Monday, January 14, 2013

Reunion Avenue

Today was surgery day for Tuna. It has been a long, long day.

Tuna could not eat after 1:30 a.m. and she is sort of the opposite of a gremlin. We didn't feed her after midnight and she turned into a monster. At 8:00 a.m. when I denied her a drink of water, she unleashed a torrent of profanity one would not expect from a Ninja Turtle-printed pajama-clad patient. At that moment, I said a little prayer for her nurses.

Tuna is funny, and tough, and super-resilient and I love those qualities in her. But...she is also smart mouthed, and ornery, and sometimes her filter malfunctions. Okay, most of the time her filter malfunctions. When the first nurse we encountered asked the date of her last menstrual period, Tuna gave her a running monologue about the new Tampax radiant tampons and how they probably make your vagina glow and wouldn't that be fun? I said another little prayer for her nurses. I reminded Tuna that the nurses pick the size of your needles.

This is not Tuna's first surgery, but it was her first planned surgery. She usually enters into these things on an emergency basis. Like when she was five and got the flu like the rest of the family only she didn't get better when everyone else did and three days after an ER visit we returned to the ER to learn that her appendix had been ruptured for several days. That surgery ended with an eight-day hospital stay. Or when she went roller skating and broke her hip. That surgery is what led to this one. It required an ambulance ride and an emergency surgery to pin the bone back together.

That surgery went really well. She got two screws in the hip and even though the surgeon gave her less than a 40% chance of maintaining blood flow to the bone, the bone healed nice and solid.

Post surgery, SCFE pinned with screws 

It healed nice and solid with a little extra somethin'. It healed with two really long screws and a marble-sized bump (or bony prominence) on the ball of the hip (femoral neck). Look! I speak ortho now. It was the bump we suspect was causing most of her pain, though the screw heads may have contributed as well so both were removed today. My girl is now bump and hardware free.

Pain free she is not. We arrived at the hospital at 9:30. Surgery was scheduled for 11:00 but was delayed. Surgery began at 1:45. We finally met up at Reunion Avenue at 6:00 and made the tear-filled journey to her room.

Reunion Avenue, the happy place where you meet your groggy post-op kiddo.

She got settled in with a morphine pump and the good times began. Her oxygen levels are dipping a bit here and there causing her monitors to beep which is generally met with a colorful shout in the general direction of the machine. Occasionally, she wakes briefly to illustrate her pain with colorful descriptives or to carry on one-sided conversations about strange things. In between, she dozes. But never, ever, does she drop her cell phone. It is amazing.

It is now almost 9:00 and I'm tired, hungry, and in serious need of a Dr. Pepper. We have a long night ahead and the good doctors will start making rounds at dark:thirty. Whether I've slept or not, dark:thirty tomorrow will officially mark the end of this very long day and I will greet the dawn with new hope. And, I'll say a few more prayers for her nurses.  

No comments:

Post a Comment