Thursday, August 12, 2010

All systems go. UPDATED - 7:25

We arrived at the hospital shortly after 6 AM and were taken into pre-op at about 6:30. I was able to hang on to her for a good amount of time while our nurse did all the pre-game testing/paperwork. Afterwards we put her on a bed and all sat to watch the latest Wallace and Gromit selection while we waited for the call.
Around 8:00, Emily gowned up and we attempted to slip her some pre-anesthesia sleep juice (really? You expect me to remember the name of the drug right now? Shame on you.) She wore more than she drank but she got just enough to get good and loopy. Still, she was getting antsy after another 15 minutes and clearly wanted to be anywhere else. A coloring book saved the day and she was still on her belly coloring away when they wheeled her to the OR. Kate got to put on her own biohazard outfit as well and went back with her while I was sent back to the waiting room (after taking a few minutes to attempt to compose myself in the hallway, I trudged back into the lobby to get some coffee...within SECONDS of walking through the door, I hear a "hey, wow, play basketball?" Seriously? Right now? I'm thinking on a day like today, I should be legally allowed to choke this person. I'm writing my congressman.)
Kate came out a few minutes later and looked great. She was very proud of her little girl. Apparently, everyone agreed she did really well...right up until it was time to put the mask on her. She fought it for the whole two seconds it took to put her out.
Thanks again to all the staff who were professional and courteous in the time leading up to surgery. Especially my man Servando, the physician's assistant who not only colored with Emily on the operating table, he offered his cell phone number to be used 24 hours a day if we needed anything. Either he's really good at his job, is trying to win that Team Paley bet we discussed last night or I am making this cargo shorts/hooded sweatshirt ensemble WORK.

UPDATE - 9:18 - Dr. Paley just came out and gave us a wave saying they're going to start in about five minutes. Buckle up, kids.

UPDATE - 10:37 - Servando just stopped by to check on us. He is not in the OR with Emily (he's working on another case) but is in contact with the team and "through signs and body language" things are going well. Caroline should be coming out to talk to us soon.

UPDATE - 11:09 - Caroline checked in and said the word from The Man is that things are going "great." No surprises, for good or ill and he should be finished in about 90 minutes. We still won't be able to see her for about three hours, but we're making headway.

UPDATE - 12:28 - Found out our final post-op appointment with Paley will be on Thursday, not Friday. The thought of hanging out until Kate's Saturday evening flight got even less attractive, so we called the airline and attempted to make a switch. The customer service rep initially balked, saying it would cost an additional $180 per ticket. However, after talking about WHY we're down here, she knocked it down to $60 total. Done and done. Thanks, Delta!

UPDATE - 1:06 - Nothing new to report. It's brutal watching the "staff only" door open only to have it be no one we're interested in seeing. Starting to numb up a bit.

UPDATE - 1:26 - Paley just came out and talked to us. Everything looks "beautiful." He said the only part that was a bit abnormal was the need to shave some bone where the femoral head connects to the pelvis to promote a more natural range of motion. She's being closed up right now after which she'll be casted, they'll take more x-rays and moved to recovery.
Getting closer!!

UPDATE - 3:10 - We were just moved to a different waiting room. Should be able to see her anytime now.

UPDATE - 3:17 - Kim, another top notch physician's assistant, just came out to tell us "the epidural must be working" because Emily is awake, looking around and just smiling. That's our girl!

UPDATE - 7:25 - Well, I'M tapped.
We finally got called into the recovery room at about 4:20 and Ems looked pretty beat up. She was a little swollen and pale and would wake up only briefly. When she did, it was like she was trying to cry but it took too much effort, so she just went back to sleep. We sat next to her for about an hour (the LONGEST hour all day...and that's saying something) before they got her ready to move up to her room. When it was time to roll, we gave her blanky and puppy...but it was the binky that finally got a smile. Once that binky was in her mouth, she lit up, looked at us and said, "Hi Mommy! Hi Daddy!" Like crack, that binky.
We got situated in her room and just kinda sat. The room is a little bare and we're on the sunny side, but I was more than happy to get out of that recovery room. Too many wires, too many people, too many bells and whistles...just too hospital-y. It's a little calmer now.
Paley stopped by a little before 7:00, gave her a once over and a thumbs up before moving on to examine more of his craftsmanship. Jennifer, the PA who closed Emily up after surgery also stopped by and gushed about how great our girl was going into the OR. When she left, Kate turned to me and simply said, "I like her." Agreed.
Since getting to her room, Emily has been out for the most part. The epidural is humming and pain meds are at the ready. Kate and I were catching up on texts/phone calls before I figured I should put a wrap on this for the day. Unfortunately, that meant leaving the room for the wi-fi connection in the 24-hour coffee shop they have here. The most unfortunate part? Now having to navigate my way back. I hope to see the ladies again before Ems is discharged on Sunday.
I'm just so thankful for the support today. A lot of people checked in by text, phone call, e-mail, blog comments...and that's on top of the people who were physically here for us today. Most importantly, thank God I married Kate. She so easily switched back and forth from mom to nurse that I don't think I ever saw her where she didn't appear to be in complete control. I, on the other hand, was a puddle most of the day. Not my manliest performance. Uh...I don't have a redeeming joke here. Shut it.
So that's it for today. I'll be sure to keep you in the loop in the coming days. Thanks for keeping up with us. We all did it together!


AS said...

I see that Mom is a professional through and through. Let us have a report from the OR when it comes in. I'm thinkin' the good doctor might be offering his Mont Blanc (I'm sure that is wrong) the first person to be named. Heck, I'd color with HIM if it meant getting mentioned in the blog! Loving you and prayers surround Miss Ems as she slumbers. AS

AS said...

Hang in there, spongebob!!

Anonymous said...



Olivia's Mommy said...

Hi guys.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this time. I lit a special candle for Emily this morning as i can only imagine what you must be going through. We're getting our surgery date on Tuesday and then our countdown starts. Hopefully we will also be blessed to have Dr Paley perform the surgery.

All our love
All the way from Cape Town, South Africa
Amanda & Baby Olivia

Kathleen said...

"Beautiful" works. I bet once he said those words you finally took a deep breath. Have been thinking about you and praying for you all morning and will continue to do so. Wish I could give you all a squeeze in person, but cyber space will have to do for now...XO

AS said...

A bowl of Froot Loops WITH sprinkles has been consumed by Janie in honor of Em's new cast.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the updates! You guys and your day was the topic our lunch today... Sarah and I generally talk strippers and cheap beer... but that was removed for the day... I thought it big. Happy to hear the word "beautiful" came out of the doc's mouth and he wasn't referring just to Em's smile.

As you know, you're in our thoughts!


Sarah Kristiansen said...

just love you more than I can say. Thanks for the updates. can't wait for a visit when you guys are back home and settled.

S/N said...

Tim and Kate and Emily,
You are often in our thoughts and prayers today! Thank you for the diary of these long hours toward progress.
We love you.
Stan and Nancy

Daniel Rigby said...

So glad to hear it went well with Emily, we were thinking of you throughout the day. Sounds like she did great and will recover really quickly. If Emily is up to it, take a visit to the turtle hospital. Daniel loved it that the turtles go to hospital too and they had to take antibiotics. Love from the Rigbys in London.

Phil D said...

Excellent news. Hang in there, Tim.

Maren said...

Thinking of you guys and sending pediatrician hugs & healing thoughts from Minnesota. I hope things continue to go smoothly. -Maren