Saturday, March 7, 2009

Update on Leland - Friday

Quick update: Leland's surgery went very well and quicker than planned. She has spent the rest of the day sleeping for an hour then waking up for 5-10 minutes before going back to sleep. She and Ashley have settled in for the night in the UVA Children's Hospital.

Detailed (very long) update for Leland's journal: Before the surgery, Leland's doctor told us that the surgery would take 3 - 4 hours. I went back with her to comfort her as she fell asleep, but she probably didn't even need me because she handled it all so well. Once she was under, they escorted me out and started the surgery just after 8 AM. We headed to the Family Surgery Waiting Lounge where the nurses could call us throughout the surgery to give updates over the phone.

The Family Surgery Waiting Lounge was the strangest place you could imagine that I can best sum up by calling it the DMV of hospital wait rooms. To its credit, UVA Health Center is finishing up a huge renovation project that has resulted in a beautiful hospital - entry way, cafeteria, lounges, etc. However, the Family Surgery Waiting Lounge was just odd. On the good side, it is a huge room that has clearly been recently remodeled with lots of new lounge chairs, various large plasma screen televisions, and one side of the room covered floor to ceiling with windows. That is where the good ends.

The chairs were tightly overcrowding the room so that it felt like everybody was right on top of each other. Because it was quite crowded, it was very loud in the room with people talking loudly to one another and everyone knowing each other's business. There were a few special over-sharers, including an old man who spoke at a volume level that can best be described as Chuck-level-times-three and a mentally-handicapped adult man who kept yelling out that various people in the room had "farted."

About every 30 seconds, the phone would ring extremely loud before the staff would answer the call, then holler out somebody's name, and tell them they would transfer their call to the single phone in the middle of the huge room. Then most of the room would stare at them during their phone conversation.

The flourescent lighting in the room was extremely bright and annoying and, for some crazy reason, that wall of windows that would allow natural light to enter the room was covered with 50 feet of closed blinds just so we could enjoy the flourescent craziness. If it isn't clear yet, the place just about drove us nuts.

At this point, I probably should mention that tomorrow I am taking the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) - a sixty question, two-hour and five minute, multiple-choice examination administered only three times each year, but required in order to be admitted to the Bar. Between the stress of Leland's surgery and the crazy waiting room, I only studied just over 30 minutes.

Thankfully, the whole building has wireless internet, so we could distract ourselves somewhat. We also took an hour of the time to go get a delicious and inexpensive breakfast in the very large and pleasant cafeteria. Based on a nurses suggestion, we also spent some time finding the admitting desk to ask that we be assigned a private recovery room for the overnight stay. Ashley told every person we talked to that she wanted to make sure to have a private room and her annoying everyone paid off.

Around 10:45 AM, the nurses called down to say that the doctors were closing up and that Dr. Corbett would be down to talk to us 20 minutes later. A little after 11:00, Dr. Corbett came to see us and told us that things went very smoothly. He said she did very well and that it was an easy surgery without complications. We were relieved and got to leave the DMV-Surgery Waiting Room.

Dr. Corbett took us up to the post-op room where we were supposed to wait "about 20-30 minutes" for Leland to wake up before we could go up to her final recovery room where she would spend the next 24 hours. Unfortunately, the previous patient in the private recovery room they assigned us was having to take longer than planned to get discharged. This resulted in us spending nearly 4 hours in the very tiny post-op room. It was difficult to study in there as well, but our nurse Ana Perron was a joy and made it much better. Having the comforts of a private room and bathroom were definitely worth the wait.

During that time, Leland was very groggy. For most of the day she would sleep about an hour, then wake up for about 5-10 mins. She didn't want anything to drink for a while, but finally asked for water, got ice chips, ate one, then went back to sleep.

When we finally moved upstairs and she was drinking more water. She got her morphine and we were all able to nap from 4:30-6:30pm. When Leland woke up she started feeling nausea and threw up all the water.

When Ashley asked her before we came to the hospital what toys she wanted play with while at the hospital, she said, "Cars that can varoom all over my bed!" So Ashley had bought some Lightening McQueen and Friends race cars. Leland was very excited about getting to open a new toy. Another big hit has been the Mr Potato Head and Friends set. The coloring and activity books we haven't gotten out because Leland has been very frustrated that the IV splint is on her left hand and she is left-handed. The thought never occured to me to tell them and I'm left-handed.

She finally ate a few graham crackers, but ended up throwing those up as well when we tried to give her Tylenol with codine instead of morphine for her pain.

At about 8pm she got a little teary eyed and said, "I miss Lucy." We called Lucy on the phone. She is staying with Ashley's Aunt Barbara and having the best time. Lucy said Hi!, I love you!, and goodbye. I think it made Leland feel better to hear her voice. They are just sweet sisters and love each other so much.

As Ashley was gone to get us some dinner from the cafeteria Leland says to me, "Thanks for taking me to the hospital." What a sweetheart.

1 comment:

  1. What a sweetie. I love that little girl so much! So sad that she kept throwing up up.