A Rollercoaster Week: Day 6 - Trach Day

Monday, November 5, 2007

Well, the day had finally arrived, when we could finally find out if we were ever going to start moving towards leaving the hospital. Caroline slept most of the morning (w/o sedatives) in anticipation of what would happen that afternoon. She also went off of her feeds at 7:00 a.m., given the possibility that she may need surgery. The operation was scheduled for 3:00 p.m., however, at approximately 12:50 p.m., we overheard someone tell the nurse that the transport team was on their way to take Caroline down to the OR. Apparently, this was also news to the nurse as she began rushing to get Caroline ready by making all of her monitors portable and taking her off of her IVs. By 12:55 we were on our way down to the OR.

Just outside of the OR, Erika and I spoke briefly with the ENT and the Anesthesiologist before Caroline went in. The ENT assured us that he would go forward with the original plan to attempt to extubate Caroline and, only if that did not work, would he go forward with the tracheostomy. The time to determine the extubation was approximately 30 minutes and, if a tracheostomy was needed, that was also expected to take 30 minutes.

We waited impatiently in the waiting room for an hour and a half before we heard anything. A nurse that we recognized from the OR came out and she had tears in her eyes. We were worried that something terrible had happened, but she was only sad to report that the tracheostomy was needed and that the ENT had begun that procedure. We had mixed feelings – we were glad that Caro was okay given that we had waited so long, but we were sad that she was going to need a trach after all (making this her third surgery this year and second surgery this week). Another hour and a half passed before we heard from the ENT that the tracheostomy had been successful and that Caroline was waiting for us in her room up in the PICU.

Caroline was on heavy pain medications and slept most of the rest of that day.

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