Feb 7th - Surgery Day
We were woken up at 5:45 to be at the surgery waiting area by 6 am. Then we had to wait until 8 before they brought Amelia back for surgery. That gave us a good long time to stress out and most of you know how much DJ enjoys waiting. Dr Wilkinson (from House Ear, LA) was able to be in the operating room during Amelia's implant to observe Dr Colletti first-hand. It was nice to see someone that we recognized and comforting to know he would be in the room with her. After a few hours (I honestly lost track of time for the entire day), he came out and told us that the implant went very well. Once the ABI is put in place, the doctors activate it just to make sure that it is contacting the correct spot in the brainstem. They were all very pleased with the response on the computer so that is a great sign. The device is then shut down for at least 30 days until official activation so the swelling goes down and the area heals. It was a couple more hours before they finished "closing her up" (shudder) and then brought her upstairs to the ICU.
I was able to be with her in the ICU but they could not wake her up until after she had a CT scan 4-5 hours later to make sure there was no internal bleeding. Her CT scan was done at 7 pm and looked good so they were able to slowly wake her and take out her tube (she was intubated the entire day). She was still very groggy because she was on strong pain meds. She woke up at 11 pm, looked at me, signed "hurt" and then went back to sleep. Heartbreaking but also a great sign that her brain was ok :). I stayed with her and held her all night. The doctors and nurses in the ICU were incredibly kind and helpful and took good care of us.
The next day Amelia was able to return to her room in the late morning. She slept most of the day and remained on pain meds. That day and night were very difficult. Her face was swollen and she just kept moaning softly. The only good thing about her face being swollen is that it helped keep her left eye closed so it did not dry out as much as usual.
By the following afternoon, Amelia was looking and feeling much better. She is now off pain meds and wanting to play. She is still hooked up to an IV for fluids and antibiotics so she is not able to move around much so DJ and I are very busy trying to keep her entertained. Thank goodness for our iphone and ipad! The nurses on our floor are awesome. They are doing their best to communicate with us. One nurse who speak English very well even translated the daily menu items for us even though it was kinda fun picking stuff out and seeing what we ended up with. Most of the food is good and you know you can't go wrong with the pasta :).