Through the woods, but not quite out of them

Surgery lasted an hour and 18 minutes longer than planned. That was a stupid long extra 78 minutes to this already seriously long day. And then it gets worse. We still haven't seen her. Her surgeon has been by and said all the reassuring things the surgeon is supposed to say, and the receiving Pediatric ICU nurse did a debrief. The debrief included letting us know Pants is allergic to something she came in contact with today, so she is covered in hives, but as she is still intubated, her breathing is fine. She also advised that her pee is green from the drugs that are keeping her unconscious. She will be kept out for 24 hours - that too seems like more than I was planning on, but if that is what she needs, I am all for it. She also told us her eyes are swollen shut from being face down all day, that we were told about - I'll let you know how it really is when we see her.

So now we wait. Anxiously. Another waiting room, another wait.

The Final Countdown

Here we are. Eleven hours at the hospital and Avery has been in surgery for almost nine. I'll be honest, I'm a bit anxious and I'm exhausted. Completely exhausted. We still haven't heard word from the OR and we're taking that as a really good sign. Every time someone walks by the windows though I look up and hope it's Dr. Missiuna. 

There's a hospital worker doing laps wearing her headphones. I think she's on lap 9 or 10. 

Dawn was the lovely old lady on shift two for the volunteers. She was supposed to leave at 4:30 but stuck around to see another woman to her kid and another man in to wait (we have company now!) and she absolutely insisted we go eat. Wouldn't leave until we did. So we ate and she left (but not before asking if I wanted another warm blanket - such a sweet woman). The new guy in the waiting room is playing a game on his iPhone that dings every 10 seconds. I am annoyed but too polite to say anything.

Hot in Cleveland is on the TV.

Next update likely won't be until Avery is set up in the ICU. Breathing in. Breathing out. 

~ Dad

passing the time. lots of time.

We are on to the 2nd shift of hospital volunteer in the OR waiting room. And down to 3 people waiting, though 2 of the are the other parent/person waiting. I asked the hospital volunteer when her shift was over, as the morning lady told us it would be before Avery is out of surgery - she kindly offered to stay after her shift so we could eat a little later (this almost made me cry) as she lives both close and alone, so she really didn't mind.  Oh the dilemma.

I tried to update Avery's classmates - though I am not sure that a few of them still don't think it was Avery just speaking about herself in  the 3rd person.

Time passes very slowly here. But my step count is over 5k :)

More Than Halfway?

If all goes as planned we're more than halfway through. Here are some random thoughts:

- I've lost count of the number of people who've already come and gone from the waiting room.

- There's a big clock on the wall that I glance at every now and then too. By "now and then" I mean at least once every 2.5 seconds. 

- We're not asking the OR for updates. Instead we're taking the no news is good news approach. Business as usual for the experts.

- I managed to eat some lunch and read lots of comments on Facebook.

- Just noticed that my hands are freezing but my pits are sweaty.

- I ate peanut M&M's (because The Dude is at home and I'll be here all day and night) and they were absolutely fantastic!

- Our friend Pete changed his profile pic to him wearing a tiara. Pete is awesome.

- Our friend Jay called while away on business just because he figured I'd need a distraction (he was right)

- There is this really long empty hallway around the corner. It's a little creepy.

That's it for now. Another update to come when there's an update to give.

~ Dad

And So It Begins

One parent gets to come into the operating room with the child. Guess who it was?

As you can see they give you some fancy clothes and a cool hair net (shoe booties not shown). The anesthesiologist came to say hello and explain everything. Then the surgeon, Dr. Missiuna, came to say hello and ask how Pants was doing. Then a nurse came by and we were off to the OR. Avery is going to be in one of the new ones so I was expecting a lot of fanciness. I was not disappointed.

The OR was filled with all kinds of machines and tables and people. Lots and lots of people. At one point I counted 10! 

The nurses got her all hooked up with a oxygen meter on her finger, some sticky pads on her chest and back for some machine (hopefully the one that goes "ping!"), and then the anesthesiologist started her IV. She was worried about the needle but they numbed her up pretty good. He gave her some calming medicine and she started to cry. We just practiced our breathing eyes fixed on each other, me trying to make mine smile so she could see that everything would be okay. Then the first dose of sleepy time medicine was pushed through and she was out a few seconds later. They let me give her a kiss and then a nurse walked me back to Jodi. All in all I think I was in there for 10 minutes but let me tell you that it was the longest and most emotional 10 minutes of my entire life. 

Now we wait. 

They gave us a pager in the event we're not in the family waiting room and the doctor wants to talk to us. We can also request updates and have them relayed back to us from the OR. How long do we have to wait before the surgery is done? TEN hours. The longest ten freaking hours of our lives. Two shifts of volunteers are going to come and go and we'll still be here, waiting.


At 9:20, about an hour after I left the OR Dr. Missiuna came into the waiting room. He said rather quickly that it was just an update so we'd know what was going on but it wasn't quick enough to prevent the heart attack upon seeing him. 

He was just letting us know that Bruno the anesthesiologist was done and now it was his turn. I guess prep takes about an hour - which Dr. Missiuna said it would - as they have to get her a central line (in her neck), another IV, a catheter, a breathing tube, and then plug her into all the machines.

Now we wait.


Random notes:

- Jodi picked up a parking pass so we don't have to spend $20/day for the week we're here
- One of the researchers came by to pick up the paperwork Pants and Jodi filled out
- I ate a bagel and had some juice but still feel sick to my stomach
- I almost cry when I read all the wonderful comments on Facebook, Twitter, and text messages
- I am really happy that "anesthesiologist" is one of the first words autocorrect suggests 

~ Dad

T minus 2h 9min

In the car on the way to the hospital. Avery slept well but admitted to waking at 11:30 to get her last sip of water for a while and to have a good cry.

Jodi says she did not sleep very well. I know because I saw every hour on the clock and she was tossing and turning quite a bit.

Our ETA is about half an hour and we should arrive before our scheduled 6:30am appointment. I will be taking her in to be sedated at 8:00 am and then the longest 10 hours I can imagine begins.

More later. Thanks for thinking of us.

~ Dad