Sunday, October 27, 2013

Our Little Family: Coming Home!

October 19

In our last update Hannah was in the PICU a couple of days out from surgery.  We are still in the PICU. It took us a while to find the right “cocktail” of medicine to keep Hannah happy.  It was difficult to figure out which ones worked and which ones had no effect on her.  All of the medicines they have Hannah on this time are different from last time so it took a few days, but we finally got it sorted out.  It was a much different experience in the ICU this time than it was last time.  After her first surgery we were assigned all the nurses that had ample amounts of experience and this time I felt like we had the nurses that were fairly new.  I kept reminding them to take her milk out of the freezer and bring her pain meds. They were very sweet and nice but lacked the experience we were spoiled with last time.   

Not as swollen as last time, but still pretty puffy 

October 20

This morning they told us we will be transferring out of the ICU into the heart center.  However, an hour later they changed their mind.  They wanted Hannah to get off one of her medicines before we left the ICU.

Someone is so sleepy

October 21

This morning they actually transferred us to the heart center.  It feels like “home” in the heart center, we know all the nurses and they know us.  When we were transferred only one of Hannah’s pain medicines was transferred with us, Lortab.  The first thing the heart center nurse said to us when we got there was “I think she is in pain, let’s get her more medicine.  The ICU nurses are too stingy with her meds; Hannah has a pretty high tolerance to pain medicine.”  It is so nice to have a nurse that understands my little Hannah.  Her nurse had to call the nurse practitioner and get a special request for more medicines.  We had to continue this throughout the night and give her several doses of morphine just to get through the night. 

Hannah had a difficult night, despite her nurses being a little more generous with her pain medicine.  She was awake (screaming most of the time) from 2 AM until 6 AM, which means so was I.  I would get her back to sleep and lay down, but as soon as I started to fall asleep Hannah was awake again.  On top of her having a rough night one of Hannah’s IVs in her arm went bad, so we had to remove that, AND her central line that they have going directly into her heart wouldn’t draw blood anymore.  They usually like to have this central access so they can draw labs and see what levels are low, her line was still “good” but it wouldn’t let us draw any blood.  Her nurse was worried the doctor would want labs bad enough they would have line team come in tonight and stick her.  Thankfully the doctor had been involved enough with Hannah tonight to know they didn’t want to bother her any more than they had to.  So, they gave us the ok not to do labs tonight.  She came off her nasal cannula this morning, but they decided to put it back on her late this afternoon because she was screaming so much and kept dropping her oxygen levels. 

We were able to get Hannah to have three stinky diapers tonight!  I know that isn’t something you normally report as exciting; but when it’s been three days and we have given laxatives, stool softener, and a suppository all three days, it’s nice to finally see Hannah get some relief.  The diapers were so impressive we just wrapped the dirty diaper up in the blanket we changed her on and threw the whole blanket away.

October 22

This morning they decided to double Hannah’s Lortab dose in the hopes that this would help her be more comfortable.  Originally the plan was to remove Hannah’s drainage tubes in her chest today, but after last night she had too much volume coming out for them to feel comfortable removing them.  They decided they didn’t need more labs, so they gave the go ahead to take out her line in her chest.

Hannah seemed to be feeling better today so I asked if we could try just giving her Tylenol instead of the Lortab.  I think the Lortab is giving Hannah an upset tummy.  She immediately seemed happier.

Sorry it is sideways, I recorded it sideways on my phone so it wont rotate

October 23

Hannah had a rough day this morning; she didn’t want to eat and hadn’t had a stinky diaper in two days.  We have continued to give her laxatives, stool softeners, and a suppository.  I also decided to give her some apple juice to hopefully help things along.  It took a few hours, but finally we had some success.  Two stinky diapers later and it was like we had the old Hannah back, she was so happy and wanting to play.  She was on minimal amounts of Tylenol; she could have it every 4 hours but only needed it every 6-8 hours instead.  It’s so nice to see her happy again. 

October 24

Hannah got her chest tubes out today!!  She is so happy to have her chest tubes out; she is eating much better and is back to bending in half and holding her toes.  All the nurses that walked by peeked in Hannah's room and laughed saying “she is a whole new baby!”

She loves bouncing in her bouncy, she gave the nurses a good laugh.  

We had made plans with Tina and Doug to have Jack come home tomorrow because Tina needs to go back to work on Monday.  We keep hearing that there is a possibility we will go home this weekend, so hopefully that will happen.

October 25

The nurse practitioner came in Hannah’s room this morning and asked us “how would you feel about going home today?”  I laughed and told her sarcastically that I would be devastated.  Ethan’s response…”that is like asking someone if they want their double cheese burger with or without bacon; always with bacon!”  Come to find out the heart center was booked to capacity and the ICU wanted to transfer 6 new kiddos up to the heart center.  Hannah’s was the only room that was potentially coming available soon, so I think they wanted us to leave so they could have our room.  I am alright with being pushed out of the hospital after only seven days!

So they said as long as Hannah’s chest x-ray looked good we could go home.  So the rest of our day was spent taking Hannah to x-ray and waiting around for our discharge papers.  We finally left the hospital around 5 PM; we got home about the same time Jack, Tina and Doug did.  It was so good to be home and to have only been gone a week this time! 

We had given Hannah two doses of Lortab today because she was crying a bit more than usual (the second dose was on the way home in the car and all we had was her Lortab).  BIG MISTAKE!  I had already made the realization that Hannah didn’t like Lortab and it made her feel sick, I must have just had a major brain fart today. 

She cried all night long because the Lortab made her feel sick.  Sweet Tina stayed up with Hannah all night long and held her upright so she could be comfortable until the effects of Lortab wore off.  I kept getting up and trying to give Tina a break and her response was “no, you go to bed I can sleep on the way home.  I only get a weekend.”  It was so nice to have another mother in the house to help me help Hannah get through the night.  Hannah finally seemed to feel better around 2:30 in the morning.

October 26

Today has been a better day; Hannah is eating like a champion.  She is still a little cranky because she is having a hard time readjusting to sleeping in her crib with big brother running amuck throughout the house; overall though we are all happy to be home.  Thank you everyone for the prayers and support, Hannah made it through this surgery exceptionally well.  

I know this is random, but I forgot to mention this a few posts ago...Jack is potty trained, as of September 25!  Woo hoo, it only took 5 days to completely potty train him and he hasn't had an accident since.  He is two and a half and was ready before I was, but I am so glad to only have one kiddo in diapers.

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