Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The PICU


About 4 hours later we got the call that Elena was in the PICU. We weren't sure what to expect...I figured it was probably between a hysterically crying, flailing kid and a totally serene sleeping beauty. Um, sort of.
Elena was hooked up to a ton of tubes and monitors. Horribly reminiscent of the NICU. Elena was awake, sort of--moaning, crying, in pain. Her eyes were puffy from edema--lying face down for 4 hours will do that--and her throat was swollen/scratchy from the trach tube, and she was groggy/disoriented/nauseous from the anesthesia. The next couple of hours were spent trying to figure out what she could tolerate safely for pain management.
I thought once they figured out what painkillers to give her, our PICU stay might be smooth sailing--but I was wrong. Apparently, even though resting is the best medicine for sickness/post-op, there "is no rest in the PICU". She has to be checked every hour, and really, her "sleeping" is for 20 minutes at a time at best. She holds her breath a lot and winces. She is supposed to be much improved after the next 24 hours, where we should be transferred out of the ICU and to the main pediatric ward.
Her first sentence, after having her sheets changed and being moved around:
"Mommy!" *whining* "THIS IS NOT VERY FUN."

The good news was we got the news from the neurosurgeon that the surgery went beautifully. After checking her nerves, he confirmed that her spasticity was located only to her legs below the knee. When he found a spastic nerve, it was "off the charts" in terms of a spastic signal--meaning, there were no nerves that were mildly spastic, which made the judgement of which nerves to cut much easier. He found (and cut) more on her right than her left (which makes sense, as her right leg is tighter) and he feels like she is a "textbook case" of a patient that can benefit from this procedure.

The incision is maybe a and inch and a half long--could be smaller, I didn't get a good look. After it heals I'm not sure I'll even notice it.

3 comments:

Paula said...

Hey Amy I just caught up on your blog. You are the best mom ever! I hope you three are surviving the PICU and get moved to the Pediatric ward soon. Elena is such a fighter, hang in there! Andrew and I are thinking about you guys and sending lots of love your way!

Tracy said...

I am praying for you, Jason and Elena. Please let me know if you guys need anything.

Anonymous said...

Sending you all love this morning. Only thinking about you. Wish I could bring you coffee. Lib