Post-Op Day 6

Today was another good day! Great, even! πŸ™‚ So much happened that I don’t remember exactly!

Firstly, we showed up and there seemed to be a lot more of her. It took us a moment but we realized that her catheter had been removed overnight as well as the tube which was helping to keep her stomach empty of acid. Plus, since the physical respirator machine had been removed, there was more space for us to be around her bed.

Before we knew it (but hours in reality) her arterial line was removed (painful, but it freed up her right hand) and then so was her central line in her neck (much more painful).

With all these changes, her bodily functions were back in full force which lead to my being able to hold her for a bit while we changed her bed πŸ˜‰ Along with the usual help of being able to give her medication, today, I also gave her her first ounce of expressed breast milk! And then, best of all, Chantale was actually able to hold her and feed her for a little while! True, the sensation wasn’t the same, but then again how could it be with all the wires still attached to her? πŸ™‚ It’ll be a little rough going as Charlize first regains her appetite and secondly regains the habit of breastfeeding.

But, it’s great that she’s pretty much on her own now. She’s not being fed intravenously, she’s not being given oxygen, she has no extra lines or tubes inside her! All that’s left is a regular IV hookup in her left hand for administering medication if required. Again, another step closer to taking her home!

Today was an incredibly intense day in the ICU. Pretty much packed to overflowing at the point where we were almost expecting to be sent down to the Ward already. However, before that happens, Pediatrics there have to come to an agreement with ICU in regards to handling Charlize. So, it may be tomorrow that we go down, just as it may be Friday. We’ll play it by ear – the same as we do every day.

Chantale’s mom managed to organize a delivery of Schwartz’s smoked meat (for about 25 people!) to be delivered to the ICU today as a gift from Charlize. To say the folks there were appreciative would be to not give enough weight to how happy they were. One guy basically told us that had there not been food today, he would not have eaten. On 12 hour shifts, you can imagine what that means, especially for the staff there who took no or little breaks (many of the nurses were handling two patients and helping out on 3 or 4 others). It was insane. They were all so touched, and we were just so very happy to help out. They’ve done an incredible job in taking care of Charlize (and us), it was the least we could have done.

Now, I’m almost certain I’ve forgotten something about today, but if so I’ll remember tomorrow πŸ™‚ I’m quite tired again and since I’m heading to work tomorrow morning, Chantale will pretty much be by herself for most of the day. You know, I must say something else. It’s pretty incredible to think that we’ve been spending 12 to 14 hour shifts at the hospital lately (as opposed to some of the 20+ hours of Pre-Op) and it’s amazing how quickly the time flies. I could never imagine a regular day at work basing THAT quickly, let alone 12 hours of it! πŸ™‚ It’s just amazing what kind of a rhythm you can find yourself in while at the ICU…

After the shift change tonight, I spent a good while trying to calm Charlize into a lull so she could finally fall asleep. She had not slept since the time she woke up this morning! Talk about fighting the sandman! πŸ™‚ In the end, I was leaning close to her on the bed, fingers of my right hand holding onto her right hand while my palm warmed her head, my left hand held her left hand while the fingers of my left hand held her pacifier in place, and I sang and hummed Beatles songs to her. No regular lullabies for my daughter! πŸ™‚ And, pretty much like her brother at that age, she prefers the Lennon tunes more to the McCartney ones πŸ™‚ Unfortunately, every time she got close to falling asleep, having closed her eyes and her breathing slowed down, a machine would go off and wake her up. Sigh. πŸ™‚ Still, it was just so heartwarming having her just stare back at me for hours on end…

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