Friday, April 18th:
It was Good Friday, so daycare was closed. I had the kids with me at home for the day, and it was pretty uneventful until dinnertime. Bonnie was eating and did a little gag/cough maneuver that ended in some vomiting. Nothing major, and she does that on occasion, so no big deal. After that, though, she started acting like she didn't feel great, so I put her to bed early.
About 15 minutes later, she was throwing up in her bed. I thought, "Oh great, here with we go with another stomach virus." Changed her clothes, sheets, etc. Back to bed. Another 15-20 minutes later, throwing up again. Change sheets, clothes, etc., and back to bed. Repeat every 20-30 minutes for the next 3 hours. Jonathan and I discussed taking her to the ER but decided to see how she did overnight.
She's had a couple stomach bugs recently, and every time she starts vomiting, I worry that it's a bowel obstruction (a relatively common complication for CDH kids due to scar tissue from having their guts manipulated during repair surgery). The thought definitely crossed my mind that night, but she had had a normal bowel movement earlier in the day, so I figured the likelihood of bowel obstruction was probably low.
She slept okay-ish through the night, but would cry and whimper occasionally.
Saturday, April 19th:
She woke up around 6:30 and wanted something to drink. She only ever drinks 5-15 ccs (less than half an ounce) at a time, so she had a tiny bit of water by mouth. She seemed really sleepy still, so I rocked her for a little bit and gave her small amounts of water through her tube while she drifted back to sleep. About 30 minutes and 3 ounces of water later, I tried to lay her back down in her bed. All the water came back up.
Went to the pediatrician and said, "I just need you to tell me this isn't a bowel obstruction." She felt like it was just a stomach virus (based on how suddenly it came on), but said if she started acting more lethargic or started vomiting bile (bright green), to take her to the ER.
The rest of the day, she just wanted me to hold her, and she slept a good bit of the time. She had no interest in eating, but I gave her 5 ccs of water every so often just to keep her hydrated, and she didn't throw up for a good chunk of the day. By mid-afternoon, I thought it would be safe to give her 5 ccs of water every 5 minutes (that's two ounces an hour). I was holding her and she was in and out of sleep, but this genius plan of rehydration went well for about an hour. Around that time, Henry and Jonathan got home. When she heard their voices, she perked up and hopped out of my lap to see them. And then she threw up. Bright green.
So off to the ER we went. Everybody who worked there got my spiel about her history of CDH, how she's at higher risk for bowel obstruction, etc etc, and how we weren't leaving until somebody proved to me that it wasn't that. The ER doc checked her out and mashed on her belly, which didn't seem to be painful, and on that basis he felt like it wasn't an obstruction. He gave her some IV fluids and they did an X-ray. It came back somewhere between "reassuring" and "inconclusive," depending on who you were talking to. At some point during our ER visit, she threw up (bright green) again. She got a dose of Zofran (anti-nausea drug), which seemed to help her rest a little bit. Around 11:00 p.m., ER doc decided she needed to stay overnight for observation.
|Sweet girl getting fluids in the ER|
Sunday, April 20th:
She got admitted to the pediatric floor right at midnight. Refused to let me put her down, so she slept next to me on the little pull-out chair/bed thing that's exactly as comfortable as you would expect. I'm pretty sure I didn't sleep at all that night, because she was squirmy and crying in her sleep, and around 3 a.m. threw up again. When the sun came up I made a mental note of the fact that it was Easter Sunday and probably a lot of people around town were up and going to sunrise services right at that moment...there was some strange comfort in that.
A couple hours after the above picture was taken, our amazing child decided she wanted to go for a walk:
And check out the aquarium:
Later that afternoon she got moved from PICU to the pediatric surgery floor, and big brother Henry came to visit:
Unfortunately, she didn't sleep very much that night. Like maybe 3 hours.
Wednesday, April 23rd:
And she didn't nap on this day. By bedtime, she was a zombie. It was actually a little scary. Thankfully, she passed out at bedtime and slept reeeeally well.
Thursday, April 24th:
Woke up to this precious face.
And in even better news, the surgeon said she could eat! What better way to break a 6 day fast than with hospital peas? Yummy.
|Okay, seriously? How cute is she??|
Friday, April 25th:
Wasn't expecting it, but mid-afternoon, her surgeon came in and asked if we wanted to go home. Yes indeed! Here we are all set to bust out.
From then til now:
It took until about ten days post-op for her to get off the pain meds, but after that, chick was totally back to her old self. Eating really well, even drinking more. Climbing on and jumping off furniture. Her recovery has been amazing.
Some more thoughts:
We could not have loved Bonnie's surgeon more. Dr. Jimmy Green. If you're in Greenville (and a kid, and need surgery), he's your man. He prayed with us before and after surgery, and he took *such* good care of her. Even though it was scary how sick she got (which kept her from being transported to MUSC), we were so blessed by having Dr. Green as her surgeon.
A few people have commented how it was unfortunate that all this went down on Easter Sunday. But really, it was probably the best day for it to happen. If God raised His son from the dead, He was certainly going to watch out for Bonnie.
If you're on Facebook, you already lived through this with us. But I want to say another thank you to everyone who loved Bonnie and us so well. Local CDH mama friends (love y'all!), church folks, coworkers, friends. Thank you for your visits, prayers, snacks, dinners, and gifts. It was all so very appreciated.
****And the short version, as promised. Bonnie's diaphragm reherniated, causing a bowel obstruction. She had to have repair surgery on Easter Sunday. By that Friday, she was well enough to go home. Glory to God.****