Olivia did SO great. She far surpassed any expectations that the doctors had and that we had. She is a strong little cookie!
Friday morning was an EARLY morning. We were up at 3, to get on the road at 4. Of course we hadn’t slept at all worrying about what was to come. My parents came over to stay with Blake and Ryan, Livi, and I took off. To say I was nervous was an understatement. I literally felt sick to my stomach the whole ride down. We got to the hospital at about 6:40, a little early for our 7:00 check-in time. Olivia slept the whole way down, but once we got there she woke up and she was MAD! The poor thing couldn’t eat anything after 2am, so she was just so hungry. It is terrible not being able to feed her…knowing that was all that she wanted. We had to wait for about 30 minutes before they could take us back to the pre-op area. She screamed the whole time. It is SO unlike her to cry, so it is just painful for us to hear.
Once back in the pre-op area she continued to cry and fuss…but then eventually nodded off. We were in pre-op for about 1.5 hours and we were able to be with her until they took her back. During this time we had to answer all sorts of questions. We talked to nurses, anesthesiologists, and our doctor came and told us what his plan was. There were LOTS of kids waiting to go back for surgery. The whole environment is so scary! During this time I was thankful that Livi was so young, b/c she didn’t know what was about to happen. It was terrible to listen to the older kids (3-4 years) as they had to leave their parents :(
The doctors seemed very optimistic that things would go well…but again wanted to talk about the possibility of the tracheotomy. He told us that we would keep us posted as much as possible during surgery. He thought that when she came out she would have a breathing tube, so wanted us to be prepared for all of this. I don’t know how “prepared” you can be…but we were aware at least.
At 8:30 they took her back. We were able to walk back to the operating area and then we had to hand her off and head up to the waiting room. We didn’t even see them put her under or anything….which I think is a good thing.
My parents, Blake, Ryan’s mom, and grandmother were all there to wait with us. It was good to have Blake there because he was a good distraction for us and kept us entertained. He was SUCH a good boy the whole time. He definitely knew that something was going on. About 45 minutes into the surgery we got an update that the procedure was in process and that everything was going well. After about an hour and 20 minutes the doctor was able to come up and give us an update. This was a pleasant surprise, because we were told that the surgery would take at least 2 hours. Doctor said that everything went well and that she was in recovery.
We were able to go into the post-op recovery area after Livi woke up from the anesthesia. She looked so tiny in that bed…..BUT she looked way better than what I had prepared myself for. She had no traech…She had no breathing tube! She was pretty uncomfortable, but they were controlling her pain with morphine and Tylenol.
View from our 1st PICU room w/ Olivia's sign that Child Family Life made her
At 8 a.m. yesterday (1 day post op) the doctor came in to check her out. He was SO pleased to see how she was doing. Her breathing was already better. She was much quieter and it sounded less labored. She is still swollen, so it will get even better as the swelling goes down. He cleared us to move from ICU to the floor. We just had to wait until there was room for us.
At about 1:00 we were transferred to a new regular room. We spent one more night there. She had another good night…and they released us this a.m. We were able to leave at about noon. This was much sooner than we had originally planned for…and we could not be more thrilled.
Our nurse today told us that she was reading Olivia’s chart before she came in and thought…”oh no, this poor baby has been through so much, this is going to be tough”…she said that she knew that Liv would be very uncomfortable and in so much pain after an airway surgery at her age/size. BUT, she said that Liv re-wrote the book for infant airway surgery in her mind!! She was such a trooper. Liv was all smiles all of the time.
We have to go back in 3-4 weeks for (potentially) another surgery. Doctor removed the mass in her throat, which was a cyst, and hopes that it will not return, but we will have to monitor that. In 3-4 weeks he will put her under again and go back in to see if there is more skin to remove from her throat area. The extra skin would be from the laryngomalacia that she has. This surgery would be much more common than the one that she had Friday. There is a slight possibility that she will not have to have anything else removed…but we wont know until he gets in there. He didn’t want to do it all at once for fear that the recovery would be to rough on her. It is sad that we have to go back and do this all again…BUT I think that it will be easier the next time, knowing that she took well to the anesthesia…and that she is such a tough girl!
Trying to made her feel "at home"