Thursday, July 22, 2010

Post surgery

It is now after 9pm on Thursday...almost a full day since Lochlan went for his eye surgery. I realize that I said I'd blog this morning, but the day just got away from me.

Here is how the rest of last night/super early this morning went:

It was just after midnight when I called up to the NICU to see if Lochlan was back there or if they'd heard anything. I was beginning to think that they'd forgotten about me waiting in the dark in the OR waiting room!

They told me that they had called a half an hour ago but still hadn't shown up. So I asked them to remind the team that I was still down there if they showed up without me in tow!

I was starting to get concerned. I was told the surgery would be about an hour and here it was going on two plus.

Finally, probably about a half an hour later, Doctor Gayle (I remembered his name!) came in to chat with me. He said the surgery itself went well but that they were waiting for the RT (respiratory therapist) to come down for some special tape for his tube. He said they had to keep him intubated and I'm sure he told me some other stuff but I was beyond tired and I have since talked to a few more doctors and nurses since then and can't remember who told me what. He did inform me that he will be following up in a week to recheck Lochlan's eyes. He then said that they were going to be heading up to the NICU and that someone would meet me in the sunroom. (it's basically a waiting room on the floor where the NICU and maternity wing is.)

I got up there and waited...and waited some more...and closed my eyes to catch some zzz's and then "bang bang, clang clang." Something was happening on the floor above me. I have no idea what, but I remember thinking, "seriously? construction type work at this hour?" and then I sort of laughed a little. I mean, really!

So I waited some more....and then the anesthesiologist came and told me that Lochlan was doing well but that at the end of the surgery, the tube slipped and there was saliva and what not and they ended up having to bag him (put a face mask on and give manual breaths by squeezing on this airbag thing that gives him oxygen) And also that his throat constricted and they had some difficulty bagging him and that is why they couldn't extubate him right away as hoped.

I had to wait again...and then finally the phone rang for me to go see him.
It's so emotional seeing him with the tube back in after making such great progress. I know it's for the best at this time, but it takes you back.

He was sleeping and sedated as well. But he looked like he was starting to wake up and was not liking the tube down his throat. No doubt! He also started doing this shake thing. I've seen him do some quick jerks every now and then -- something to do with nerves but never like this. It almost looked like he was cold. And that's exactly what the resident said. But I didn't think much of it. I held his hand, talked to him, gave him his soother and we swaddled him. That appeared to have helped.

The resident did discuss the procedure a bit more with me before I left for home. He said that he wasn't in the operating room but was informed of what happened. The only thing else that he told me was that at the end of the surgery, Lochlan's tube slipped, (same info as before) but that his heart rate dropped to the 60s (he's usually between 138-150) and so they bagged him, and gave him chest compressions, then bagged him again. He said that his heart never stopped but they did it as a precaution (the compressions) because they didn't want to risk oxygen being cut off to his brain. He also said that he would want to know if he was the parent. I don't remember Dr. Gayle or the anesthesiologist telling me this although I do think she (not the doctor) did quickly make reference without going into detail...I think she must have said, we had to bag him, compress, then bag him again. But I wasn't focussing or asking too many questions being almost asleep at 1 in the morning!!

I left the hospital about 2:15am.

My head hit the pillow at 2:38 with the intention to get up to pump a few hours later. Unfortunately, I slept through the alarm...I wonder why! Abby woke me up just before 7 and I got up with her since I needed to pump. Once I was up, I was super tired, but wanted to cuddle with her and just be with her. (I am so thankful to have her because she helps me forget what's going on sometimes and brings such laughter and joy to my life. The other day she put her head on my shoulder and said "best friends." How cute is that?!)

I called the hospital about 8am and asked to speak to Lois (yay for having one of my fav nurses!) But instead of Lois coming on the line, I apoke with one of his doctors, Dr. Graham. She said that Lochlan was doing well and that he was still intubated but they were hoping to extubate soon. She also said that he was still having some shakes or tremors and that they were trying to figure out why. It appeared to be a seizure and could be from the drugs he got during surgery. So as a precaution, they gave him Fennebal (spelling?) and that seemed to calm him and stop the shaking. They were running some tests and were waiting on the results. They also decided to hold off on feeding him until they were convinced he was doing better. He wasn't going hungry though as he was getting his fluids from an IV.

Anyway, I finally thought I'd better get a nap in and Rob hung out with Abby while I slept for a few hours.

I got up, played with Abby some more, gave her her lunch, and put her down for a nap, Then I went to pick up Barry, my brother-in-law to take him to see Terri & Mason. I snuck a quick peek at Mason (and Terri) before heading to the NICU.

Lochlan still had the tube in and was sleeping. Lois told me he was doing great and that his settings were very low on the vent. They still didn't have the results from his tests - he had a brain scan and an ECG.?? Too many acronyms to remember...whatever checks your heart. And some blood work as well. His blood gases have been good.

Anyway, I stayed for about 3 hours today and wanted to head home to spend time with Abby even though I left when she was napping. (She basically slept the entire time I was gone so that worked out well) It's hard sometimes, wanting to be in two places at once.

Lois called just after 6 and left a message (Abby and I were at the playground and Rob had gone to the store) She said that Lochlan was doing great and that they extubated him (removed the breathing tube from his throat) and he was back on low flow! : )

I had asked what they would do earlier in the day and they told me that it would depend on him and his needs. Thankfully, he was able to go back to low flow rather than start at CPAP, or BiPAP, or high flow! Great job Lochlan!

They were also planning on starting his feeds tonight. I'm about to call and get the update.

His weight last night prior to surgery was 1810gms (down 25 on a lasix day) and I just got off the phone and his weight is up 60grams to 1870grams which is 4 pounds, 2 ounces. She did say to take that as it is because he has been on extra fluids the last 24 hours. He is on .03 litre of oxygen. That part I can't wrap my head around to explain or comprehend. It's different that saying "oh he's on 30% oxygen." I can't remember if before surgery he was at .1 or .01...but I thought it was .1 so to me that says that he's doing the same if not better on the low flow now! And there isn't much lower to go. I don't think they do .009 or lower...but I could be wrong. I'll ask tomorrow.

He has had a few apnea spells tonight (where he stops breathing for a moment - forgets to breathe) She also said that he looks like he's been in a bar fight - his eyes are swollen from the surgery. He has some medicinal ointment that he will get for 5 days. But overall, he's doing great and is having a good night. She did say too after I asked about feeding that she hasn't mentioned the feeds to the doctors and they haven't mentioned anything to her but they are quite busy tonight. So hopefully by tomorrow morning he'll be getting some breastmilk back in his system.

Okay, I've blogged long enough. Need to go to sleep.
Thank you for your prayers and positive thoughts. Lochlan, Rob, Abby and I all appreciate it.


  1. Oh Jenn. Its so hard to sit there longer than you expected. And that OR room feels so isolated. I hated that room.
    As for the spells, Mackenzie who was almost 5lbs at birth used to have those apnea spells. She started to self stimulate herself out of it after a week or so, and then they stopped around 36 weeks altogether. She simply likes to sleep too deeply.
    They shouldn`t last too long with Lochlan. He`ll outgrow them.

  2. Hooray for Lochlan! I now fear the ET tube so much. Glad they were able to extubate so fast.

    I hear you on the waiting game. I waited 4+ hours for Timmy to go into surgery. Guess it's a little better to at least have your little guy with you while you wait, but it's still not fun.

    Ah, the pumping. So ready for that to totally come to an end.

    Hugs and best wishes to your entire family!