Sunday, June 8, 2014

21 minutes

The staff at Gillette Children's Hospital were amazing. We arrived in the late morning and they had all kinds of toys and games for her to play while we waited for surgery. Everyone involved with the surgery checked in with us and made sure we were doing good. They asked her to pick out a color for her cast, to which she responded that she wanted yellow AND red. The nurse said they would do their best to make a swirl for her.

Only one of us could go back into the surgical suite with her. I was really hoping my husband would volunteer because I was starting to have panic attacks about all of it. But when he didn't... I knew I had to because there was no way I was going to let her go back there alone! I got all dressed up in the space suit and we wheeled her back into the surgery suite. They had me hold her (something I was not expecting to do) while the anesthesiologist worked his magic. They had be bring a chapstick from home that had a familiar scent to it and rub it on the inside of the mask. He sang her ABC song and Itsy Bitsy Spider while the mask was over her mouth and nose. She started to fight it and wiggle a bit in the last few seconds (something they told me would happen).  Then she just went limp in my arms and they took her over to the table.

Lena's surgery was all done in 21 minutes! We barely had time to eat lunch. Dr. England met us back in the waiting room and explained he was able to do everything all in one incision instead of two. So, that's a bonus! Only one scar!

We were told she was ready to meet us in post surgery so we started our way to the back of the hospital. I could hear her screaming. :( I really had wanted to be there when she woke up, and I'm not sure how long she was scared with the staff. But we got there as quickly as I could. Lena was struggling with the nurse wanting to rip her IV out of her wrist. We tried to distract her with with television and snuggles until it was time for the IV to come out. Once it was out she calmed down quite a bit... until she saw the yellow and red swirled cast... then she screamed "NO!!! Only RED!!!!!" To which we had to giggle a little bit at the "difficulty" of being 3 years old and making decisions.

She ate a bunch of crackers, juice, applesauce, and popsicles. They let her pick out two stuffed animals and then it was time to go home! I think we were at the hospital about 5 hours.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Eve of First Surgery

Nerves are all a flutter as we prepare for our little girl to have her first surgery tomorrow. The doctor will be lengthening her muscle and a tendon on the inside of her right leg to correct how her foot is being pulled out from under her. It's been steadily getting worse for the last few months.

The surgery will be about 1.5-2 hours long and then we'll plan on being at the hospital another 2 hours or so during recovery and discharge. Then she'll be in a walking cast for 20 days - hopefully cleared for summer fun once all that is over with.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Going under the knife

Well, we've decided to get surgery done on little Miss Lena. After 9 months of physical therapy it has come to a point where we've done as much good as we can... and it just isn't enough. We'll still have to do lots of physical therapy after surgery, but this will get her ahead of the curve.

Oddly enough the surgery will only be on her right leg - which was deemed the "better" of the two last year. If you recall, last year we were told that lefty was "for sure" going to need surgery and that physical therapy would be very difficult even for a professional to get just the right stretches in to correct her tripod, and that righty was just a rubber crowbar that needed some strengthening and corrected posture. We started physical therapy essentially only to fix righty because Dr. England believed that leg could be fixed with physical therapy, but that if it couldn't he wanted to do both legs at the same time. Made sense to us! Well, somehow we magically fixed lefty... but righty is flat and curving in (I guess you could call it a partial relapse??).

We're still in shock and of course left the appointment without asking any questions. In fact, we left without realizing he only wanted to do surgery on one leg. We had to call back! The surgery is schedule for April 18th (Good Friday - that's good luck, right??). We have many weeks ahead of us to ask questions and verify our course, and although this is scary it does feel right. Our doctor is not very "knife happy" and wouldn't be recommending this surgery unless it were totally necessary. Odds of having TWO children with clubfeet not need any surgery is probably impossible.

Any words of advice from all of you that have had children undergo a surgery??