hasta la vista PICU!

It was really hard to go home last night because Sophia had been really uncomfortable ever since surgery.  As we told the nurses, she is rarely fussy, so when she is, you definitely know something is wrong.  We had been told before the surgery that she’d be sedated for a couple of days, but it turned out that she wasn’t so she was really squirmy and restless.  We were worried about her pulling on her new tube, or pulling out one of the many lines she had.  Through the course of the afternoon, they gave her several doses of morphine, Tylenol, and chloral hydrate. When she still hadn’t calmed down by 7:30, she got some Ativan, which seemed to do the trick since afterwards she slept through the night.  It was really hard to see her in so much pain and not be able to comfort her so we were both relieved to finally see her sleeping and relaxed. We hate for her to get so many drugs, but she was really uncomfortable, and this was way beyond “Sweet Ease” pain.  


One thing good about being back in the PICU is that we got to see a lot of familiar faces, and we actually had one of our favorite nurses, Tanya, this morning.  When we got back from lunch, we found out that Sophia had been pretty upset after being awakened for her weight check and respiratory therapy.  Tanya was also trying to get her to sleep on her less favorite side for a change, but Sophia wasn’t having it.  She even said that Sophia has a little bit of a temper.  I haven’t really seen that yet, so things might get interesting!  Papa claims she gets that from me, but I don’t know if that’s so true.  She did inherit my ability to turn red when I’m upset–some of you may know it’s my neck that turns red–for Sophia it is her eyebrows.  In a way it’s sort of cute, but I still feel really bad when I see it.  I guess they were especially red after surgery because they taped her eyes shut during the procedure, and her skin reacted to the tape.  Poor thing has had so much tape on her face, it is a wonder she still has soft baby skin.  


Sophia also had two new roommates when we got here this morning.  One was a sweet little boy who sat in his crib watching TV with the speaker against his ear.  The other was a not-so-sweet teenager who we’ve surmised was in for alcohol poisoning.   He was pretty agitated and not so surprisingly had a bad headache (Sophia learned a few choice words from him).  No one seemed to want to be the one to tell him he wasn’t going home (not even his mom), but was going across the river for a psych eval instead.  I kept expecting him to make some snide remark about the “Hush Little Baby” music coming out of Sophie’s soother, but he didn’t seem to take any of his anger out on her.  It was rather unsettling to be in the bay next to the patient described as “violent,” but he seemed to take most of it out on his parents.  At one point, he thought maybe he could take his Foley catheter out by himself, but the nurse assured him he wouldn’t want to do that as there was a balloon keeping it in (ouch!).  


The big news of the day was that during rounds they determined that Sophia would get transferred to the floor today.  She’s back on the pediatric floor, this time in room 2 (just one more room then we are out the door!).  Our phone number is now 273.0301. So far, the only thing she has received through her new G-tube is her meds, but we hope they’ll start with Pedialyte tonight and then be able to put some diluted milk in there tomorrow.  When she can tolerate that, they will start giving her the bolus feeds.  Apparently she can go through this process in a couple of days, so we hope that means will be heading home at some point early next week.  


Most of the remnants of surgery are now gone.  The extra large NG tube down her nose was removed as soon as we got to the floor (that was there for stomach secretions).  Right now she still has a misshapen, enlarged nostril, but we hope that will get back to its normal cute proportions soon.  She’s also off her nasal cannula oxygen, but still has a little of what they call “blow by.”  There is oxygen coming out of a tube that is within 6 inches or so of her face.  It’s like a free O2 bar every time you lean over to give her a kiss.  They fixed up a much improved version of this technique–last time we were here they put the oxygen tubing through a paper cup and tried to keep it near her nose.  As Grandma said, that was “for the birds,” and as our nurse said, it was “embarrassing.”    


Tonight, when Heather (the resident from San Antonio) was here checking in on Sophia she said she just had to know what kind of lawyer I was.  John asked whether she had to out of personal curiosity or she had to in the sense of being told to find out if I did medical malpractice litigation.  She said she was just curious because I was too nice, and she didn’t think I had a lawyer personality and wondered if maybe I worked in environmental protection.  


We’re able to stay with Sophia again tonight, so we are happy about that.  It was really nice, however, to sleep in our own bed again last night after 19 days.  She’s sleeping peacefully, so hopefully she is healing well and quickly