Thursday, June 18, 2009

Day One Post Surgery

Thursday, June 18 2009 - morning

Joshua came through surgery well. The doctor came and gave us the news about 10:45AM. That means the surgery took about 2 and a half hours. Pacers for both lungs were placed and tested. Josh has four incisions about 3-4 inches across, two on each side of his chest. It took about an hour or so for him to sleep off the gas they used to put him under. It was another hour or more after that before they finally got him a room in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.

We had a little trouble as we were following the transport team as they moved him from the 2nd floor (where surgery happened) to the 9th floor (where the PICU is). We did not fit in the same elevator as the team (since we had bags and Josh's ventilator) so we took a separate one. But, once we got upstairs, there was no sign of Josh or the team. The ladies at the desk on that floor called back and to the PICU but said he was not yet in the room. Well, we had Joshua's ventilator and even though he had a transport type vent attached, he would need his regular vent very soon. And they wanted us to wait like 30 minutes to go back - that just would not work!

James was getting really upset (remember he had had no sleep and he was very worried about Josh) so he started to get a little loud explaining to the ladies that Josh had to have his vent or he could die. (that was probably a little over-exagerated because the team could bag him or something if things got bad). Anyway, meanwhile, another parent who had been allowed back decided to help us and held the door open for us. But the lady at the desk didn't want us to be allowed back. It was kind of crazy. Then a member of the transport team (who had been Josh's nurse in recovery) came to tell us he was put on a regular hospital ventilator and didn't need our vent right now so we could go sit down and wait. Just as I was about to turn around to do that, another nurse from PICU came running out and telling me "Okay, Mom. We are ready for you. Come on back... come, come, come." So, I went on in and they seemed very apologetic for the confusion. I think the transport team (and especially the nurse from recovery should have done a better job in communicating with us since they are the ones who should have told us what was going on before we got separated on the elevators in the first place) But oh, well. That is over.

So, Josh tried to stay awake and watch tv but the medicine he is taking was making him sleepy. I told him it was okay for him to fall asleep. Then, every time the medicine would start to wear off, he would start to feel lots of pain. It sure did come on fast! And when he was awake, he didn't feel up to moving much at all. He had me doing just about everything for him. Poor thing. I'm sure he didn't expect to feel much pain if any - but he sure is.

Then, around 7pm, they brought in another patient that would share his room (because it is big enough for 2 pediatric ICU patients). The patient was a little baby - probably not more than 3 months old. We overheard that the baby was on a ventilator as he was brought to the hospital (I"m guessing either by ambulance or perhaps flight) but they were planning to extubate him. I'm guessing they did that once he was in our room, but luckily they had the curtain drawn so we didn't have to watch it. The baby's mom wasn't here for a good while. I'm sure she had to drive herself or get a ride or something. It was hard to sit there in the same room with a crying baby and not be able to get up and go to him to help. But the staff tried to be in with him as much as possible.
During the night, the baby must have had a very hard time. He had to have a machine brought in called a C-Pap and he had to wear a face mask. The baby did not like that at all. And even with it, we overheard that his oxygen saturation levels were in the 80s. The doctors and respiratory techs came in very frequently all night long, increasing something on his machine to try and get the sats up. I heard once that they might have to intubate him again - but I don't think they did.
With all the commotion going on last night, Josh and I (yes, Josh had me stay in the room with him all night) didn't get much sleep. But the nurses and respiratory folks say they think we will probably be moved to another room today - maybe out on the intermediate care floor. That would be nice. But we have to wait for the surgeon to come take a look at Josh first. So, we wait and watch tv and cat nap from time to time.

Josh is hurting so bad he doesn't feel he can lean up or get up - in fact, he barely moves his hands even. I know he will have to start moving around and getting up soon or he won't be able to come home. And I know he wants to go home and get out of this hospital.

Meanwhile, here are the pictures I promised in my last post. They are from Tuesday after Josh's post-op appointment, when we went to Hermann Park near the hospital. We enjoyed watching the paddle boats, ducks and turtles. Then, there are a few pictures from just before surgery. They had me wear a big 'ol pair of coveralls called a "bunny suit." It's not very attractive, so I let James take a picture of me in it since we took pictures of Josh in his hospital gown.

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