Sunday, November 26, 2006

Hannah's operation

Yesterday Hannah had her procedures: bilateral myringotomy and tube insertion, adenoidectomy, bilateral antral washout and cautery to inferior turbinates. This basically means she had tubes in, adenoids out, sinuses flushed and mucus membranes inside nose cauterized. Yum.
She was a trouper as always. We had to be at the hospital at 8am, but we were late, by the time we off-loaded the other kids at Nicoles. After the usual hospital check-in routine, we were hurried to our room as the nurse had just put 'Over the Hedge' on the tv system. We had a double room but there was no-one in the other bed. Hannah lay back in luxury on the bed and watched tv.

Photo: Hannah watching tv before surgery. (taken on my phone)

I had to sit on the chair as she wouldn't share the bed! I thought Over the Hedge was funny but I think a fair bit of it went over Hannah's head. After the movie finished we skipped through the channels for a while, but the poor thing was hungry (fasting since midnight of course), so it was hard to keep her interested in anything for long. We wandered the corridors for a while (Central Districts being a small hospital, we were never far away from our room), until finally the nurse came to find us. Hannah was very pleased to get driven into surgery in the Big Red Car (which I remember from Ryan's surgery years ago - he wouldn't get into it, I had to carry him). She sat happily on my lap in the operating theatre, breathed deeply in the mask and was out like a light. It threw me for a little while as her eyes stayed open even when she was laying down, although they eventually closed. I was talking to her long after they said she was out of it! Then I got to go back to the room and wait. I didn't pay attention to the times, but I think she went in about 1030, and came out about 1130. I got to read Dean Koontz in peace for an hour... I was a bit concerned though that she'd wake up in Recovery totally freaked out (since parents aren't allowed in there) but I reminded her a few times that I wouldn't be there and she seemed okay with that. I did keep an ear out every time I heard a crying child as I thought that's how she'd be when they brought her in. At about 1130, the nurses came in and said they were just going to move her bed to another room, one where there was a nurse all the time, rather than our room where the nurse has a bunch of rooms to look after. (Can you interpret that? It's a nice way of saying intensive care, or in this hospital's terminology, the High Dependency Unit). They explained that because she was so little and they had to do obs every 15 minutes, and the doctor had said her tonsils were so large, they wanted her there to keep an eye on her. Whatever. They emphasised it was just the nurses idea, not the doctors. Later at shift change, I overheard the one nurse telling the other about Hannah's apnoea in Recovery, so I'm guessing she stopped breathing a time or two, or at least snored in her usual way. Don't really know why they didn't tell me that in the first place, I'm sure I don't look like the nervous type. Anyway, the HDU at this little hospital only had room for three beds. There were only two in there - us and an older guy who'd had some sort of leg surgery but had had chest pains that morning so they put him in there for closer observation.

Photo: Hannah after surgery. No, she's not putting that face on, she was like that for about 20 minutes before she realised she actually felt okay.

Hannah was dozing when they brought her in, but woke up straight away. She was a bit sad and listless at first, as you can see from the photo, but I soon had her sitting up to have a drink of water, and then she felt much better. She had a drip in her arm, giving her 'special juice' to make her feel better, and a pulse-oximeter clipped to her toe. She perked up very quickly and said she felt very good. She said she could hear better, and breathe better. I'm not so sure about the breathing as she was still pretty snuffly sounding. Later she started to get clear/bloody mucus dripping for a little while but that cleared up. She's still snuffly though. I'd say she can hear better, she's talking heaps quieter! She laughed at her voice, said it sounded funny. We hung out for several hours in the HDU. At one stage Hannah had to go to the toilet, so they undid her drip and we headed to the toilet. I also made a couple of calls, since you weren't allowed to use your phone in the HDU (of course, using it just outside the door probably has much the same effect). Hannah was delighted to be free, and ran around the whole hospital dancing and skipping. Nothing wrong with her. Then we went back in, and she was clipped up again like an invalid. We brought five childrens books, fortunately most of them were long, so I only had to read each one three times. We had long promised Hannah jelly and icecream at the hospital and I had ordered that for her dinner. When it came, she didn't like the taste of the icecream (that cheap metallic taste) nor the jelly, but fortunately wasn't too concerned at not actually eating them.
We'd planned on spending the night as we weren't sure exactly what was happening, but most people we spoke to there said we would get out, but later at night, 7 or 8pm. The doctor came around after he finished surgery about 4pm, and said we could go home after dinner. So, about 6, we were out of there. We went back to Nicole's, where the other children had demolished a pile of tacos and were just about to destroy the fruit salad. Hannah and I joined in, enjoying the icecream there a lot more than the hospital's. All home and to bed no dramas at all. (although Hannah woke a couple of times to pee out all the saline they'd pumped into her). About 530 Hannah woke up crying and retching. She vomited up a little bit of liquid but then settled back down again to sleep, waking again at 7 retching. After that, she was quite happy, ate breakfast okay and was happy as anything all day. Just now in bed she's been coughing badly, so I've given her some water and she's settled down again. The only complaint she'd had while in hospital was that her throat was sore, which was no doubt due to the tube the anathe/aneath/ the guy who put her to sleep put down her throat. I'm guessing tonight's coughing is due to that irritation. The vomiting this morning I suppose was probably a reaction to the anaesthetic. Hopefully by tomorrow it's all gone. We see the doctor again in two weeks or so. Oh, she's not allowed to blow her nose. Good thing she doesn't know how to!

Photo: Paul's store, at day 3 of closure. Today is the final day closed (of 7) before the grand opening tomorrow as Coles - any surprises he's not home from work yet at 10pm? It all must be Just So.

1 comment:

Nana Gabe said...

thank you for letting us know. We knew that she would be just like new. Give her a big hug from both of us.
See you home in just over a week