Monday, August 6, 2012

Baha surgery

Harlie is doing well after her bone anchored hearing aid surgery on Friday.

As I was putting her to bed on Thursday night, I told her that we were going to wake up early the next morning to go to the hospital for a quick surgery.  She immediately started to cry.  While it was so hard to tell her and then watch her cry, I am so glad to know that she understood what I was saying to her.  And I mean "language-wise."  As in she understood the words and what they meant.

I didn't really know what I was going to say ahead of time.  So, I just told her that it would be over quick and that she wouldn't have to stay there.  And that I would be with her the whole time and we'd get through it together.  While I think it was somewhat comforting to her, she still continued to cry a little bit until she fell asleep.  Ugh.  Some moments are so hard.

Waking her up to go to the hospital went well.  She didn't seem upset and I just kept on telling her it would be over quick and we'd be home soon.  Once we got there we had to wait a long time.  She was second case, but the first case didn't show.  You'd think that wouldn't matter much, but they said the first case was a hard to schedule and coordinate kind of case, so they were giving them more time to get there.  So, we had to wait.  I have to say, it doesn't take much for her to be entertained.

Playing with a toy phone, old school style.

Hiding behind a chair.
The surgery took a lot longer than I expected.  I was thinking it would take an hour, but it took more than two before they came to get me.  Her doctor said that it went great.  Actually the exact words she used were "perfect" and "textbook."  I must say that's the first time I've ever heard those words when it comes to her.  She said that her skull was plenty thick enough that she was able to use the larger titanium implant, which will give her better sound quality.  It's so awesome when things go her way!

There are three parts to a bone anchored hearing aid:

1.  the titanium implant (the screw looking piece in the photo below)
2.  the abutement (the cone shaped piece), and
3.  the processor (the actual hearing aid).

The first surgery is to implant the titanium piece.  She implanted two, one is called the sleeper and it is there just in case one of them isn't accepted by the skull.  She put them at a certain angle and distance from where her ear canal should be.  Right now, she just shaved her hair in that area and then stitched up the incision (which is curved).  But during the next surgery, she will thin out her skin in that area a little bit and remove her hair follicles.  Even though she had to drill holes in her skull, I still considered this surgery to be relatively minor.  So I was a little surprised to see her afterwards...

Holy dressing!

Does the bow make it look better?
It took a while for her to wake up.  They checked her pacemaker, all's good with that.  And then I got her up and in my lap.  They had to take out her IV, which is always traumatic.  At this point, she's hyper sensitive to anything when in the hospital - it doesn't matter what you're doing to her, she's going to fight you.  And she's a really good fighter.  The anesthesiologist hung out with us way more than usual.  I think she just wanted to make sure that she was fine since she was taking longer than normal to wake up.  So, she was there when the IV had to go.  Harlie cried and fought and the anesthesiologist was clearly concerned.  I laughed and said, "If you think this is bad, you should try getting the needle in!"  And then I followed it up with a typical husband's kind of response, "She's fiiiiiine!"

I asked the nurse to get me Harlie's chair and the second I showed it to her and put her in it, she was all better.  And then the anesthesiologist said, "You are the perfect mom for her.  I would never be that calm."  But, you get used to it little by little.  And I've learned when I should worry and when I shouldn't.  And when I shouldn't worry - I don't.  I'll have plenty of opportunities to worry later - trust me!

On our way home, stylin' as usual.
She's going to kill me for this pic one day!
She had to wear the dressing for 24 hours.  I was so proud of her.  She wanted to take it off so many times.  But I would tell her no and she would stop trying.  I told her "we can take it off tomorrow."  I took Rooney for a walk and when I got back, I found the boys looking like this...

So supportive!  And so, so sweet!
The dressing came off while she slept.  So, I went on ahead and removed it the next morning while she was still sleeping.  When she woke up the first thing she did was reach for it and she got an "Oh no!" kind of expression.  I told her we were all done with it and she was happy.  Until I had to clean it with peroxide and put bacitracin on it.  Two times a day!  That is not an easy task, let me tell you!

Tonight was the first time we could wash her hair.  Whew!  I was glad to do that! The area of the incision is still really swollen.  It's really hard to tell if it's okay (as far as redness goes) because she will NOT stay still long enough to get a good look.  Like I said earlier, she is hyper sensitive to anything.  Trying to clean it and treat it with the ointment is agony.  For all parties involved.  Our follow up appointment is Thursday.  That should be fun.

Rooney is fine from his surgery on Thursday.  When I picked him up the vet said that I was lucky to be getting him back.  Apparently they all wanted to keep him!  He is so sweet and cute, I am not surprised.  But when I got him his ears were all droopy and his tail was straight.  He was one sad little pup!  The only time his tail curled that night was when I fed him.  Pugs sure do like to eat! By the next afternoon, he was right back to his normal happy self.

Cooper's eye appointment went well.  He's near sighted, but that's age appropriate.  She said his Duane's syndrome is very mild and that she thinks his squinting at objects is him just being a kid.  So, he's good and doesn't have to go back for two more years.

Well, that's it for tonight.  Thanks for checking in!


Susan said...

You southerners and your bows crack me up. It is cute though. Love the sundress.

I LOVE the boys being all supportive with their matching headresses. That'll be a photo to look back on someday.

I'm glad the surgery went well. I'm not sure when she's getting the abutement, but I can't wait to hear how she likes the BAHA once it's working.

I think we're due for a phone chat.


grandma said...

Such good news about everyone.....prayers were answered!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you guys got through this surgery quickly. She's a real trooper! And love the supportive brothers! Were you and dad wearing a head wrap too??? lol...

Veronica said...

I just love your family! Glad it went well, I'm hanging on every word since we will likely be there one day.

Anonymous said...

Just checking in to see how everyone did with their appointments and surgeries. Hope Harlie recovers OK. It looks like more than I thought it would be.
XO, Marcy