Luke had really been tolerating the no feeds pretty well, except, of course, at night :-). When we woke up this morning, we journeyed down to x-ray first thing. I was sure hoping the films would show an improvement. Unfortunately, 15 minutes later when the films came back, we saw no real improvement. My heart sank because I knew what that meant…surgery.
Brianna, the NP (nurse practioner), came to tell me Dr. Meyer would be by shortly and we would discuss our options. In the meantime, two really unexpected and wonderful visits from a friend and doctor made my day. Kelli, thank you for taking the time to come by on such a busy day. And, my sweet, loving, AWESOME, pediatrician, Dr. Enders, stopped in as well. I love her. It’s not often your doctor reminds you that she’s praying for you, gives you a hug and loves on your baby.
A few moments later, Dr. Meyer arrived with the news that surgery was probably our best option. He felt like Luke’s problems were stemming from a partial narrowing of the bowel where the colon and small intestine were connected from his last surgery. The crazy thing is I didn’t freak out when I heard the word “surgery”. Probably because we could tell Luke was in pain and we were hopeful the surgery would alleviate that suffering. I called Scott and we gave Dr. M a green light.
Surgery. Here we go again.
While we waited for Scott to head to Dell, Luke and I shared some precious one-on-one time. There’s this amazing song by Brandon Heath, “Love Never Fails.” I cranked the iPod and Luke and I shared a sweet dance together. Man, this kid just melts my heart.
We headed down to pre-op, ran into yet another friend (Janet, thanks for keeping my hydrated with Dr. Pepper’s :-), talked to the anesthesiologist and surgeon and then handed Luke to the surgical nurse.
I tell ya. That just never gets easy.
We were blessed to have Fr. Richard, the hospital chaplain, join us in the waiting room as we awaited the call from the OR. That hour sped by, many thanks Fr. Richard.
The report from Dr. Meyer is that Luke did, in fact, have a narrowing of the bowel in addition to a tubload of adhesions (little bumps) in his bowel restricting flow. Quite honestly, we were lucky that we caught it this early. His x-rays looked really bad. Once again Dr. Meyer showed us that he speaks Luke quite fluently.
The hiccup in the procedure occurred just after surgery, when the PICC Team tried, unsuccessfully, four different times to give him central access. Dr. Meyer had to go back in and put in a central line, just under his clavicle. Yes there’s a medical term for it and no I can’t remember what it is. He was under general anesthesia for quite a while and we paid for that later.
He did pretty well in recovery, partly because we learned some of our lesson in pain management from last time. NICU babies become more and more resistant to pain meds. So, they tend to have pain that spirals out of control pretty quickly. We thought we had it managed. He had an epidural for surgery and then we gave him morphine through his central line. All looked pretty good in recovery, but about 10:30pm, the spiraling started. At midnight, it was bad…really, really, really bad.
And so the story goes…
I think it’s been in these times of watching Luke suffer that the enormity of what we’re dealing with hits like a ton of bricks. Scott and I wonder how much more our family can take. Your sense of rationality rolls out the door. We can’t help but wonder if Luke will land back here with another partial blockage due to scar tissue. I’m trying hard to not think of it that way…the mind can’t go there. We can only take today, for today.
Day four, here we come.