Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Stoma closure - part 2

So her stoma is finally closed. She no longer has a hole visible in her neck, that shows where that tiny piece of silicone kept her alive all those months. It's a new dawn, a new day, a new life. She can wear a "bathing soup" and actually go in the pool, instead of watching from the side with me frantically making sure no water goes anywhere near her neck. The pic on the left shows her stoma (and Kate) as it looked the morning of the procedure. The pic on the right shows Kate, matter of factly, coloring the morning after the procedure.

Honestly, this was the easiest trip to CHOP for a surgery, that we've even had - even with a few hiccups along the way. We arrived in plenty of time and while they took Kate into the peri op area almost immediately, we stayed there waiting for over 2 hours. It was definitely torturous -- Kate had been n.p.o since 11p the night before and was starving. This was her first procedure without a feeding tube and she talked incessantly, while in the tiny cubicle, about the chicken nuggets, french fries and ice cream she was getting once it was over. Poor girl, just like her mom -- all about the food. Anyway, the finally took her back at 1:40 and by 3 sent out a nurse to tell us they were closing her up for good. Yippeeeee!!! By 3:30 another nurse brought us to a private meeting room to wait for Dr. Jacobs to speak with us. Now, this was Kate's 7th time in the CHOP OR and in those 7 times we've NEVER been brought to a private room. In fact, the day of Kate's trach placement, Dr. Jacobs came out to show me the pics from her bronch and explain that he needed to trach front of at least 30 people in a tiny crowded little room. The next parent was literally sitting 6 inches from me. So to be brought to a different room certainly upped the ante of our mild anxiety. B. and I sat in that room barely speaking until Dr. Jacobs finally came in, beaming and saying how great Kate had done. Whew! I breathed an audible sigh of relief and said, "you're killing us having us put in this room, we thought something had happened!". No, no she was fine he said. Her stoma was practically invisible inside her and the whole thing ended up being mainly a cosmetic procedure. Whew - again. Ultimately, she was sent to the regular floor, after a miscommunication sent B and I up to the PICU (where we both exchanged looks and decided through mental telepathy that we were keeping her door closed the entire time because the kids up there are SICK). She was pretty grogged out by the time we got to her room, but not groggy enough. She overheard B and I discussing our dinner plans (CHOP has room service for patients and parents) and shouted out, "I want my chicken nuggets!". Ok then. She ate them all, plus the fries, and a huge cup of apple juice -- all that 3 hours after surgery. Overnight, she required NO pain meds and slept from 12 -5. Needless to say, she was sent home early the next morning without incident.

Oh, and just as a point of reference, CHOP has remodeled their parent waiting area and you are no longer in that tiny room, with a parent 6 inches from you. It's quite nice now, with a little kitchen, vending machines, tvs and computers...and lots of space.