Thursday, December 8, 2011

muuuuch better...

If you are ever feeling sorry for yourself or your family, take a trip to a children's hospital and sit in the lobby for a while.  It won't take long.  You'll get a swift smack across the face - there is ALWAYS someone that "has it worse".  I was passing time in the gift shop and a woman came in with a 18 month old boy.  Big brown eyes, curly brown hair.  In a special wheelchair.  On a portable ventilator-like machine.  Those big brown eyes lit up when the woman showed him a stuffed dog. And then he didn't want to let it go.  I said, "I bet it's hard to say no to him!" She said, "Yes, it is.  We all take turns spending time with him.  He's a special boy."  She was his respiratory therapist.  I don't know what his story is.  Or where his parents are.  But the respiratory therapist and I bought the dog for him.  He left kissing it.

Soon after, a couple approached me and asked if they could pray with me.  They asked why I was there.  (Aaron had gone for a little walk.)  He was a pastor from Council Bluffs.  We closed our eyes and he asked the Lord to guide the surgeons and watch over Adeline.  He asked that I be blessed with the peace that passes understanding.  I am not making this up.  God must have thought I needed another sign that He was there with us.

Dr. Miller and Dr. Puccioni walked into the lobby at about 11 to tell us that their work was done.  She did great.  They were very positive.  It's funny to see their personalities show through now that we know them better.  They went back and forth - almost finishing each others sentences as they described what they did.  They took the skull off of the front half of her head - down to and to the sides of the orbits (eye sockets) - but didn't "mess with" the orbits.  They flattened out her forehead and added plates to the temples to make them rounded.  Dr. Miller warned that the temples will now look "over-compensated", but Dr. Puccioni assured that it would look more normal as the plates dissolve.  And Dr. Puccioni added, "She really needs hair."
We were a little premature with our timing. Miller and Puccioni didn't mention the fact that they had a team of surgeons still in the operating room finishing things up.  They do the big stuff and the residents do the finishing work.  Again - just another day at the office.  The liaison came back about 45 minutes later to say they were just bringing Adeline to the recovery room to be extubated and observed for about 45 more minutes before she would be transferred to the PICU.  But things had gone very well.

Her recovery room nurse visited with us in the PICU lobby around 1.  She was pretty cool  She said "Everyone has warned me about how "spirited" your little princess is, but she was a complete angel for me.  I don't see it at all!"
We were finally escorted back to Adeline's PICU room soon after.  There is nothing more beautiful, breathtaking, moving than seeing your little girl resting peacefully after going through something like that. That is the gift that God gave us for being so patient with Him.  They had wrapped her head in the same bright pink bandages as before.  And her head is perfectly round.  She looks so much like Nile.  Aaron and I stood by the bed for a long time and just let it all sink in.

She has fought a fever and pain through the afternoon.  Dr. Puccioni had the nurses remove the foley catheter and that alone has made her more comfortable.  So far all lines have stayed in - thanks to being on top of pain meds and LOTS of coban bandages.  They have "hid" the drain on top of her head.  I'm hoping that keeping the drain in will lessen the swelling.  But I can see that her forehead and temples are beginning to swell and push against the bandages already.  We have had quite a few episodes of combativeness and pulling and tossing and turning, but she seems to calm down more easily than last time.  It is very evident that they are doing everything possible to make her comfortable and content.  Even though she is still much more agitated than most children get, and even though the neuro-team is still being very conservative with narcotics and meds due to the nature of the surgery, she is still doing much better than last time.  Prayers continue to be answered. The rule is that only one parent can stay over night, but the charge nurse told us she was working the night of Adeline's last stay and remembers it well. They are going let Aaron sleep on the couch of an empty room. Praise God.

We watched a couple of hours of Little Einsteins and Elmo...she has even tried to point and talk about Elmo.  She sounds like a chain-smoker.  The nurses were kidding around about her raspy voice and "stoner" gaze.  She's our Sweet (medicated) Adeline.

The nurses arranged all of the equipment and lines and transferred her carefully from the crib to my lap.  It felt so good - she was so warm and cuddly!  She fell asleep in my arms as I rocked her.  And just as every part of my body was falling asleep and becoming numb, she woke up and sat straight up.  Aaron and I switched places (with lots of help from the nurses again).  She drank some pedialyte - out of her favorite sippy cup with the straw, of course - and has been hanging out watching T.V.  Aaron is making her watch a really annoying show on the History Channel.

I think she just got him back though - she just threw up all over him.


  1. So glad she's doing well!!! I'll continue to pray. I hope they keep the drain in and keep her head elevated... Those two things helped a LOT with Addy's swelling. We kept her head elevated slightly in her bed once we got home, too... When the doc saw her for her post-op check-up, his words were, "Did I just operate on her last week?" She looked about the best he'd ever seen.

    I hope you have time to post some pics! It's always heartbreaking to look at their poor, swollen faces, but at the same time, I can't wait to see how she looks. Even more beautiful than she already was, I'm sure!! Rest is definitely the priority now, though -- hope you are able to get some!!

  2. YAY....great news. Maybe minus the vomit in Aaron. Hopefully she will continue to progress quickly. Still sending good thoughts.