Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Surgery Day!

Short version:  Bonnie's surgery went well, and she is now the proud owner of a G tube.  She is also sporting a Nissen fundoplication (not sure if this is something one can "sport", but whatever).  

Long version:  At 3:00 a.m. today, I noted with glee that this would be Bonnie's last feeding via NG tube.  At 7:00 a.m., she got some Pedialyte through her NG, but since it wasn't formula, I'm sticking with my glee from 3 a.m.
We got to the hospital at 10:00 a.m. for surgery scheduled at noon.  They gave Bonnie a baby-sized yellow hospital gown to wear.  It was really cute, but it came off about five minutes later because the pre-op area was about 86 degrees, and chick gets hot really easily.
Bonnie and the yellow gown.  And maybe a gang sign.  We'll have to have a chat about that. 

Dr. Surgeon came to talk to us about his plans.  He said he'd been doing a lot of thinking today about what would be best for Bonnie.  Asked if her reflux seemed to still be bothering her (yes) and if she was still throwing up (yes--averaging 7-8 times/day lately, which is actually an improvement).  He said it's a little difficult to justify doing a Nissen (the anti-reflux procedure) when the baby is gaining weight, but that he believed it would make Bonnie feel a lot better and improve her quality of life.  The plan was to for sure do the G tube, and try to do it laparoscopically.  He would try to do the Nissen laparoscopically as well.  If he had to open her up to do the G tube, he'd go ahead and do the Nissen that way, but he wasn't going to open her up *just* to do the Nissen (though he offered to).  Got all that?
Right at noon, Mr. Anesthesia Guy came and toted Bonnie off.  He was a nice guy, and she seemed happy to go with him, so this part actually wasn't as traumatic as it could have been.
The first update was about an hour into the procedure.  All is going well.
Another hour later.  All is going well, still working on the Nissen.  We are "awhile" from being done.
Two hours after that.  The Nissen is done!  Now working on the G tube.
Half an hour later.  Dr. Surgeon comes out.  He looks exhausted.  Like perhaps my four month old daughter beat him up.  (He actually has what I believe to be a good healthy fear of Bonnie, from back in her NICU days when you better not mess with her too much or she'll pull some crazy stunt.  Prior to surgery today he said something about "treating her with respect."  Thaaaat's right.)  Anyway, I give him a lot of credit because he was not going to let her screwy anatomy defeat him.  The phrase, "it took me an hour to find her stomach" was uttered.  This wasn't a straightforward procedure.  Bonnie didn't make it easy on him (wouldn't have expected any less), but I'm grateful for a skilled surgeon who knew what to do with her.
After some serious miscommunication--which I would continue to be upset about it if would accomplish anything--we were finally (*finally*) reunited with Bonnie in the PICU (pediatric ICU).  She was asleep-ish, but squirmy and grimace-y and not very comfortable.  That's what happens when your guts are shuffled around for five hours, I guess.  She got a dose of morphine to help with the pain, which seemed to help quite a bit.  Despite all the tubes and wires, she looked beautiful.  See below for photographic evidence :)  We left a couple hours later, since we can't spend the night in the PICU.
Assuming no drama tonight, she'll move to a regular room tomorrow.  There's a possibility of going home on Thursday (in two days), but we shall see.
Thanks everybody for your prayers.  This surgery was at least as nerve-wracking as her hernia repair, maybe more so--probably because it took three times as long.  We are so grateful to God for giving us this precious baby and for continuing to hold her in His hand.  We love you, Bonnie.

And now, picture time!  These first few are from the night before surgery.

Here's one from this morning after her bath.  I was so excited to get that NG tube off her face!

And now, pictures from PICU (after surgery).
Pretty girl.
Snuggling with her blanket

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Heading back to Charleston!

Just a quick update to let y'all know we're heading back to Charleston tomorrow for Bonnie's G tube surgery.  This will replace (what I've come to know as) that super annoying NG tube.  We had really high hopes that she would miraculously learn to eat by mouth once we left the NICU, but alas, that has not happened.  I'm convinced that at least part of the problem is that her formula tastes like poison.  She's on Neocate, which is what's known as an "elemental" formula because it's super super broken down.  Really.  If you read the ingredients, it goes like this: some form of carbohydrate, some form of fat, (then the biochemistry lesson begins) arginine, alanine, isoleucine, valine, etc etc etc.  Yeah.  Individual amino acids.  How could that possibly taste good?  Turns out it doesn't. (And if you remember this post about how I licked my child to find out if she was salty, it shouldn't surprise you that I tasted it.)  I feel sorry for Bonnie that that's her option of something to eat.  Poor gal.  So yeah, in addition to her gagging and weak suck, she is absolutely not a fan of Neocate.  All that to say, the G tube has become a necessity.  Much safer, more stable, less obvious.  The downside is that it requires surgery, which is what's happening on Tuesday.  

We would love it if you would pray with us for a safe and successful surgery.  Now that Bonnie's been home for a month, the thought of her going back to the hospital and having all the hospital "stuff" going on again (IV, pain meds, monitors) doesn't excite me.  

Here are a couple recent pictures :)

My sweet little nugget.

Heading to school on a rainy day.

Henry giving Bonnie a kiss.  They love each other.