She's a Portnoy, not a Slowsky

July 26th, 2014 | Written by Jo

We are accustomed to surgeries taking 6 to 8 hours. Caths that should be 2 hours, taking 5 or 6…. We now expect that if there is going to be a delay in healing or some complication, we will have to face it and that Clara is a Slowsky when it comes to healing.

We were not expecting her g-tube site closure to literally be done within 30 minutes of sending her off with the anesthesia team. In fact, we lingered after breakfast and MISSED the surgeon coming out to tell us how well it went!

The best surprise after surgery was walking into her recovery bay where she was “sleeping” and as soon as she heard our voices she opened her eyes to give us a chipper “HI!”. We both just laughed. Then we kept laughing as she tried sitting up and crawling into our arms, moving like a drunken sailor. Woozy Clara is pretty dang cute.

They did want us to stay for 24 hours to monitor her because they gave her general anestheia and she has such a special heart but within a few hours she was eating and snuggling and playing and being as normal as possible. The only non-normal thing, was her anxiety and that she was sore. The anxiety was really sad and hard for us to have to watch, she had to be in Joe or my arms… put her down and she would panic.

The problem with recovery bays is they are loud. Every nurse in Clara’s mind has something scary or painful to do to her, so none of them could go near her without a lot of tears. Once 11 hours of anxious Clara clinging to us, Joe got the surgical fellow to come see us about discharging early. Joe gave him an impassioned talk about how we are able to monitor her exactly like they were doing, that we are very experienced in recognizing signs of distress and that it would be in Clara’s best interest to go home… NOW. He pushed back on Joe, but Joe explained exactly what they were doing and what we are capable of doing. I don’t think the fellow knew what to do with parents like us, so he called the chief who said - yeah, let them go home! I tried to tell her we were going home, but she was so anxious she wouldn’t let me put her down to dress her. I was so thankful we were going back to our “safe” home.

Would you believe it, Clara relaxed the minute we got in our car, falling asleep. Then as soon as we got into the house, she went straight for her books and rocking chair… as if she hadn’t been in surgery that morning at all!!

We learned how aware she is now at 19 months old. Hospital stays will come with the complexity of managing her fear and anxiety. She knows too much, that clever silly girl of ours! God is so good to our family! Thank you for your prayers, all prayers were answered and we get the joy of watching our daughter grow into a funny little person.

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