Saturday, December 3, 2011

December 3, 2011

Yesterday's surgery went well and Charlotte was discharged this afternoon at 2:30 p.m. So, so good to be home. Just one night in the hospital was longer than any of us wanted to experience; as we packed up to leave Patrick joked that it almost felt as good as the day we took her home from the hospital (after a 94 day inpatient stay). I'm including a few pictures from the past couple of days. Warning: I'm including a picture of her surgical wound, so don't scroll down if you'll be queasy.

The surgical waiting area is full of toys. Here's Charlotte moments after we arrived as she moved frantically around the room checking out all of the toys. After we waited here for a couple of hours the toys lost their novelty and she was ready to get going.

Here she is changed into her hospital clothes. We love the Family Life Specialists at Amplatz. Before her surgery one of the specialists brought her a baby doll with a G-tube and a bag of medical toys to play with. Then, on Friday night when her IV lost the vein another Family Life Specialist used an iPad with very cool apps (animal noises, music, fireworks, etc.) to distract her. She didn't even fuss, and I know we would have had to physically restrain her if it'd been just the nurse.

Here she is a few minutes after we got to her inpatient room. She was wiped out. We knew she was going to be just fine when she was up for giving high-fives to Grandma and Grandpa Russell as they finished their visit.

And here is the surgeon's work. Her original G-Tube site was just above and to the right of where you can see the Mic-Key Button. We're happy the surgeon was able to do this laparoscopically through her belly button. Before the surgery he said there was a good chance he would need to make an incision if there was extensive scar tissue internally, and that would have meant an extra scar.

Another note, our surgeon said it is rather unusual that a G-Tube site needs to be moved. He said in his career he's only performed a couple dozen of these procedures and never on any of the tubes he placed initially (surgeons are known for their modesty, you know... :p). He seemed to imply that the surgeon who placed it initially had created too much tension between the tube and the stomach which caused the tube to migrate up toward the ribs. He planned to leave as little tension as possible.

He somehow managed to use the same stomach hole, which is why we were able to leave the hospital early this afternoon instead of late tonight or even tomorrow. We are very happy with our surgeon and hope he's as knowledgeable as it seems.

Charlotte's evening nurse brought her a wagon, so we spent a lot of time walking around the halls like this. This picture is from her first ride when she was exhausted, but when she perked up she enjoyed pointing and saying "that way" and "more walk" when we tried to return to her room.

She was tired, but not too tired to pass up an opportunity to play with toys! There was a great play room on our floor that she enjoyed a couple of times. It's staffed by volunteers, and I'm sure many of those volunteers are the budding health professionals I advise at the U. I was happy I didn't recognize anyone as that may have been awkward.

Day 2! There was only room for one of us to spend the night with her, so she was happy on Daddy's shoulder when he returned to the hospital this morning.

Relaxing with some Dora.

And here's a picture of my own budding health professional (maybe?). Or, I guess any profession that involves gloves. She was pretty excited about them.

Time to go home! We expect her to have some pain and discomfort for the next couple of days, but it should lessen and be gone completely.

Hospital trips do not get easier. The hardest part is giving her up to the surgical staff - I think I'd even rather being the room during the surgery. This time we were able to be in the room when she first opened her eyes, which was easier than last time when we walked in and she was crying in a nurse's arms. She seemed comforted waking up to familiar faces despite being in pain. We're just glad it's done and we hope this is her last surgery. Ever.

Growth progress update: At her pre-op appointment on December 1 Charlotte weighed 24 lbs 7 oz and was 33.5 inches tall. 

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