Pre-op went swimmingly

Our appointment this morning for Sophia’s pre-op went great. She is scheduled for 8AM surgery tomorrow, with a 6AM arrival (luckily she’s been practicing waking before 5 for the last couple of months)! They anticipate it taking 1-1/2 hours just to put in the IV lines, get her set on the heart/lung bypass machine (which freaks me out to even write), etc. Because she is “hard to poke,” I guess it takes longer. Hopefully, they’ll go straight for the easy veins and arteries so she isn’t pricked all over when she comes out this time (although I guess that is minimal compared to what else they are doing like going through her rib cage). Then they’ll spend about 2 hours actually getting into her heart and removing the membrane. The surgeon is really confident in it being a “smooth operation.” He said she should have limited scar tissue from the previous surgeries because of the length of time that has passed, and that it looks like he won’t have to remove any muscle to get the membrane. He did explain that echo cardiograms notoriously underestimate the impact on the valves, so there may be more issues when he actually gets in there, but that is the only real risk. They feel like they caught it quickly, though, so don’t really expect that there will be additional concerns. He also assured us that the mortality rate was essentially 0%, which is a great thing to hear from a surgeon. Obviously, we are still scared about all the various pieces, but it was good to have some reassurance.

Sophia was a real trouper; she tolerated all of her tests: EKG, rectal temp, blood pressure, oxygen levels, chest X-ray, ear/mouth/nose exam, etc. The worst of course was the blood draw, but mostly from having to be held down; she didn’t even react when the needle actually went it. Our nurse had the great idea of numbing the site with Lidocaine (I can’t believe no one has mentioned this before) and the phlebotomist was fabulous (we hope we can get her again). There were of course lots of bubbles blown and elevator buttons pushed, so all-in-all it was a good day. Sophia seems to make new friends wherever she goes; she even had the head nurse pay her a special visit because she’d had a little friend with Down Syndrome as a child and had such fond memories. I think she melted a little when Sophia leaned into w/ her lower lip pucker to give her a kiss.

Sister Zoe seems to know something is up. She heard me talking to the doctor one night and has been talking about “shots” ever since (not sure how she gathered this at all, but she clearly knows what happens at the doctor’s office). She asked to go “hopsital [intentional misspelling] too.” We’ve been given different information about sibling visiting with the H1N1, but she may be able to stop in once Sophia’s moved out of ICU, if we think it is a good idea. Zoe had a really rough night/morning of sleeping, so something’s a little off, but we hope to get her back on track when she gets some special one on one time with Grandma, Siobhàn, Aisling and Kelly this weekend. She doesn’t appear to be sick, so maybe she’s upset that if she goes to sleep she might miss out on something (she was apparently very upset that she missed Teacher Jennifer aka “Neffer” or “Jeffiner” yesterday).

More to come tomorrow…