Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Rest of the Story

Michayla continued to amaze the medical staff in how quickly she was bouncing back from such an invasive surgery.  She played on her bed and was awake more and more.  The surgeon and PA would check in on her progress, radiology did a daily chest xray and the nursing staff was wonderful with her care.  She took a few laps around the ward that always brought smiles to the staff and her.  The chest tube had to stay in for almost 3 days.  The surgery was on Tuesday and the chest tube came out on Friday morning. They also removed the "pacer" wires at this time.

We were hoping to be released on that Friday because Michayla was doing so well.  When the surgeon & PA came to make the decision on whether or not she could go home, they found us out on our walk with her.  (she was on lap 8).  They knew she was ready to be released.  So we pack up all of our stuff as the nurse gathers all the paperwork.

The nurse goes over her at home care:  no submerging in a tub, pool, hot tub, etc.  She can have sponge baths or sit in a tub with minimal water in it.  It's ok for the incision to get wet, just not to lay in water (fear of infection).  She would need to continue Lasix (pulls the fluid out) for 3 days.  We were given 10 doses of oxycodone for pain and we're told we could alternate Tylenol & Ibuprofen to help with this as well.  We needed to pick her up by cradling her instead of under her arms which would pull on the chest.  We would need to keep her from overdoing (no excessive pushing or pulling).  We would need to watch for infection around the incision.  Michayla's IV's were all removed & she was finally free of wires & tubes.  We got her dressed and waited for the okay to leave.

The staff brought up a really fancy wagon to help transport our stuff and Michayla to the car.  She got to ride high and wave good bye as we made our way out of the hospital.

The next few days went well and she slowly weaned off the pain meds.  She self limits her activity as to not pull or hurt her chest.  The one stitch she had from the chest tube was removed about a week later and she has a follow up appointment with her cardiologist at the two week mark.

Our daughter did so much better than we ever thought she would.  She showed us strength and determination.  We look forward to the day she's completely healed!!  Her heart was working twice as hard as it should have been, so once she's well......we wonder how we'll ever be able to keep up with her.

Thank you for sharing our journey and hopefully this will help other parents out there that are faced with an Atrial Septum Defect Repair.

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