Rachel’s Surgery

Rachel’s surgery was originally scheduled for today. But she was moved to tomorrow because a more urgent case came up. We had to be at UAB today at noon. We’re checked in, had an IV put in with lots of tears 😦 , played in the playroom, and been for chest x-rays.

With my other kids I have always tried to tell them about major things like this waaaay ahead of time, so they have time to prepare. But not with Rachel. She gets very anxious just going to the doctor. She cries hysterically when she sees a needle. I learned with the heart cath that it’s best to wait til the last minute with her.

We were told by social workers that her heart surgery in China was probably a traumatic experience. They aren’t great with pain management there, and she may have been there alone or with someone she doesn’t know well. Tommy and I have asked her pointing to her scar if she remembers when she went to the hospital in China. She gets very quiet and tears up and nods yes.

While we were reading Maisy Goes To the Hospital several weeks ago, I thought it might be a good time to start talking about our next trip to the hospital. NOT a good idea. She became very upset and cried and cried.  For several days afterward she asked me multiple times a day, “I go to doctor?” I kept telling her not to worry about it that I would let her know when it was time to go to the doctor.

So I was pleasantly surprised yesterday when I talked to her about Daddy, Mommy, and her taking a trip to the hospital. She took it well and began packing things she wanted to take. When Granny came by, Rachel asked me “You, me, and Daddy go on a trip?” I said, “Yes.” Then she ran to Granny and told her “We’re going to the beach!” (We spent last week at the beach.)

The surgeon and his nurse practitioner have been by to see us. The plan is to take her for surgery at 7:30am. He said that it would take about an hour to get her ready, so they would probably start around 8:30. He said that it would probably take 4-5 hours. She will be in CICU for 2 days. Then she will hopefully be here just 2 or 3 more days after that.

But the surgeon and the nurse practitioner both told us that with the Fontan sometimes there is more drainage than usual and that she will have to stay until the drainage stops. Maybe up to a week. This apparently happens about 1 out of 5 times with the Fontan. So please go ahead and start praying against this.

I’d appreciate prayers for the boys too while we’re away. They are in great hands, but I still worry about them.

We are now watching our favorite movie–Cinderella–and anxiously awaiting supper.

Will post more tomorrow.



Filed under Medical update

3 responses to “Rachel’s Surgery

  1. Susan

    She looks so sweet! We will be praying for all of you.

  2. Cara

    Will be thinking about you in the morning-praying everything goes well. Unrelated, it sounds like Rachel’s English has improved dramatically since we talked last-those are some great sentences!

  3. She looks great… you can tell she is thriving in your house. I will be praying for her.

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