Emma sleeps well, and we give her steroids from the hospital at 2:00 am, and the last bottle at 4:00 am. And now it is time to go! We arrive at the hospital at 6:30 am . . .
. . . and it turns out we are supposed to come this early just so the hospital can get started on their preparations. So after an hour and a half of “Get Fuzzy” comics, the nurses come in and announce that it’s time to go!
After a lot of waiting, it all happens very quickly. The nurse scoops Emma up, leads us to the Family Waiting Room (a private waiting room for during sugery), and tells us to say bye-bye for the operation. And then she’s gone, with a promise from the nurse to come back every hour and tell us how things are going.
Hour 1: We settle down for the wait, mostly reading books. We were told that preparation takes several hours, so it’d be awhile before the actaull operation. Then a head pops in-an hour has already passed, and she’s sleeping nicely, hooked up to alll the needles and tubes she needs (past one of the minor risk points), and they’re about to start the operation! Seems to be going well . . .
Hour 2: More waiting. Dad and I start browsing through house polans, and Miriam is reading some more “Get Fuzzy.” Again, it doesn’t seem like another hour, and the nurse is back, telling us that the hole is patched (bringing a sample of the material-looks and feels like cotton), and that they are evaluating the miss-routed veins now. And Emma’s doing fine!
Hour 3: The cards come out and we start a round of Threes. Mid-way through we decide to grab some lunch, so Dad and I run down to the hospital cafeteria, get some sandwiches, and come back. The nurse returns and tells us that Emma is finished with the main part of the operation, and is already off the heart/lung machine.
Hour 4: More waiting until finally, around 12:00, we’re told Emma is now resting in the ICU, and we can visit! The surgeon comes in and tells us that everything went well. The patch was first put on over one of her valves and had to be moved (tiny heart to be working in!), but they got it fixed no problem. The two veins that are incorrectly running from the lungs out and then back to the lungs were too high and too small to be fixed, so that was not done. She may be ok, or she may need another operation at 4-6 years old – definately not a big problem like the hole. After closing things back up and getting her heart going again, they checked the heart again, and the hole is closed! There’s still a very small hole left, but he said that usually heals on its own in 3-6 months.
First Visit: Emma is still on a ventilator (lung machine) and has needles and tubes all over for nutrition, morphine, sleepy medicine, drawing off excess fluids, etc. She’ll stay on the ventilator and sleeping at least through the night. She has her own private nurse, and is doing well.
We visited her a couple of times (10 minutes per hour maximum allowed), and she’s sleeping soundly (not that she has much of a choice).
Dad takes us out to eat for dinner, then we head back to check on her after the nurse shift change at 8:00 pm. She’s doing fine, so we leave our numbers with the nurse, and head back to the apartment for the night.