Thursday, March 6, 2014

Surgery #3: Centennial Women and Children's Hospital

The simple act of combing my daughter's hair without navigating around nevi....I've been waiting for this moment for over a year!  She has really rocked the "pebbles" hair style on top of her head, which covered her last large raised spot which is the width of a quarter, but we were restricted to that and wearing a hat thus far.
Waiting to go back for surgery
 This surgery day started differently than the first two.  We didn't have to drive in the night before and stay at a hotel, because she wasn't scheduled to begin until 1:30.  We decided to drive in early in the morning, but when another winter storm struck on Sunday, three days earlier, we became concerned when two days later the ice had still not been removed from the roads around us.  Fortunately, we still decided to go and leave an extra 1 1/2 hours to drive slowly.  Since it got so cold the night before, when we left at 7:45 a.m. everything was frozen on the roads.  It made it a bumpy, slow drive, but we never got stuck or slid around.  About an hour into our 4 hour drive the roads cleared and we arrived 45 minutes early!
Check-in went very smoothly this time, and before long we were just playing the waiting game to let Anna Faith go to surgery.  She never acted nervous or antsy once.  We felt for her not being able to eat since the night before and only getting apple juice early in the morning.  She cried quietly in the car for a while, and we wondered if she wasn't feeling good because of her empty stomach.  In the hospital she forgot about her hunger and just enjoyed playing on our laps and getting lots of attention from the medical staff who came and went.
Versed makes her so goofy!

Not a care in the world with this medicine in her system

At 1:45 it was time to get her.  The nurse had already brought her versed to make her relaxed and groggy, so she was laying in my lap with a glazed goofy look on her face when they asked us to put her on the bed to roll away.  She never protested or whimpered.  She just looked at us and we kissed her goodbye.  An hour later we were told her scalp nevi were removed and Dr. Chester was starting on the back of her neck.  This took another hour of waiting.  Finally Dr. Chester appeared in our room detailing us on the surgery.  Anna Faith did very well, and she was able to get almost all of the spots behind her neck!  She ended up excising the larger clumps and stitched it up, but scraped the smaller scattered spots around it.  This resulted in lots of open, shallow wounds.  We will need to keep them moist and put antibiotic ointment on them every day.  We then discussed her next surgery.  When I asked if it would be her last, Dr. Chester looked at me with a smile and showed me her crossed fingers :-).  She won't give me her word, but I want to be optimistic that we only have one to go!  In two weeks I will remove her stitches myself and email pictures to Dr. Chester so we don't have to travel to Nashville again.  The rest of her cheek and nevi under her chin may be completely removed this summer.  She can get surgery #4 as early as June, but Dr. Chester suggested we wait until the end of the summer so she can enjoy swimming and being outside.  After surgery she would have to be away from outdoor or pool activities for 3 weeks.  This is a tough decision since we want her surgeries to be completed soon, and Kris' work on the farm complicates things too (surgery in the fall isn't an option).   God's timing is best, so we trust that He knows what's best for her and will allow a date to open up that is perfect.  We will get it scheduled within the next couple weeks.
This time she took a while to wake up postoperatively, but when she did, she never cried.  She sat quietly in her bed and looked at the nurses until we came to see her in recovery.  It was so different from what she did the first two times that I wondered if she was OK.  She was so calm and peaceful, and didn't even reach for us until we offered to pick her up.  We went back to our room where she drank some gatorade and she rested in Kris' arms.  She never threw up!  Because her IV was in her foot this time, she didn't even notice it was there until it was taken out.  What a blessing since the other times she really got upset about the splint on her arm restricting her movement.  About an hour after we went to our holding room, our nurse came in to discharge us!  This was by far the fastest discharge we've had, but since she was doing so well, we didn't complain.  Because the surgery was so late in the day, we were the last ones to leave the outpatient surgery area by a couple hours.  It was 6:15 p.m. when we were wheeled out.  Soon after leaving, she asked to eat.  I cautiously gave her some animal crackers one by one, hoping she wouldn't throw them up.  She ate the whole snack bag, then wanted more food!  She ended up eating gummy treats, two pieces of bread, and after getting home, a thick slice of banana bread before going to bed.  That has never happened on a surgery day before either.  The anti-nausea medicine they gave her this time was definitely the way to go!  When we got home, the snow/ice in our driveway was a deep, mushy mess.  We got stuck, and Kris had to find a pick-up on the farm to get us the rest of the way to the house and pick up his mom who was waiting at our house while the boys were sleeping.  It was a reminder that God was protecting our travels right up to our return home.
Anna Faith slept well the first night and woke up with a smile.  She has only needed a dose of Motrin and she's as happy as can be playing with toys and chasing around her brothers.  I put her hair in a ponytail to keep hair out of her neck wounds which go to the hairline behind her head.  She loved looking at it in the mirror and giggled.  I can't wait to play with her hair after her stitches come out!  We're going to have so much fun!
Day after surgery, getting pampered by Nathanael
Posterior neck before
Posterior neck 2 days after.  There are a couple tiny spots left that will be scraped during the next surgery
Scalp before first excision, August 12th 2013
Scalp after 1st excision
Scalp 2 days after 2nd excision- all gone!

1 comment:

  1. That looks amazing!! Our kids are such troopers. As for what to do this summer, Keziah had expanders in during April, May, and June, with removal done on July 1st. We even have a pool in the backyard!! But it actually was no problem at all - we just didn't use it for those 3 weeks (not with her around anyway). 6 weeks post-op we were able to go camping. I just thought I'd share that, seeing as you aren't sure what to do. But the most important thing is what you are doing already - relying on God's timing. I hope and pray that Anna Faith's wounds heal up well in the next weeks!