Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Cochlear Implant update..."Hurt finished"

Well, she made it through! I had great plans of posting last night, even had my camera, got a laptop from the hospital (avaialble to the kids courtesy of Astra Zeneca) but things did not go as planned to give me any extra time!
Here's the update: We arrived at the hospital at 6:30 in the pouring rain. It rained absolute buckets all the way down I-95. The team got ready pretty quickly, and they were great, as usual. Everyone was fascinated with Sophie and interested in her story. Before she went in, one of her surgeons drew a Sponge Bob face on her right wrist to prevent any confusions (thank you very much for that!) She was thrilled with this little drawing! They let me walk back with her, complete with scrubs (sorry, no pictures of that, but it was quite a sight!) The doctor kidded around with me when we walked into the OR and asked if I was going to assist them. I told him they didn't need my kind of assistance, as I would be flat on the floor. I could handle it when I worked at the vet's office, but not for people.
By then, Sophie already had had her 'happy juice' (versed) so she was calm and cool. She slid right over to the OR table from her gurney, and they let me sign to her what they were doing, I told her Matt and I would wait for her until she woke up, that we loved her, etc. Within a few minutes she was out, and I wished the team luck, and told them to take good care of her. Boy, I'm glad I didn't go into medicine! But I'm glad so many wonderful people did!

The surgery took a little more than three hours, and during the wait you are updated regularly by Meg, who is a nurse who scrubs, goes into the OR and finds out what is going on with your child during the surgery, then comes out to give a report. She has an amazing knowledge, and a wonderful personality. She is the same nurse who updated us during Sarah's 8 hour scoliosis surgery 4 years ago. What a blessing this is, giving parents real-time info, reassuring us and informing us, at the same time.
Before we knew it, they came out and told us she was finished, and they were calling audiology to test the implant. The surgeons (ENT and Cochlear implant specialist) called us in to a room to let us know how she did. They were both as laid back as good be, were thrilled with how she did, and explained where we go from here. As a part of the surgery, they looked at her left ear, which was the worse ear to begin with. It does not look good at all, and there is virtually no ear drum left. Looks like at some time in the future (hopefully not too soon) she will need reconstructive surgery to close off that ear drum. The good news is that if the cochlear implant works for her right ear, they might be able to implant her left ear.

Sophie woke up well from the surgery, relatively speaking. I was very happy we were staying the night. She was able to tolerate liquids, and was VERY hungry! Once she started to get a clearer head, she watched TV, wanted to inspect her bandage (thanks again to her teacher Kate who prepared her for the bandage and the whole surgery). She would have been totalled freaked about about the bandage if she did not see a picture of her beloved Kate with the same bandage on.
Oh, the bandage! You might notice from the pictures that Sophie's bandage is different sizes. Well, let's just say what she came out of surgery wearing is not what she tried very hard to rip off. The nurses reinforced it many times, until it was almost a turban on her head. Finally, by about 4 am, she had it up so high on her head, it was not even covering her incision, and the nurse took it off the rest of the way. When she could feel the incision, she was thrilled, because it felt like the incision she saw that Kate had! Only Sophie would want the EXACT same incision!

We were very happy for a visit from Bonnie, Sam and Keira. Bonnie and her husband Dave live near DuPont and they adopted Keira the summer before we adopted Sophie. Bonnie and I, along with about six other families, have kept in touch over the last year on a Yahoo Group. We had dinner once before at their house when Sophie and I went in for one of her tube surgeries. Sophie was thrilled to see the kids, and we had a nice visit, complete with a fabulous story Sam shared with us, for Sophie! It was so cute!

Sophie was not very steady on her feet, so we toured the hospital in a wheelchair, and she and I went down to the cafeteria for breakfast. Sophie is not too great when she is cooped up for too long, and I often think about her months at Swallows Nest, during the winter, when many of the kids were sick. I can't imagine how Pam and Clay did it, with no effective communication. Another tribute to these two wonderful people. We owe them so much, and we figure they are going straight to heaven for their wonderful work at the Swallows Nest Children's' Home.

This morning the nurses wanted to give Sophie her pain meds and when I asked her if her ear hurt, she said "no", "Hurt finished". Way to go, Sophie Wu!

Next step is activation on May 27Th. For now, she needs to heal at the site, and then wait. We are very excited about the activation. After that, she has therapy twice a week to teach her what she is hearing. Always an adventure. Thanks to everyone for your prayers and good wishes. I know there were many angels hanging out in that OR yesterday.

Off to sleep, or just to chill. Hoping for a better night's sleep! We'll see what happens.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness what a little trooper she is! We'll continue to keep Sophie and your family in our thoughts and prayers!

    Chris (from ZZ grouup)