Friday, April 1, 2011

Post-Op Day 4 - 11am

No wonderful news so far this morning.  BUT - I do feel a little better and am not AS stressed as I have been the past two days.  So, that's good!

We had a great night nurse last night, and that really helped us be able to go get something to eat (drink a few margaritas) and relax a little.  I called her before bed and they had already decided to get another IV in her (total bummer!).  Her potassium was low and they said that giving that intravenously is hard on the veins, so they had to have two access points.  They had been trying to give her potassium orally the past few days, but since her body wasn't processing what was in her belly, that wasn't working.

They took some x-rays last night to see what was going on.  I can't tell you how much I liked this ICU doc!!!  He was so easy to talk to, funny and so understanding!  He felt her belly and said that maybe the x-rays would tell us something useful.  Tom and I had to leave before they were read (Tom was about to pass out from hunger).  But, this morning, we got a report.  Not at all surprising, she has an ileus and here's a brief description:

Ileus occurs from hypomotility of the gastrointestinal tract in the absence of mechanical bowel obstruction. Presumably, the muscle of the bowel wall is transiently impaired and fails to transport intestinal contents. This lack of coordinated propulsive action leads to the accumulation of gas and fluids within the bowel.  Although ileus has numerous causes, the postoperative state is the most common setting for the development of ileus.  The clinical consequences of postoperative ileus can be profound. Patients with ileus are immobilized, have discomfort and pain, and are at increased risk for pulmonary complications. Ileus also enhances catabolism because of poor nutrition. Overall, ileus increases the cost of medical care because it prolongs hospital stays.

So, there you have it.  We have to wait until things wake up and start moving.  I'm sure she's relieved now though because that means no more suppositories or enemas!  They are not going to help in her situation, so why put her through that torture?  But now they have made her NPO (nothing by mouth - or g-tube) for a while.  And she keeps asking for milk.  Such a good problem!!!  I just love, love, love that she's asking for milk!!!

They are going to keep her in the CICU until things start working again.  And then hopefully we'll be able to be discharged at that point.  I am REALLY hoping that we'll get to leave sometime this weekend.  Tom has to be back at work on Monday, and that would really complicate logistics.  So, now we have to figure out how we're going to get her home so that we're all prepared if she gets discharged over the weekend.  The negative to that is that we have to bring up the car seat and see if she fits in it and if it reclines enough.  And I'm afraid that she's going to see her car seat and think she's going home.  And then she'll be very sad.  But, if she doesn't fit in it, then we have to look at other options and we're afraid that things won't be able to happen over the weekend.

So, that's where we are.  In general, her spirits are pretty good, all things considered.  I know she's so uncomfortable and most likely in pain that pain killers can't kill.  And narcotics slow down the gut, too, so she's off those now.  They switched her to a pain med that's not a narcotic.  You might be wondering why they just didn't do that to begin with, but they had to wait a few days from surgery before they could start those (because of bleeding) and I don't think they work nearly as well.  I suppose you have to treat the most immediate problem at the time, and deal with things as they come.

Even though it has only been five days, it feels like forever.  We are so ready to get her home - where she is most comfortable and happy.  And I'd like to be in a place that doesn't remind me of those first days with her.  Yesterday I saw a mom in a wheelchair coming to visit her baby in the CICU.  She looked tired and sad.  And so did the dad.  Oh, the memories!!!!  I am so glad to be able to say "been there, done that"!!!  Looking back I can't believe we survived it.  But we did and now she's four and we are all in such a better place.  Even if it is hard, we are used to it and aren't so shell-shocked anymore.

Hopefully I'll be able to report fabulous news in the next day or two...

Oh, and I just want to thank all my family, friends and neighbors back home!  Thank you for all you're doing for the boys and their Grandma!  We appreciate all you do more than you know!!!!

Thank you!


Ann said...

Harlie sure has a knack for coming up with the 0.001% complication that could arise after surgery! Knowing what the problem is has got to make you feel a little better. If only there was a quick fix rather than just time. Wishing you all patience and strength as you make your way through the home stretch of your hospital stay and I hope things work out so you can get home without too many issues.

Thanks for the update.

Sandy said...

OK. I know it is hard for you to post, but I hope that the minute things start to move and she is relieved that you will just post a quick note. I can't wait to see that post and am checking hourly. I don't really know how bad she feels, but with my history I can relate a little bit and can't imagine how uncomfortable she is.
Love you all!!!

Anonymous said...

As soon as she get rid of that belly gas I am sure she is going to start feeling a little better. She will be able to have her milk. Complication. Give her kisses and hugs from us and we are still praying for a fast exit from that place and on to home. Love Ron and Sue