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Saturday, 4 June 2005

Isabel's surgery today

Hello, my loved ones…

Isabel rests peacefully in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit on the 3rd floor at Children’s Hospital. After a tumultuous couple of days, she has finally received her Fund Placation. I feel exhausted and ready for a hot bubble bath with a glass of wine!

It began yesterday afternoon at work. I can’t seem to sleep the few nights before her surgery so my coping resources were nil. Thank God for understanding co-workers because it took everything I had to dress myself beyond flannel PJs. I got the call at 2:30 pm. The surgeon’s office wanted to give me the heads up on the fact that the ICU beds were full and surgery might be cancelled again.

Remember my comment about coping mechanisms being nil? Remember the saying “don’t shoot the messenger”? The poor receptionist heard my spheal on booking time off work… AGAIN, rescheduling transportation, educational assistants and day care staff and the darned fact that my nerves couldn’t handle this much more. I asked, “Does she need to be in the resuscitation room again before she finally gets the surgery??” Poor gal felt so bad and I apologized for letting loose on her.

After cooling off and shedding a few tears, my co-workers (who overheard the whole thing) offered to pitch in and buy a private bed if necessary or anything to help make this happen for Izzy. (God bless you all for that). I phoned the Unit Manager and asked what the issue was and what I could do. I was told “nothing”.

Miraculously, I managed to sleep last night and phoned the surgeon’s office at 10:00 this morning to see if the surgery was a go. Things looked promising but they would call and let me know. Fifteen minutes later, the call came in to bring her down. I didn’t realize you could swallow Cheerios whole… however, I do not recommend it.

Once at the hospital, she got weighed, they measured her oxygen saturation, put her in her little yellow gown and placed some numbing cream on her hands where they would attempt to insert the I.V. Isabel was in a wonderful mood, full of smiles and happy toothy grins. Always a cheerful disposition.

After several hours of waiting, we were taken up to the O.R. area where we waited another little while before speaking with the anesthetist. Everything was looking good. Finally, the nurse came to get Isabel so we carried her to the doors, gave her big hugs and kisses, felt the butterflies in the tummy come back and swallowed the lump in the throat. There she was with her big smile about to begin this 3 ½ hour procedure and not knowing what the outcome would be. The nurse opened the big doors and began to walk through carrying Isabel when another nurse ran up to her and said “Is this the Fundo?”, “yes”, “well, someone just came in Emergency. This procedure is being delayed and possibly cancelled.”

Remember my comment about coping mechanisms being nil? Have you ever been nauseated by a rollercoaster ride? Well, I was nearly ready to puke!

Off to the waiting room again. Twenty minutes later, they came back and said “it’s still a go”. I jokingly said to the nurse “Quick, take her and run!!! And if anyone tries to tell you something, play deaf!”

We said our goodbyes once again and watched the big doors shut behind our little Isabel being carried off to the O.R. with her little pony tail sticking out one side of the nurse’s back and her long little legs dangling on the other side. I knew she was probably giving that nurse a big smile.

And then the anxiety set in. Now it was real. Now I felt a little scared.

James, James’ mom, my dad and I sat together discussing various things. Thank God for family. To my surprise, my cousin Michelle, Aunt Val and her mother showed up and we exchanged hugs and a few tears. Two hours, three hours… No news is good news, right?

Finally, gloriously finally, the surgeon came out and said… “Isabel’s Fundo is complete and she did amazingly well. She is still asleep but everything looks really good.”

I think the ceiling opened up and a chorus of angels sang Hallelujah, or was it the TV?

There she was being wheeled past us into the PICU… so tiny and lost in all the blankets, but her colour was perfectly pink and my little Isabel was there before me again. I cannot describe the weight that was lifted. We all stood there and stared at her for a moment before they continued to wheel her by and we all slumped into eachother’s arms and wept. Your prayers were with her. God bless you all, your prayers were with her!!!

She rests peacefully now. Her blood pressure is lower than they would like, but they are not overly alarmed. Her breathing tube was removed at 7:00 pm and she fusses now and again to let you know she’s really not happy about all of this. She seems a bit puffy, but all in all, she is gloriously well, stubborn as always and continues to be a testament of survival.

I am so exhausted that I could fall asleep typing. I will let you all go with a smile on my lips. It is done, and our little Izzy is well.

I think I can sleep now.

Bless you all and may my prayers find you tonight and warm you with my gratitude. It takes a village to raise a child and a child to change a village. May my prayers bless you in your times of need as you have been there in ours.

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