Monday, November 4, 2014. A chilly morning in downtown Birmingham, Alabama. We around the night(11/3/13) before so we wouldn't have to make to two hour journey at 3 a.m. We got to the hospital at 5:30 a.m. to make sure Kerstin was checked in, all forms filled out. We met team after team, nurse after nurse. It seemed like an overload but it was reassuring that my little angel was in good hands.
Around 7:30 a.m. the nurses came in to take her back so that the could begin the anesthesia and all that came with spinal fusion prep. We were told that someone would periodically come out to inform of what was going on and that I needed to leave cell numbers so that they could contact if we left the waiting room. Yes, they suggested, getting a change of scenery, it would be a long surgery. About two hours later, I got a call to say that Dr. Killian had started the incision. It took a lot to not cry.
It would be hours before another report would come and even longer before I would see my love. The entire process was pretty much all day. It was around 4 p.m. before she was out and in recovery and it wasn't until around 5 p.m. before I saw Kerstin. It was a bit of a shock when I did. I had been warned that she would be getting a lot of fluids while she was having the surgery and that with her lying face down, it would settle to her face and arms, causing significant puffiness. Understood, but actually seeing the difference was shocking. Surgery went well. Dr. Killian showed me her after x-ray picture and it was a huge difference. My sweet pea's spine was straight!
Kerstin would be on the 7th floor in PICU for the next 24 hours, then onto the 10th for what we thought would be for the next week. I never knew that ICU was such a busy place! Not as quiet as I thought either. This would be a long 24 hour stay. Over in the night Kerstin started having some complications with oxygen and her blood pressure dropping. She needed more blood. She actually needed the 4 units we were told to have on hand. We had to use the blood bank because the four units from her family had clotted or congealed. She needed that pain pump overnight as well.
Just being in somewhat of an upright position overnight, the puffiness and swelling was already going down. It wouldn't be until late the following evening that she could leave PICU, she was headed up to 1046H. That's where we would live until Thanksgiving Day 2013!
Looking back...it's been a journey!
More to come...