Friday, September 26, 2008

home, safe and sound

We are home. Mallorie's surgery went so well, and she is recovering equally well. As predicted by the plastic surgeon, because the repair wasn't as extensive as the others she has had, her pain is much more easily managed with just Tylenol with codeine.

All kids should have g-buttons. I'm just barely kidding - Mallorie had advanced past Pedialyte and was back to receiving milk through her tube in just hours, ... without problems you'd expect if she needed to be fed by mouth, such as mouth pain, nausea, and sedation. Good nutrition is so important for healing after surgery, and without even waking or moving her, I was able to feed her through the day and night, and give her meds, as well, through the tube. If I ever needed a reason to feel better about the long-ago decision on the tube (I didn't) ... this was it.

So many things fell into place yesterday, and it was so clear to me that God's hand was on Mallorie. I cannot express the comfort I felt at being able to place her into Dr. B's arms (the anesthesiologist we had requested). She was the anesthesiologist for Mallorie's surgery in February, and knew her, and the history. She looked at me after accepting her, and said, "I have a very important responsibility." Probably no one knew as well as she did, how difficult that moment was, and I knew she took it seriously.

Her surgeon and residents did their typically excellent work and were patient with all the, "Oh, by the way" calls the nurses had to give them. Sometime I guess I should have written all that stuff down for them!

Mallorie had, as usual, excellent nursing care, and we had a chance to catch up with nurses from previous hospitalizations, including sweet Conchita, who has in the past done everything from working on quick scalp IV's to picking me up breakfast on her way in to work.

Sorry it has taken me this long to post, but I fell asleep on the way home, and then went right to bed and crashed for a few hrs! Not enough sleep the past few nights.

Thank you all for praying for her and for us this time. Carley was able to read me the comments, and I got your texts and am just getting to the emails. It was such a comfort to know you were all there.

And thank you to Cathy for updating for us while we were gone!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Update as of 8:02p.m.

As of 8:02 p.m. Mallorie is doing well. It is such an answered prayer as they needed this to go smoothly. This was not an easy decision to have the surgery due to all the complications in her last surgery. Connie says "she is doing well & God willing will go home in the morning. That is so Awesome! I know they would appreciate your continued prayers for precious Mallorie Rose!

Update on Mallorie...

This is Cathy, Annabel's mom, making a post for Connie. Please continue to keep sweet Mallorie in your prayers. She did have her surgery this morning. I recieved a text from Connie saying that Mallorie was in recovery and that she would be moved to PICU. Please, please pray that Mallorie's recovery is uneventful and all goes according to His plan.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

On our way

We are on our way to Houston in a few minutes.

(THANK YOU to "Aunt Cathy" for allowing us to stay in her home all week! We miss you guys already!)

John called around and was able to find a hotel near the hospital with a room for us to use while we are out there. With all the people displaced from the recent storm, we weren't sure how easy that task was going to be.

We have the pre-op visit and pre-registration stuff (takes all day, most times) to do today, and we will have to be at the hospital early tomorrow, so we have always stayed overnight before surgery ... to avoid having to leave home at the ungodly hour of 3 a.m. or so.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Upcoming Surgery

We’re in Arlington, near Dallas, because we lost power after Hurricane Ike last week. It’s given us a much-needed chance to visit with Cathy, the godmother of all our children, and her twin girls, Sophia and Olivia.

Mallorie is scheduled for her “definitive lip repair.” We are pretty certain it’s her last cleft surgery, and it’s supposed to be the most minor of all of them. We were even told that many children have the surgery done on as a same-day procedure. It’s the surgery she was supposed to have in February, but the plans changed once the plastic surgeon saw how the front of her palate had come apart, and he ended up re-doing the first surgery, and adding the closure of the entire palate. But in February, most of you know that she ended up being hospitalized, unexpectedly, for almost a month, so it’s not been easy to plan for this surgery. We know, from experience, that things can go wrong.

The pre-op visit and registration work-up will take place on Wednesday, and Mallorie is scheduled as the surgeon’s first surgery, at 7:30 a.m. on THURSDAY (Sept. 25). As much as ever, we crave your prayer support.

A really nice surprise this time is that the amazing Z. (Cleft Lip and Palate Coordinator) told me we could make a “parent request” for an anesthesiologist. If you ever heard me talk last time about her anesthesiologist, you know she’s the one we want again, so I called right away and requested the sweetest anesthesiologist I’ve ever met, Dr. B. She knows Mallorie’s history from February, and from the moment I first met her, I felt Mallorie would be safe in her hands. She also came to check on Mal almost daily while she was in the hospital. Just knowing that she could be part of the team on Thursday is a bonus I hadn’t even thought of hoping for. So I’ve made the request, and we’ll see if it works out.

The specific things we’d love prayer about are:
  • IV site. Except for her umbilical line (in her belly-button) in the early days after birth, and the central IV line and arterial line while she was in the PICU in February, the nurses and doctors have only been able to place IV’s in her scalp. Last time, we told everyone to feel free to shave her head, as needed, because we expect that’s where they’ll end up with the IV, but since God knows where he placed those veins, it will be interesting to see what they find this time. I am always in awe of those who find any IV site on her.
  • Successful surgery with no problems during or afterward – particularly no respiratory problems.
  • Can we ask for no pain? J Post-surgical pain management is typically a problem for her, and her habit for dealing with surgical pain is thrashing her head back and forth … typically hitting her lip. After surgery to her lip, this wouldn’t be a good thing.
  • Quick recovery and no additional problems with gagging/vomiting. After the past hospitalization, she had both of those for a LONG time. I’ve come to think some of it was related to how long she had a tube in her throat … supposedly, it affects the gag reflex. We’ve recently seen such improvement in that area, so please pray about that.

It comforted John and me last time to know that others were praying, and we could just rest, knowing our family’s needs were being brought before God continually. Thank you all for this gift!

Our very first post...

This is Carley, Mallorie's big sister. We just set up a blog for her, but we aren't going to really get going yet. Soon!