CT Scan & Pre-op

We arrived at the hospital yesterday (Tuesday) at 12:45pm with an estimated departure time of 3:30pm. Gabrielle last ate at 9:45am so we were hoping things would go smoothly and everything would be on time. It did not happen.

Gabrielle got dressed in her gown (under protest) was weighed and measured (under greater protest) and had her oxygen saturation levels monitored (under screams and howling.) Once she calmed down, she did really well for not having eaten in so long. By the time she had not eaten for 5 hours, because they were running late, Gabrielle was doing quite well considering.

I’m in scrubs as well because I was going in the room with Gabrielle when they put her to sleep. Gabrielle’s got little boxing gloves taped on because they give her numbing cream for the back of her hands for the IV they were going to put in for giving her the general anesthetic. I hope all of you parents reading this will never have to experience having doctors put your child to sleep. I am very glad I was there because it was a comfort to Gabrielle but it was plainly horrible.

Her CT scan took about 45 minutes and then they came and got us and brought us to the recovery room where Gabrielle was waking up. I walked in the room and knew exactly which bed she was in, because I could hear her hoarse little voice crying “Mama! Mama!” The nurses looked quite relieved to see me. They said “That’s who she wants!”

Watching my babe coming out of the drugs is really weird. She’s so floppy like she’s newborn but she’s struggling for control. I fed her right away. The nurse said she was on ketamine and it has hallucinogenic properties and we could tell by the way she stared, a little stoned, at her thumb and waved her hand around. Her oxygen saturations would not stabilize and she was sinking down into 40% and not coming up very quickly so they gave her a mask of oxygen and we waited. As she became more alert, her sats came up and eventually we were moved back into surgical daycare to be discharged.

It took another couple hours because the nurses had to do all the same tests as the previous nurse and there was a shift change but by 6:30pm, we were finally out. And we were all starving. Pizza at my brother’s place (thanks James and Siobhan) and we were off to bed.

This morning we headed to the hospital for 8:30am. Gabrielle had swabs done, we got a nose ointment to fight bacteria. We met with the surgeon and some other specialists that will be at her surgery tomorrow. She had a chest x-ray (in which she was strapped, arms above her head, to a chair while I waited helpless in a booth while she screamed) and they tried to do an echo on her. She was so tired by that point that if anyone touched her that she didn’t know, she would start howling and turning blue. She has so little reserves that she sunk down to the low 50%’s and then took 10+ minutes before she’d come back up to 70%. That kind of fluctuation is so hard on her little body. So they opted to do the echo and ECG tomorrow when she’s already under, before she goes into the operating room.

The last thing we did was blood work. It was what I was dreading most as last time they had to poke her 5 different places and she, the tech and I ended up in tears. This time, because she was bigger, it only took two tries and some fiddling around before they got what they needed. I told the techs that I would have to get them to stop if she turned really blue and they were very fast and efficient.

Gabrielle fell asleep nearly immediately upon leaving the hospital as she hadn’t had time for any naps and I easily transferred her into bed.

The surgeon had some startling news. He doesn’t know which way he’s going to do the surgery. They are patching a hole, and they are going to change the blood flow in her heart by closing the BT shunt and widening the very narrow pulmonary artery. They can do this¬† two ways. 1. They can widen it by putting a patch over it, like a new roof but then she has no pulmonary valve. Often this is not a problem for them until they are older. Sometimes they have to have an additional surgery to put a valve in when they are older, like 30-ish.

Option 2 is that they put a pulmonary conduit in which they use a pulmonary valve from a cadaver and Gabrielle will have a pulmonary valve to regulate the flow. The disadvantage about this approach is that she will have to have additional heart surgeries to replace the pulmonary conduit in 3-7 years. We do not want her to have to go through this again, especially in her childhood. But it is up to the surgeon’s discretion as to the best fit for Gabrielle’s specific heart.

We have absolute confidence in Dr. Gandhi’s ability. He is an excellent surgeon and we know he will make the best decision for her. But if you could direct your thoughts and prayers toward option 1, we would much appreciate it.

Again, thank you for your warms wishes,  for bringing us to your brains and sending us love. It is amazing to know that we are buoyed by you.

Please pray that her surgeon will get a good sleep tonight. That the nurses and doctors will be alert tomorrow morning and all get their morning coffee. That everything goes smoothly and she will be out and laughing with us so soon. That she will be ok with her fast tomorrow morning and that I will sort of keep it together as I hand her over to the doctors. That they will not have to pry her out of my arms but that I will gracefully give her over and not panic and run.

I was comforted when the anesthesiologist said to me, “I will treat her as my own daughter.”

Thank you Doc.

About Amanda

Living a simple quiet life on the Gulf Islands, BC.

10 Thoughts on “CT Scan & Pre-op

  1. What to say, except that I marvel at your strength, your grace to each one you encounter, and your ferocious love for your wee daughter in these trying times. May God keep you all in His tender care. xoxo

  2. Cidnie on 2 November, 2011 at 2:01 pm said:

    So many prayers are surrounding Gabrielle and your little family. I’ve been thinking of ya’ll constantly. I just wish I could do SOMETHING to ease her suffering, to ease your suffering. Sending so much love…

  3. Danielle on 2 November, 2011 at 2:08 pm said:

    You are such an inspiration in strength. What you are going through and will be going through is unimaginable to me but all so that the littlest nut will grow up strong and healthy and happy. If there was anything I could do to help you carry all of this I would do it gladly. All my heart is with you and our mighty little girl. You are not alone.

  4. I have great admiration for you Amanda and You both as parents going through such trying trials. Know that you are not alone.

  5. thank you for taking the precious time to write this update. bless that anesthesiologist who will treat Gabrielle as his/her own daughter. May you all be strengthened by the “world” of prayers that are being offered up right now for Gabrielle’s surgery.
    love, peace, and prayers

  6. I love the picture of Brie playing with your surgical cap – a reminder that in the midst of the scary things and the big things that she faces tomorrow, her innocence and desire to laugh and play is what really defines this precious little life. The Father loves her SOOOOOOOO much and I know He walks with her into the OR tomorrow and He guides the hands of surgeons and holds you and Marc tightly in His arms as you wait for news.

  7. Christy on 2 November, 2011 at 7:40 pm said:

    I love you guys. Sending mental hugs your way. It’s like labour… The fear and pain can be overwhelming but there is a good outcome waiting for you at the end. Thinking lots of you all!

  8. Jodi K. on 3 November, 2011 at 3:53 am said:

    In case you haven’t seen the posts on FB. I’ve been & will continue to pray for your strength & Gabrielle’s. I’m praying for the surgeon & the medical staff & for their alertness & conscious efforts today. Much love & hugs to you all!

  9. We just found out today at 30 weeks our little guy has this as well. We are in shock since we have had many ultrasound and had not found any issues. Praying for all of these angels tonight.

  10. harman on 25 June, 2012 at 2:50 pm said:

    i can really understand your emotions and feelings. my son name is Abhiman.he was born on 2 Feb 2012 and was diagnosed with tetralogy of fallot on 3 Feb 2012. he had his first surgery on 6 Feb 2012. he was just 4 days old and we were totally devastated by that time. but everything went good. now, he is going to have his next surgery on 19 jury 2012. we have total faith in Dr. Gandhi but still so much scared. i just want my baby back smiling, healthy. wish to see u sometime.

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