Tuesday, June 30, 2009


On Monday, June 22nd, we ventured to Akron Children's Hospital for Grace's and Ella's surgeries. After a long winter with two very sick little girls, we decided it was time to get tubes in each other their ears. Grace also had a problem with snoring and sleep apnea, along with frequent tonsillitis, so we decided to get her tonsils and adenoids out, too.

Grace's surgery was schedule for 2:30pm, so we had to arrive at the hospital at 12:30 for testing. Ella's surgery, which was only going to take about 10 minutes, was to start right after Grace was done. The girls weren't allowed to eat anything that day and they were only allowed water and Gatorade up until 10:00. Surprisingly, they didn't complain at all about being hungry (which supports my theory that if I didn't make them eat they could just go without food).

Children's Hospital is wonderful. Everything was on time and ran very smoothly. Grace went back for her operation right on time. Jesse, Ella, and I sat and watching The Weather Channel in the holding area anxiously awaiting some news, while Aunt Pat and NaNa waiting in the waiting room. About an hour later, our doctor came out to talk to us and let us know that all in all the surgery went well, but 3 things happened that weren't expected. For one, Grace's tonsils much larger and vascular then he expected, for two, Grace's tonsils were currently infected, and for 3, Grace had a laryngospasm (her airway closed off) when she was extubated from the ventilator after surgery. So, due to her spasm, she had to have some extra medication to help relax her open her airway back up. At that point that was all we knew and we just had to wait until we could go back and see her in recovery to know how she was really doing. Also, the nurse came to take Ella at the same time.

So, we gathered our things and went out to meet our family. By the time we sat down and updated them on Grace, they were calling us to go see Ella. They informed us that Grace was still unstable and needed some extra attention, so we couldn't go see her yet. Needless to say, we were nervous, but felt better when we got to see Ella. She was not a happy camper. Ella was tearing her leads off, ripping out her IV, and screaming like a crazy person. She calmed down and was able to go home with Aunt Pat and NaNa. Once Ella got home, she was acting completely normal and didn't even know she was just at the hospital!

After Ella went home, we were finally able to go and see Grace. She was having trouble breathing and keeping her oxygen saturation up. She was also not waking up from the anesthesia as quickly she should. Grace stayed overnight, and because she was having some complications, had to be closely monitored by a one-on-one nurse on a transitional care unit. Throughout the night she had difficulty breathing, but she was able to rest in between the spells. Momma, however, didn't get much rest and was a nervous wreck, especially when she stopped breathing and turned an awful shade of blue.

Around 4:00am, Grace finally started to wake up. She started talking to me and wanted a drink. After she drank a few sips of juice, she wanted to go for a wagon ride in the hallway. So, we gathered the oxygen tank, the IV pole, and all of her wires, and went for a little adventure. It was such a relief to see her awake and trying to talk. After the short walk, we went back to the room and watched "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" together and fell back asleep for a couple hours.

Grace got better and better throughout the day on Tuesday and we were able to bring her home that day. We figured that she must take anesthesia differently than most children, and that the surgery was still a great benefit to her long-term health despite the complications. She turned out to be just fine and we are looking forward to a winter of healthy girls this year!

We've been home for a week now and we can already see a difference in the girls. Ella has stopped pulling on her little ears all the time and seems to be hearing more clearly. Grace is back to her old self, running around and playing. Her voice has changed since the surgery; she doesn't sound as garbled or nasaly. She is also sleeping much better since she doesn't snore and stop breathing in her sleep anymore! Our follow-up appointment is on July 6th, and, not surprisingly, I am going to find out if I need to get tubes in my ears that day! I'll keep everyone updated.

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