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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Surgery Day

Today was Elise's eye surgery, she remembers so little about the day already, that I wanted to make sure to document it since it's probable that she'll have another one down the road. This will help us remember what it was like the first time around, plus I know some people are just curious.

I'll be posting pictures of her eye so I can remember just how long it takes to go from scary looking to normal again. If this bothers you, close the page now, and maybe avoid reading the blog for the next couple of weeks. *I* don't think it's that gross or graphic, and the pictures posted in this post don't show more than a little pink in the corner, but it's definitely more red than the picture shows and future pictures may show that. It's definitely a little unnerving to look at in person.

Monday we had her pre op appointment, her Dr decided that patching was going pretty well, and for now instead of operating on both eyes, she was just going to do the left (the one we see turn in) and see how much that helped. She may need to go back and adjust the right eye eventually too. We also talked about the left vertical muscle being a little tight as well and how that could be another possibility for a future surgery, but she's leaving it be for now.

The day before surgery

Terrible picture, but trying to catch the eye turn for comparison later
 We talked a bit about the surgery beforehand, just to sort of prepare her for what was coming. When I got to the part about anesthesia, and told her they would give her some medicine to help her fall asleep, her response was "Yes! I get to have medicine like daddy! (Anthony had Advil for a headache earlier in the week) I'm so excited!"

She's not your average almost 3 year old.

So today was the day, she was just as excited this morning getting ready to go, she was allowed to bring 1 stuffed animal back with her, so she chose a stuffed Tigger that she's been playing with all week. She was pleasantly surprised when we got there and her scrubs had tigers all over them, just like Tigger! (she keeps correcting us and calling him Tiger. I think she thinks we are just not saying it right)

We arrived at about 9:10, and were pretty quickly taken back to an exam room to start getting ready. The next hour and a half we were kept pretty busy between weight, height and head measurements, blood pressure and pulse ox, eye and ear checks, listening to her breathing, talking with various nurses, anesthesiology (several times since the first papers we looked through all said "bilateral" and hadn't been changed to just the left eye yet), family life came back and talked to Elise about what would happen and she got to pick out her own scrub caps, practice breathing through the mask and pick out what scent she wanted inside of her mask (she chose "pink"). Anthony brought some studying to do during all of the wait time, since we were sitting around FOREVER doing nothing before his ankle surgery, but there really was never more than 5 minutes before the next person came in to see us.

Tiger pajamas!


At about 10:50, her Dr came in and talked to her (and us) for a little bit, then Elise gave us hugged and kisses and walked down the hall with the nurse. Even though we knew there were almost no complications with the surgery, and it wasn't really something we were "worried" about, there is still something pretty heart wrenching about watching your 2 year old walk away in scrubs for surgery.

We headed out to the waiting area, Anthony went to go get some lunch, and by the time he came back and had eaten about half of his food (he eats fast too!)  we were being paged to come talk to the Dr! She told me everything went exactly as planned, that Elise had done very well, talked a bit about the vertical muscle and how she's still hoping it will adjust on it's own, but she's keeping a close eye on it and there is a good chance we'll have another surgery later to adjust that one too. Explained what she might be feeling for the next couple of days (tired, irritable, trying to rub her eye etc) and about her antibiotic drops.

About 5 minutes later I got to go back to be with Elise, babies are not allowed in the level 1 recovery, so Anthony stayed in the waiting room with Maddie until we moved to level 2. She was awake already, or at least starting to wake up when I came back. A nurse was rocking her while she cried, so I took over. It took about 10 minutes before it seemed like she really knew what was going on, and she really wanted that IV out! As soon as the nurse brought up getting a cup of juice she stopped crying and said "yes". She snuggled with her sippy cup of Gatorade on my lap for maybe 10 more minutes and they got us ready to move to level 2.

As soon as Anthony and Maddie joined us in the level 2 recovery area, Elise requested that Daddy hold her. She loves us both, but she really has become a Daddies girl, even more since Maddie was born. Maddie had fallen asleep, so it was nice and quiet in the room and we just rocked with the lights off. We could hear one little boy who was not waking up well screaming "I want to go home!" over and over, I'm pretty confident if it had been Nathan or Noah there, we would have had a similar experience.
snuggling with Daddy

About 30 minutes later, we signed our discharge papers, got her dressed, and headed out! Anthony carried her while she held on to her sippy cup and the little baby doll I got her for being such a big girl through everything. Anthony grabbed a princess sticker from the front desk on our way out since he promised her she could have one when we first arrived. The rest of the day she told anyone who would listen that her daddy got her a princess sticker.

She had done so well so far, but it was the rest of the day that really surprised me. They told us that she would probably sleep for the rest of the day, and not want to open her eye, and to not expect her to until the next day. The said it is very common with kids with eye surgery to feel sick to their stomachs and throw up several times, that we should just get her to keep a bit of electrolyte drink down and that would be good for today. We assumed we would have a day with lots of naps, and her sippy cup...and that is not at all what we got!

I had to put her eye drops in and give her some pain medicine (her Dr said to give it to her for the rest of the day as a precaution while she was recovering), I asked her which she wanted first and she said "pink" of course. I was expecting a fight with the eye drops, remembering back to Noah's corneal abrasion when he was a few months older than her and what a pain it was to put the antibiotic ointment in his eyes 4 times a day. I told her to look up and close her eyes, I put the drop in the corner of her eye, then asked her to open them up. The drop went in and she said "thank you mom for putting those white things in my eye! (the bottle has a white lid)" Not your normal 2 year old. 

She napped on the way home, but then was ready to go once we got there, she sat down with her box of saltines and devoured the whole thing, along with several cups of Gatorade. She sat at the table for probably a good 2 hours playing with her babies, and arranging her crackers before eating them.

I tried to get a picture of her eye, but that proved to be a little harder than I expected





 And then she was done with taking pictures for the day

Finally I was exhausted from not sleeping well and being up early, and Maddie was fighting a nap, so we went to go lay down. Elise watched a few shows on Netflix, but quickly got bored and went back to playing like normal. She kept asking when Nathan and Noah would be home, she seemed really bored without them around to play with (thank goodness for Maddie or next year when they are both in school would be really hard for her I think!).

She ate a great dinner, and still ran around avoiding bedtime just like normal.

We asked her a few times about the surgery and all she seems to remember is that someone gave her an ouchie on her hand (her IV) and she didn't like that. I've read, and was told by the Dr that kids often don't feel pain from the surgery, but will feel the stitches in their eye, that it feels dry and itchy so they try to rub it a lot. I'm not even sure Elise could tell us which eye it was, she hasn't tried to touch it once.

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