We are now fourteen days POST-OP and all I can really think to say is....
I know, dramatic. But seriously, the hubs and I were unimaginably scared that she would either die on the table or from a post-op pneumonia. So much so that we weren't even sharing with each other how truly scared we were. When we got home the hubs looked at me and said, "I was about 65% sure she was going to die. I feel like I can breathe again.". I looked back at him and replied, "I was 75% sure she was going to die. No joke. I can't believe this is behind us." Because when you live with a fear that big for as long as we have (a little over a year), it consumes your every waking, and sleeping, thought. Yes, we had willingly signed her up for this but only because we basically had no choice. When the doctor looks you in the eye and tells you your child will literally suffocate herself due to the scoliosis and the spinal fusion is the lesser of the two evils, you listen and you listen good.
But as I was saying....SHE SURVIVED!!!! And we don't have to keep thinking and obsessing over it. Huzzah!
Since Tess needed to be at the hospital by 6:00am the day of surgery, the hubs, Toots and I stayed in Boston the night before. Unfortunately the room I had booked weeks in advance was for only one double bed. For three people and a large dog. Oops.
The hubs took the hit and slept on the cot while Tess and I got to snuggle in the comfy bed. Around two in the morning I heard a loud crash as the hubs swore loudly and the dog jumped about four feet. Being the super concerned wife that I am I asked him in my most annoyed voice, "What are you doing?!?!". I thought his answer was a little dramatic: "Getting tossed around and puked out of this God**** cot!".
Apparently the hubs heard the call of nature and as he was getting out of the cot that was literally wedged between the bed and the bureau, his leg got caught between the two so he had to shift his weight and use his opposite hand to push down on the cot to get enough leverage to get out of his predicament. But when he put his hand down, the weight of it flipped the other end of it up and towards the hubs who then got folded up into the cot that was clearly trying to eat him, and only when it had decided he wasn't so tasty, puked him back out onto the floor and landed on top of him.
He. was. pissed.
I rolled over and went back to sleep. What can I say. I'm a good wife. I woke up around four to him literally throwing the cot into the hallway. He was still swearing.
And so our saga had begun.
We got to the the pre-op room after checking in at the hospital the next morning and right before taking Tess to surgery the OR nurse asked us why Tess was there (as a requirement to prove we understood everything). I had been doing absolutely fine until that moment. As I started to say that Tess was there for spinal fusion surgery, I burst into tears and could barely get it out. Let's just say that the OR team was kind but pretty firm about me not going to the OR with Tess. In the words of the anesthesiologist, "We don't need two patients."
I fully agreed and away Tess went as the hubs and I got the heck outta that hospital and went about three hundred feet down the road to our hotel to wait.
As my FB friends can attest, it was a very long and scary day. When we finally got to see Tessie she was swollen from being face down for so long and she looked like she had been beaten because they had to put her in a Halo traction device to keep her in exact alignment for the surgery. She was also still intubated which totally freaked me out. Because of the breathing tube, she was heavily sedated and the ICU nurses told us we should go to the hotel to sleep for the night because she wouldn't wake up and they would call us immediately if anything happened. We were so exhausted from the wait that we agreed.
It wasn't until late the following afternoon that she could be extubated. There were times during the day that she needed to be suctioned with the breathing tube in and she would panic, which was just heartbreaking to see. I have no words to describe it. I just felt so helpless watching her. Trying to tell her she was safe and we were there but knowing she was scared. It left me feeling panicked as well. So when the time came to extubate her I asked the respiratory therapist if people often panicked and was told that it does happen. I looked at the hubs and told him, "I can't watch this. I just can't. Are you okay to stay with her so I can leave the room?". He told me he was fine and I could leave for a minute to get some air. I took the dog out. I know my limits.
|This about killed me to see|
|daddy and Oreo giving loves and reassurance|
She did fine after that and since the hubs and I were taking turns spending the night with her, and I was going to the hotel that night, I left around seven and she was doing great. Cut to the next morning and I find out that she had had a collapsed lung and pulmonary effusion in the night and the room had been full of people and xray machines and she was now on cpap to help re-inflate her lung. I was just convinced that this was it. That what we had been dreading was about to happen.
I should never underestimate my Toodle Bug. She rallied as only she can and continued to improve every day. I know I've said it a million times but that kid is an absolute warrior.
Despite the drama and stress, there were a few funny little things that happened during our time there.
On day two of Tess's ICU stay I decided she needed these two huge Frozen balloons from the hospital gift shop. I didn't even factor in that I had to actually carry them thru the hospital to get them to her. Bad move on my part. I had basically gotten them down the stairs and thru the huge lobby without too much drama and was just getting onto the elevator when it happened. Olaf crashed right into some poor woman's face. Hard. I was mortified because I still didn't have very good control over the other balloon and was trying to wrangle Olaf back in to submission. "I'm so sorry!" I yelled in her general direction. (the balloons were too big for me to see around). Everyone in the elevator got a good laugh out of it, including the woman who got face punched. She even said that some girl was going to be very happy with those balloons. "Yeah, but not you!" I replied. God Bless her, she just laughed some more.
|Elsa is ready to Let it Go and whack someone|
|who knew innocent Olaf was really a fighter at heart?|
|See the TV and toy stand? I just wanted a visual of how big these balloons really were!|
Then there was the butter incident. The hubs had been raving about the cafe's incredible french toast and how I should try it. He went on and on about it. I finally agreed and told him that when he went to the cafe to get it, to not forget the butter. Well, you would have thought I had asked him to go looking for a severed head.
"Butter? I don't think they have butter."
By this point we had been together for about ten straight days in pretty stressful circumstances so our patience was running pretty low.
"Of course they have butter, Charlie! They're a freakin' cafeteria! They have butter so just get me some!".
"It's a pretty healthy cafeteria.", he responded.
Oh. My. God.
"Charlie, they have got butter. I just know it. The same way that I know I'm in Hell right now!".
"But I don't know where it is."
"Are you kidding me right now!?! Do not say the word butter to me again." And then thru gritted teeth, "Just make sure you bring me back some!"
I got the butter. Hah!
Ellie came for the weekend and she spent one night with the hubs at the hotel and one night with me. Let's just say, we had a little adventure. It started with my first ever Uber ride with promises from Ellie how it was so easy and convenient and so much better than a taxi. I'm just going to make this short and sweet and tell you nothing about it was easy or convenient. Add to it a dog who gets carsick easily and was panting and burping during the fifteen minute drive to the hotel with Ellie looking panicked and me reassuring her that the dog would be fine and the driver asking, "Is your dog OK?" made for an awesome Uber ride. Yeah, good times. Good times. But at last we made it and had a good laugh over it with Ellie confiding to me that had the dog actually puked in the car she was totally prepared to give the driver five dollars as an apology. Five one dollar bills. Five crumpled, stinky, been all over NYC and Boston, one dollar bills. Because you know, nothing says, "Sorry for the dog puking all over your nice car like five ones". God love her for thinking of it though.
Then the next morning she set off the fire alarm with the steam from her shower. Oh yes she did. Us Reidy women, we like to keep people on their toes.
Ah well, the laughs were worth it.
At any rate, this was a much longer blog post than I had originally intended so sorry about that. But what can I say, I still am on that natural high provided by the fact that...