Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dare we say... Charlotte's Final Surgery?

Preparing Charlotte for this surgery was a little bit different than in the past. Usually, we would just not tell her, and go to the hospital. But, recently, it has helped if we explain things so that she knows what to expect. Since she didn't like her belly leaking anymore than we did, we told her that the Dr.'s and nurses were going to fix her belly so it wouldn't leak anymore. Made sense to her and us. Although, she didn't know quite what all that entailed, she was happy to have it done. The surgery she had done seems pretty minor, however, because of the need to keep her belly empty, and to keep a close eye on her, they wanted to keep us overnight. This surgery is not common, since most G-buttons close on their own. 1/100 don't, and that is our "luck". So, ever since we found out she needed the surgery, I kept telling myself, we can do ONE more night in the hospital. We've already done 114, what is one more? One more was just that, one more night that highlights the fact that our child has to have yet another surgery... But, in efforts to be positive, we were determined to get through it together.

Charlotte started her day with some fun. Because we arrived early, we took her down to the gift shop to do some browsing. This marble "art" display always strikes her interest. It is just outside the door of the gift shop.

Taking advantage of her good mood, I aksed for a kiss :)

Flashing her sweet smile for the camera.

Just as we were headed upstairs to check-in for surgery, the Dr. Clowns came around the corner. Of course we stopped to have some fun with them, not too eager to go upstairs yet. One was playing a kazoo to the tune of the Mickey Mouse song, (Charlotte had her Minnie Mouse pj's on) and the other was blowing bubbles. Charlotte was having a blast stomping the bubbles.

In pre-op, Charlotte was such a good girl. No tears for vital signs or putting her bracelet on, she was pretty relaxed and because she was so good, the nurse gave her a pink crown! Charlotte got even more relaxed when we slipped her a cocktail (medicine to keep her from getting anxious when they took her from us into the OR). She was pretty silly and as limp as a rag doll in my arms. Grandma and Grandpa Hawn came to wish her well before surgery, as did one of our pastors from our church, Jimmy Cooper.

Luckily, the surgery went well and just as expected. After it was over, the smiles were gone (temporarily). Charlotte always has a really rough time coming out of anesthesia, as most kids do, and is very cranky! She hates the oxygen mask, and of course, needed it because her sats were a bit low, and had an NG tube in her nose (to drain her stomach), IV in her hand, stitches in her tummy and generally probably felt pretty crummy. She wants one position and one person usually, Mommy. This time was no exception. I held her for a couple hours in recovery, then rode the bed up with her in my arms to our room, where I proceeded to hold her for a couple more hours. Eventually, I had to get up to go to the bathroom! When I did, we discovered that her NG tube hadn't been working properly and she was very hypersensitive to the tube going down her throat (who wouldn't be). She threw up 6 times... :( That evening was pretty rough until we got her some medication to keep her from throwing up, pain under control and all her medications given. This all happened sometime around midnight, and then finally, we all got about 4 hours of good sleep. In the middle of the night, when she had started feeling a little bit better, she and I had a 15 minute conversation about her glowing thumb (LOL), which was the O2 sat monitor. She was making me laugh and I enjoyed snuggling back in bed with her, knowing she was feeling better.

Clinging to me right after surgery...

The next morning was much anticipated, since we were excited to be going home. We stayed on the 10th floor (the Penthouse) and had a beautiful view of Forest Park.

Good Morning!

We spent the morning watching a few cartoons, and then around 8 AM the Dr. came in to say she could have her NG tube out! YEAH! I felt so bad for her with that huge, uncomfortable thing going in her nose and down her throat. We were glad to get it out.

And now, she was mobile! Sara came for a few hours that morning to let us go get something to eat and to see Charlotte. We decided to get her up and in the wagon to go have some fun.

We headed for the rooftop garden first. Charlotte had a pretty cushy ride.

Enjoying some sunshine.

Glad to see her smile again!

And her silly side!

Daddy likes to take "artistic" pictures in this beautiful garden. It is so relaxing and peaceful up there, and of course, we couldn't resist the swing. We sat there for probably 20 minutes.

Looking up at the sign on top of the hospital.

Snuggle in sweetie.

When we came inside, we headed to the playroom next. Charlotte had no trouble finding things to do, and to our amazement, was not too sore to get up and walk around. She is such a trooper!

Playing hungry hungry hippos with Daddy.

Even some basketball! (IV still in)

Slam Dunk!

Cars, books, music, they have it all in there!

Charlotte was jamming on the guitar, mommy with the maracas, and daddy with the tambourine.

Back in the room, Charlotte regained a bit of her desire to drink again and put away the juice that the nurse had brought her.

While mommy went downstairs to get us lunch, a special visitor came by! Louie, the Blues mascot!!! Chris tells me that Charlotte was not afraid of him, but would NOT smile for a picture. She looks like "a deer in the headlights" if you ask me, but she was excited to receive a poster, Louie card and a backpack.

Charlotte was ready for some food at lunch time. We knew her eating and keeping it down was our ticket out of there. Daddy graciously took a stab at feeding her and she was ready and willing.

Looking happy, as were we when the orders for discharge were given!

So long, farewell! Charlotte had to go out in style, crown and all. Afterall, she had earned it. The nurse taught her how to princess wave on the way out.
Chris and I exchanged high fives on the way out. It was over.
The Hawns


brenkachicka said...

What a sweet girl! I once had an NG tube in for almost a month. It was not fun. And I was an adult. I cannot imagine being a little kid with that thing in my nose.
Here's to sweet smiles and princess crowns! So glad she is doing well!

The Smith Family said...

Praise God!! So glad things went well and that this hurdle is behind you all!! She is such a doll! I love the last picture of her pink pj's and crown!! :) Much love to you all!!

Anonymous said...

She is such a cute little girl!! Glad things went well with Charlotte's surgery!!!

Anonymous said...

You and your family continue to amaze me. You can find the positive in most anything. Charolotte can muster up a smile in most any situation that would melt anyone's heart. Love to you all!
Kelly W.

Heather said...

I hope Charlotte is feeling better and I will see her smiling face Monday. We all miss her at school and the joy she brings to the classroom!