs to you all