Sunday, December 30, 2012

Peanut's First AVM procedure

Monday morning arrived quickly enough. My sisters were at my side as we packed everything up to head to the OR waiting room. I was thrilled that Peanut wanted me to hold her on my lap in the wheelchair as she went to her procedure. I cherished every minute of our ride. As we rounded the corner, we met our pastor in the hallway. We all walked together to take Peanut to the basement where her procedure would take place. Once we got outside the waiting room, it was time for the aunts and pastor to say goodbye to Peanut. My husband and I went down to the nurses station with her where they gave her some sleepy meds through her IV and it was a matter of seconds before she was completely relaxed and pretty out of it. We kissed her goodbye and handed her over to the nurse who carried her to the OR. We watched them walk away with our precious daughter thinking we may have just handed her over to someone for the last time. We joined our family in the waiting room with the knowledge that her procedure could take as long as 8 hours. It wasn't long before more family arrived to sit with us and wait for news from the doctor. We knew we were in for a long wait but the time passed as we chatted and played on our phones. The worst part of the wait was that we were directly facing the door that the staff came through to get family to go see patients. So, every time the door opened, we held our breath. One of the anesthesiologists came in about an hour after they had taken Peanut back and let us know that she was doing really well and that they had just started the procedure... which meant the 8 hour countdown started an hour later than what we originally thought. We tried to settle in for the long wait. Around 11:30 Peanut's doctor came in and was working behind the receptionist desk for a minute. I wasn’t sure what was going on but my heart was racing and I was desperate to know something! Finally, he stood up and called us back. We sat down in the conference room and he explained that everything went very well. We both breathed a HUGE sigh of relief! Most of the risks were things that would take place during the procedure so there was definitely a sense of relief. He explained that he was able to target the aneurysm as he had hoped he would be able to do. He told us he was “very happy” with the surgery which made us feel incredibly happy. He informed us that they had found another aneurysm. So, she would need to undergo this same procedure in 6-8 weeks to target that aneurysm. At that point, we didn’t even begin to think of 6-8 weeks from now. We were just thrilled she had made it through surgery and that he was able to hit the area he was aiming for. The doctor walked us to yet another waiting room. After a little bit more of a wait, they called us back to see Peanut. When we arrived she was sleeping comfortably. She looked so peaceful and we were just thrilled that she wasn’t awake and fighting (which was how she had reacted after her angiogram at the first hospital stay - a fight that lasted 2 hours!). There were still a lot of unknowns but I was completely overwhelmed with gratitude that she was still with us. Her nurse gave us all the details on her status and within a few minutes prepped her to go up to her room. My husband and I walked with Peanut as they transferred her to the PICU room. She woke up a couple times and we were able to chat with her. She wasn’t responding verbally but would shake or nod her head in response. My husband was quick to point out that she was answering appropriately and what a great sign that was - she understood us! We got her settled into her room and she was awake for a little bit but very sleepy. She slept quite often - every once in a while she would open her eyes and find me in the room. I assured her that I wasn’t going anywhere and I was right beside her. After doing that several times, she fell asleep and slept soundly until about 4 hours after the surgery was finished - the time she could begin moving around. She began speaking with us and there was not one change in her speech! She understood us and was able to express herself as well as before the procedure! Praise the Lord for that! We were overwhelmed with gratitude for God's hand in all of this as well as surprised that he would give us yet another miracle! We knew that God's had played a huge part in the success of this procedure and took the time to just praise God in the midst of this and continue our journey of learning to trust Him. We were also reminded that His ways are higher than our own and there was no way for us to figure Him out. What an incredible journey this has already been!