Monday, August 24, 2009

Recovering in the PICU

We were at Children's bright and early this morning, waiting for the buzz of physicians and nurses to begin. Charlotte was a very big girl waiting for everything to get going. We had to keep her entertained a bit longer than we originally thought since the surgery didn't start on time, but she was such a trooper. She didn't even cry when they came to take her to the OR. She smiled as they carried down the hall. She is stronger than I am and I don't know how she does it.

They took her from us around 10:20 and we were able to go in and see her in recovery sometime around 1:30pm. The surgery was successful and the Dr. told me that it definitely needed done. He said that as he released the spinal cord from the tissue that was "tethering" it, it sprung upwards and there was obvious tension on the spinal cord. That tension is what they couldn't prove but could only assume was present, and what would ultimately have caused Charlotte to have problems controlling her bladder and bowel movements. Something we really didn't want her life to be complicated. The decision to do the surgery was to prevent this from happening and after the Dr. told us this, we were so happy to know we had made the right decision for her. It is never easy to decide to hand your child over, knowing the road ahead of them isn't easy. But, our faith carried us through and I thanked Jesus afterwards for taking such great care of our little girl, His little girl. The Dr. also told us that the closure of her spine was "dry" meaning he didn't think that the spinal fluid was leaking at all. So, we are hoping for a complication free recovery.

Charlotte will stay in the PICU tonight, the 7th floor at Children's and then will hopefully be moved to the inpatient unit tomorrow. Charlotte is already talking to us and moving both of her legs. She has been pretty cooperative so far and has some good pain medication going too. They are also giving her valium to keep her from having spasms related to the surgery. Hopefully she will sleep good tonight. We are relieved to have jumped this hurdle and look forward to hitting the ground running in a few days. We are curious to see if the surgery relieves any other problems with walking and such that we weren't aware of, knowing that there was tension on her spinal cord. We have some questions for the Dr. tomorrow, but tonight, we are so thankful for her strength and for the grace of our loving God and his son, Jesus Christ.

Charlotte, sleepy after surgery. They had me ride in the bed with her all the way up from recovery in to her room in the PICU. I offered to get up but was glad to look into her eyes to let her know we were there and we loved her so much.
Getting her mouth wet since her throat was sore from the tube that was helping her breathe. During the surgery, they had to have her tilted with her head down to prevent the leakage of spinal fluid. Because of this, her face was a little puffy. When we first saw her in recovery, we couldn't help but comment on her "Angelina Jolie" lips. Some people pay big money for them.

Sleepy, sleepy. Sweet dreams baby. I hope Ryan played with her for a while as she slept during surgery...

The Hawns


dickinsonfamily said...

What a precious girl. I'm glad everything went so well, we've been praying for you all!
--Sarah, Mike, and Natalie

Anonymous said...

I am so glad to know that the surgery went well and that it was the right time to have it done. I am praying for you all and hope she hits the floor running very soon! We love you guys- becky and brad

Anonymous said...

Great to read, I have been thinking of and praying for you all! Love, Anne

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear the surgery went well. Charlotte is absolutely beautiful...even fresh out of surgery! I hope for a speedy recovery for her. I will continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
Andrea Manasco

Anonymous said...

She is so precious!! Glad to hear that all went well and know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.
Amanda (Ikesmommy)

Kelley said...

Glad to hear that the surgery was a success for little Charlotte. You all continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

Lisa Pappalardo, Grant, Nate and Scott said...

Oh so, so, so glad this surgery went well! What a relief! Though, I'm sure the true relief all belongs to Mommy and Daddy! You both look so relaxed gazing at her in recovery - I'm sure such a huge weight was lifted knowing she did so beautifully. I know that in just a few days, you'll be back to trying to keep up with your little firecracker all over again! I will keep sending happy wishes for a good recovery your way!

Lisa P

Stefany said...

I am so glad to hear the surgery went well!