Most importantly, she did well during surgery and Dr. N was able to perform the surgery laparoscopically. Both of those things are what we prayed for most, and we are grateful. Surgery took a little over two hours, as Liz has tons of scar tissue from all of her previous surgeries, so Dr. N. had to take a lot of time cutting away and making the stomach accessible for placement of the G-tube. Dr. N. was dedicated to taking as much time as he needed to getting through the scar tissue in hopes that he wouldn't have to do an "open" incision (along her scar line from her last open surgery). So great that we avoided that!! Liz was nervous for surgery of course, but she trusts Dr. N. literally with her life and as soon as he came to see her and gave hugs and assurance in pre-op, she became more comfortable.
Last night was loooong! Elizabeth didn't fall asleep until 4:45 this morning and only slept two hours after falling asleep. She was horribly nauseous and in so much pain all night. Finally now, 32hours after surgery, she seems more comfortable and we are hopeful that tonight will be much better. I'll cry if she suffers again tonight. I was exhausted and worried last night as she endured the pain, and I was devastated as she cried that she was mad at me for allowing her to have surgery in the first place, but so much more than all of that, I felt just so privileged to be able to care for my sweet girl in her hardest times. Such a privilege!
We are encouraging her to cough and blow bubbles as well as use the spirometer, as Liz has a history of post-surgery pneumonia. Getting out of bed to walk more is our next goal for tonight. I asked for her last dose of pain medication given an hour ago to be Tylenol with codeine instead of Morphine so that she can work towards home in that regard too.
She has not had anything by mouth since Tuesday, and only had liquids on Monday, so tomorrow we will allow her to have a few sips of water and then the GI team will start using her G-tube, first putting only Pedialyte into her stomach, and then advancing to formula feeds once she proves she can tolerate feeds.
Tomorrow Walter and I will begin G-tube feeding teaching here with the Clinical Nurse Specialist. We'll be taught by her and then a home health nurse will teach us how to use the pump that Liz will use at home, once we get there.
Cannot express enough how my Elizabeth amazes me with her strength. She has coping skills and strength that proves over and over how she can get through anything. One day at a time, keeping her eye on getting well.
Grateful for your prayers and encouragement.
Pictures below...... warning, last two are a bit graphic.
|I carry this image with me each time I leave my baby in the hands of her surgeon.|
|In Pre-op, after hugs from Dr. N., and beating me in a game of Ipad checkers!|
|Three holes and the G-tube.... Dr. N used two existing scars/surgery sites during this surgery to spare |
adding many more scars to the 13 she has already on her tummy. In these first days, the tube is draining into a bag.
|Her tube is draining bile/stomach juices now, but after recovery it will be used for feeding. Liz will be fed at night, and in the morning I will detach the tube and she'll just have the "button" (the white part) in.|