Monday, October 10, 2011

Surgery Over!

          We are thrilled to say that McKenna came through her surgery today with flying colors.  It was a long day for everyone, but things went very well.  Her surgeon was very pleased with the results of the surgery and he showed us several pictures of her fingers with the stitches in them before they put the cast on- they look great!  She finally went in for anesthesia at around 1:00pm, and we spoke to Dr. Taghinia post-op at about 5:30.  Then they did the echo and moved her to the PACU, and we were able to see her around 6:30pm.   She woke up pretty disoriented and in a decent amount of pain, so she turned into Superman in our arms and was quite impressively trying to get loose, move around, etc.  Two doses of morphine helped, and she is now sleeping soundly.  We are hoping that she can now sleep for most of the night, and that her body can get the rest that it needs.  They put a pain block in her wrist at the end of the surgery, so that she could not feel her hand, but that will be wearing off soon.  Hopefully the pain management will work well and she won't feel it too much.  The surgeon said that the first two days will be the hardest, and that her pain will decrease significantly after that.  She also had quite a bit of nausea and vomiting after she woke up, and hasn't been able to keep any fluids down yet, so she is still on IV fluids.  Hopefully that will have improved by the time that she wakes up.
          I think the only funny moment of today occurred while we were in the PACU, and she started to vomit (no, that's not funny, wait for it...).  She clearly had a bunch of crap in her chest and it was causing her to cough and gag and puke.  So after a few rounds of this, Brett asked the nurse to listen to her chest again, to make sure she didn't aspirate or have any fluid in her lungs.  I don't know if she didn't hear him, or just didn't do it fast enough, but I turned around a few moments later and Brett had whipped his stethoscope out of his backpack and was listening to her chest quickly while the nurse was facing the other direction.  Who carries a stethoscope in their backpack anyway???  I was astonished.  And then, I was not.  I mean, that's Brett.  Lol.  What an awesome daddy, listening to her lungs and making sure everything was just right.  He threatened (half kidding) to put her IV himself last night when we were waiting and it was taking too long.  We are so lucky to have him.  And his antics make us laugh, which is also a plus.
          So, anyway, Dr. Taghinia said that if all goes well, we will return for a follow up in three weeks, at which point the cast will be removed and they will make splints/spacers for her fingers.  (She is currently in a bright pink cast that completely covers her fingers except for her thumb and it goes basically up to her shoulder).  We initially thought the cast was going to be on for four weeks, so three is much better!  And, we found out that the splints are only to be worn at night, so that is MUCH better! 
           The biggest concerns for now are that there is no bleeding on the graft sites and the grafts heal well, that the cast stays in place and her fingers are completely immobilized until fully healed, and that the fingers heal without a lot of scar tissue.  Dr. Taghinia discussed her finger bone structure quite a bit, and it appears that we will probably have to do another surgery down the road to remove a part of her bone that is causing her finger to grow crooked.  She is actually almost missing the middle bone of that finger, and he would remove it completely.  We won't know what her finger function will actually be like for several months, so we will have to wait and see.  Its likely that her motion and use will be limited in that finger, so hopefully she will be right-handed and will learn to compensate.  But, that will be another bridge to cross another time....
           For now, we are waiting to meet with Dr. Newburger, her cardiologist, in the morning to discuss the results of her echo today (which looked good, apparently, but we don't have exact results) and the plan for continued anti-coagulation (asprin or asprin plus plavix).  She is back on the heparin drip tonight, and will restart the asprin in the morning. 
        Brett is at the hotel, trying to catch more than the three hours of sleep he got last night, and McKenna and I are settled into the room here at the hospital.  Hoping for a quiet, restful night for us all.
        We are so incredibly thankful that McKenna came through the surgery well and that all appears to be as it should be.  We had an amazing team of doctors working very closely from both cardiology and plastics, and the result of all of that work was a successful day.  We continue to pray now for the next stage of this process and are so thankful for so many joining us in prayer. 
         Our sweet girl was a rock star today.  And she's got the cast to prove it.


  1. Glad all went well! God bless to all of you guys. - Andy P.