If you're anything like Sara and me, you probably opened the photo attachment first AND are now reading the email. So you already know that Elizabeth got off the breathing machine today and lost her tape-mustache! Not only are we relieved to see her breathing on her own and free of the uncomfortable feeling of the tube down her throat, but we love being able to see her face again. And though it's considerably chubbier than before surgery, we still find extremely adorable. Once again, her crying is almost silent due to swelling of her vocal cords from the breathing tube, but we're confident it'll be much louder in a few days.
You also might be wondering what that big mass of tape and tubes on the side of her head is. Well, it's yet another scalp IV. Her third! Each of those three have been placed by the SAME nurse, who apparently feels magnetically attracted to Elizabeth's head. And it required shaving off some more of her hair- just as it was starting to grow back after the last assault on her noggin. If she had a bald spot on the top of her head, she'd look exactly like Friar Tuck. But really, it's nice to be in an emotional place where the biggest fish we're frying is the loss of some hair!
Now let's talk body fluids. Happily, Elizabeth's chest tube continues to drain very small amounts of fluid. And she continues to pee off all that additional fluid. Now that she's off the pain meds and more awake, she really notices those wet diapers. She'll be calmly looking around and suddenly burst into a crying/coughing fit. Our first thought is "Something inside her broke. Did her chest tube or G-tube fall out? Is she in excruciating pain? Where's the nurse for some more morphine?" After all the panic, she's just wet again (about once every 45 minutes). Because all that fluid is leaving her body, her abdomen is shrinking...down 4 cm since yesterday and 8 cm since her abdominal surgery. She has also started having bowel movements again- a good sign that her intestines are waking up and functioning after the stunning of the surgery and pain medications. The Team is hoping to start feeding her small amounts tomorrow or Monday.
Sara made brief (masked, just to be safe) appearance today and we gave Elizabeth a limited bath (arms, legs and top of her head since everything else seems to be covered with tape, gauze or tubing). It was nice to move toward reinstating our nightly rituals with Elizabeth.
Continue praying for:
- Resolution of Elizabeth's abdominal swelling and chest tube drainage
- Good healing for all of her incisions and her G-tube track
- Protection from infections of any incision and IV line
- Sara's rapid healing from her cold
- Successful initiation of feeding in the near future.
Matt and Sara