Face of hope

Face of hope
Courtesy: TIffany Kay Photography

Friday, April 12, 2013

Chiari Decompression: Day 3

Day 3 started off pretty rocky.  Around 1am when Meagan was due for one of her meds, the nurse came in to check on her and administer her next pain med.  She looked at her IV and thought it looked a little puffy.  I hadn't noticed but upon looking at Meagan's foot agreed.  The nurse said that sometimes on the little tiny ones the tape can cause puffiness so she would release some of it and see if Meagan's skin bounced back.  As soon as she started to undo some of the tape, we could see it was much worse than a little tape pressure.  Even though the IV was still functional, her foot was getting infiltrated by the fluids from the IV somehow and the nurse said before it got rock hard, we had to pull the IV.  I hated to pull a perfectly functional IV, as Meagan is a really hard stick, but, leaving it in wasn't an option because it was going bad fast.  The nurses took it out carefully and got some warm packs to put on her foot.  They also put some blanket rolls under her foot to keep it somewhat elevated.

Notice a difference? Um, yea

Luckily, the head nurse on that night was the same male nurse we knew from her previous stay for her MRI. He has been pretty good at getting successful IV's in Meagan so we called for him.  It took him about an hour to find a decent spot to try, but, once he did, he got a new IV in on the first try.  We got her all settled down again and she finally went back to sleep.  I was very glad the nurse was on top of things and noticed Meagan's foot before it turned into a really bad problem.

Meagan woke up pretty good that morning considering her crazy night.  She seemed more content and didn't immediately whimper upon waking.  We decided to go ahead and try to get her off of the IV medication and see how she handled oral pain killers.  The nurse didn't want to take her from morphine and Valium straight down to Tylenol - she felt it would be cruel to submit Meagan to that kind of pain so suddenly, and I agreed.  She said we would ask Dr. Reisner about stepping down to an oral pain medication that would be a good middle ground between IV meds and Tylenol to help ease her through the recovery.

Starting to keep an eye on everyone

We got a nice surprise visit from one of Meagan's little hydro buddies, James. And also another visit from her other hydro buddy, Jack. It was really nice of her friends to stop by and visit.  We also got a few more gifts in the mail and a sweet note from one of her hydro friends in California.  We really appreciate everyone's thoughts, prayers, cards and balloons/gifts for Meagan.  She surely feels very loved and we feel very lucky for all her sweet friends.

As the day went on I was feeling increasingly bad.  Not sick but just "off."  I had felt dizzy and short of breath for a few days but basically ignored it to concentrate on Meagan.  But yesterday it all seemed to culminate with me feeling very bad by the evening.  I asked Meagan's nurse to do a quick check on me being so close to post-op.  My immediate vitals looked ok but I still felt extremely uncomfortable.  I was dizzy, shaky, my hands were tingling.  I decided to go across the street to get checked out at the local hospital.  The nurses assured me Meagan was in good hands and I left.

Once at the ER the doctor talked to me about my symptoms.  He looked at my incision just in case there was any sign of infection but said it looked great.  He said being so close to surgery he wanted to do a chest x-ray to rule out a post op clot and some blood work.  I was fine with that.  Thankfully the x-ray came back normal.  My blood work however was all over.  My electrolytes were low, my sugars were off and overall my body was out of whack.  The doctor said with my recent surgery and then going from eating a really well balanced diet to strict liquids along with fatigue probably set my body into a tailspin and it finally hit me last night.  He told me to ditch the water and stick to Gatorade/powerade to keep my electrolytes up, try to eat more soft foods that may have more nutritional value, and also ordered two bags of fluids before I left as I was pretty dehydrated.  I felt much better after leaving and was rejuvenated to focus on Meagan and getting her home.

The nurses took such good care of Meagan for me

The nurses taking care of Meagan were absolutely wonderful.  I can't say enough good things about them.  I will certainly be writing a letter to Children's about the care they have shown her, but also the care they showed me when I wasn't feeling right.  Meagan's nurses arranged rides for me, called me every hour I was gone to give me updates on Meagan and check on me, and upon returning made an effort to make sure I always had a cold Gatorade/powerade in my room and was feeling ok.  They have been great this whole week but last night proved just how awesome they truly are.  I am very thankful to have such good care for Meagan and to also know that their genuine concern for patients has no boundaries.

Overall day 3 was definitely a step in the right direction.  Meagan started to tolerate some of the oral medications well.  She still seemed to be comfortable from her pain but was more alert.  She had more instances of opening her eyes.  She even started waving, to Dr Reisner of course. And as long as the nurses talk to her first, she even gave them a few waves. (though she still keeps a suspicious eye on them whenever they enter the room).   She started to take an ounce at a time from her bottles.  I think Meagan definitely has started to hit the curve - her alertness and willingness to show bits of her personality are great signs.

Starting to take a few ounces here and there

I'm hopeful that day 4 will bring more good news and positive strides from Meagan..  Yes, she still has a lot of pain if moved or re-positioned, but that is expected.  Our goal for her to be discharged is at least to be content once laying still and showing signs of appetite and being herself.  I think we made good progress with that on day 3.   If she keeps on the path of showing contentment, keeps taking her oral meds well, and continues her improvement, I'm even hopeful (dare I say) that we may be able to go home by Friday night. (shhh!)

Did I say personality?

Feeling so loved with her sweet cards and gifts

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