Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Prayers Answered!

Guess who is at home in her own bed and sleeping soundly? Callie was discharged from the hospital this evening. Just in time to go home, get a dose of tylenol, take a bath and go to bed. It was the quickest and most peaceful she has ever been while falling asleep. The day was amazing. She had a great time playing before surgery. She acted like she owned the hospital. She did well during surgery. It only lasted about 20 minutes and everything went as planned. The doctor told us that once he removed the tonsils he realized how large they were, and they were huge, especially for someone Callie's size. Once I could be with her in recovery, she did nicely. (She was a little spitfire giving two nurses a doozy of a time before I arrived). Once back in her room, it looked like Santa had visited. Callie had a new blanket, a tub toy and a new baby doll. That was quite a surprise. I think it is one of the perks of having a December surgery.

At 11 AM she received her first dose of heavy duty pain meds and it did not have the desired effect with Callie. It kept the pain at bay, of course, but instead of making her drowsy so she could get some rest, it made her goofy/hyper/restless and generally very very funny. I was exhausted, having to keep her in bed and attached to her pulse oximeter and IV. After that dose wore off, we switched to plain tylenol and that is all she has had. She has not complained of anything hurting. She has played, sung, talked, and been in a great mood all day. And most wonderfully, she has been drinking from a cup since surgery. She has been really thirsty and drank more today than I have ever seen her drink. It only totaled a couple of ounces over the course of the entire day, but that's still an improvement for her.

This evening we asked about the possibility of changing our plans and going home, rather than staying the night as originally planned. I didn't think the medical staff would go for it but everyone involved in her care thought it was a fine idea. It probably helps that we are only 5 blocks from the hospital. So we came home and Callie went to sleep. The only problem is I can't hear Callie breathing/snoring from the door like I always have. I have to go into her room, place my hand on her chest or under her nose to make sure she is breathing. Oh well, I think I can adjust.

Thank you so much for all of your prayers today. Please keep them coming. I figure her pain will eventually get worse, but it would be incredible if she sailed right through the rest of her recovery.

Here are a few snapshots of Callie today:

When she first got up early this morning, she decided she really wanted to wear her tutu. Not sure why. Maybe she thought it matched her pajamas.

Daddy stretched out in bed next to her to watch cartoons while waiting for the nurses to get everything set up.

Once she got changed into her hospital clothes, we took a walk down the hall. Next to the nurse's station are some whimsical decorations that Callie liked.

She enjoyed hanging out under the big tree and playing with Frosty the Snowman (not part of the normal decor, of course, but still a hit). Until she actually went back for surgery, she thought the hospital was a grand place to be.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Surgery for Callie (again)

Callie will be admitted to the hospital at 6:15 tomorrow morning (December 15) to have her tonsils and adenoids removed. She will stay overnight for observation and hopefully we will be back home Thursday.

This is, by far, Callie's easiest surgery from a medical standpoint, but this is the first surgery where she has some realization of what is going on. Childlife specialists will be working with her and we have prepared her as well as we know how. She can tell you she is going to the hospital to have the doctor take out her tonsils (which she will then show you) and then she is going to watch movies. I think she is actually pretty excited about it. We will have to see what she thinks tomorrow.

We were in Minneapolis today for her NICU follow-up visit. It went really well. Callie was given some OT/PT tests and she worked really hard. She scored at her age level or a little above in every category. The doctor was thrilled with how great she is doing. We talked a little about the need of taking Callie to a feeding clinic in the next year. For now, we are going to keep working with her and see what difference, if any, this surgery makes.

Thanks for checking on us and if you could remember to pray for Callie tomorrow and for the next few days, that would be fantastic.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Callie Medical Update

Callie had her three year appointment last month and it went well. Callie is still tiny but is growing and is proportional. The doctor was quite supportive of our new plan to try Callie on blenderized food as her formula. I plan to blog on that later. While she was examining Callie, I asked her to look at Callie's tonsils because I thought they were quite large. The doctor was quite surprised with how large they are and referred us to an ENT to see what he thought. He too, thought Callie's tonsils are quite large and in her case, too large. He didn't even need a tongue depresser to see them clearly. And when she gags, they actually touch. The doctor asked if Callie sleeps well (never), if she snores (very loudly, all the time), and he already knew about her gagging issues when she cries and coughs. He thought it would make sense for Callie to have her tonsils removed. So, next week, that is what we will be doing.

On Monday evening we will head to Minneapolis for Callie's annual NICU followup appointment. She will have some OT/PT evaluations and then we will meet with one of her NICU doctors. I figure our topic of the day will be Callie's lack of eating and the possibility of doing an intensive feeding program with her. Then Tuesday we will head back home and surgery will be here in Fargo on Wednesday. This will be her first, and hopefully last, surgery in Fargo but I feel very comfortable with the doctor performing the procedure. He know's Callie's history and is going to take every precaution necessary. We will actually be spending the night in the hospital so they can watch her carefully to make sure she does well after surgery.

This is Callie's first surgery where she actually understands some of what is going on. We have watched a pre-op DVD multiple times to try to help get her ready and we talk about what is going to happen. I still figure there might be some freaking out on surgery day. Three is a difficult age to reason with.

Though we aren't excited about yet another surgery, we are hopeful that this procedure will help Callie. She is a horrible sleeper and hardly ever sleeps soundly. We are hoping that once her tonsils are removed, an unobstructed airway will help her fall into a deeper, more peaceful snore-free sleep. When Callie gets upset and cries, she often gags and depending on when she last ate, will throw up. It would be absolutely wonderful if the gagging was a result of the large tonsils and this behavior would cease after surgery. That would really help me in my daily struggle of trying to keep massive amounts of food in Callie's body.

One of the good things we have in our favor for this surgery is Callie's Mic-Key button. Kids often don't want to eat and drink after surgery so dehydration can be an issue. Luckily, we will be able to feed Callie and keep her well hydrated.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Happy Day, Callie

I waited so long to write about Callie's birthday because I was hoping to have some pictures to post of it. But out of my two photographers for the night, there are not really any good pictures of Callie's special day, so I will have to paint verbal pictures for you.

Callie was quite excited about turning 3. Her slogan for the day was "Happy Day, Callie!" It was never "birthday." She loved telling herself "Happy Day." Her one request for her day was balloons. Callie is really not up-to-date on her cartoon characters and animated creatures but she does know who Elmo is, so her theme for the day was Elmo. I decorated with one Elmo balloon and quite a few other balloons and streamers and Elmo plates and napkins. Callie's face glowed when she saw all the balloons and decorations just for her special day.

We had a great family party. We knew Callie wouldn't care to eat her cake so I made Jason's favorite cake since I neglected his birthday. Callie loved being sung to and requested that we sing to her multiple times. She had a little help from her brother blowing out the candles and then she surprised us all by licking icing off the candles.

Callie received a mound of gifts. From toys to cds to books to clothes, Callie thoroughly enjoyed opening all of her presents. It was the most involved she has been with her birthday. I am thinking Christmas this year is going to be a lot of fun!