Carter's "BIG" Surgery 4/11/13
Yesterday, Carter had the surgery we have been waiting for since the day he was born. The surgery went great. The surgery ended around 5 o'clock. We waited for an hour and a half before I asked the receptionist to check on Carter. She told me to wait 10 minutes and then we could go back to the PICU to see him. We waited the longest 10 minutes that we have ever waited. We anxiously walked through the PICU doors and started looking for room 30. When we arrived to room 30, I was not sure if we were in the right room. There were 5 nurses and a team of Doctors surrounding Carter's bed. His face was red, he had tears pouring down his cheeks, and his arms were restrained down to the bed. His legs were still in traction wrapped straight with the braces and then taped together so he could not bend them. He still had his external fixators. He was fighting the ventilator with all of his might. When Brandon and I walked in, all eyes turned to us. I immediately said "He is in pain! We need to do something about it!" They told me they had given him the maximum amount of Morphine they could give and they had given him almost the maximum amount of a lot of other sedatives and narcotics. He was not responding to any of them. I happily told them he was not going to stay like he was. They agreed and asked me what I wanted to do. They ended up giving Carter a lot more pain medication and I laid my face over the top of his face until he calmed down. Carter stayed in pain for about another hour, he was calm but still in pain. He was still fighting the ventilator and gagging over and over on the breathing tube. They suctioned the breathing tube, and it caused him to gag again. This led to him vomiting large amounts of old blood over and over. I suctioned his mouth and even suctioned down his throat to make sure he was not going to aspirate again. We all knew what needed to be done. Carter had to come off the ventilator. It was going to be a matter of time before he vomited and aspirated again. So they got to work and started pushing Carter's lungs, they even gave him reversal drugs to help quickly reverse the paralytic drugs he had been given in surgery. Around 3 am they took the breathing tube out. Carter immediately stopped gagging and tried to relax. It took all night to finally figure out what drugs would keep him sedated the best. I think we are finally on the right track. He is being given a lot of medication right now because they do not want him moving at all. He has a lot of surgical incisions and any movement could cause them to come open and the surgery to fail. The goal for the next few days is to keep him completely sedated, and to allow his body to rest and heal.
As you can imagine both Brandon and myself were ready to pick Carter up and take him out of the PICU. The PICU here is really intense. We are ready for him to go to the Urology floor. The Urology floor is very familiar with children that have Carter's condition. The nurses never have more than 2 patients, and they are well trained to take care of his needs. Carter is in a private room in the PICU now although there are several bright lights that must stay on 24/7, and it is extremely loud. Thankfully Brandon and I were both able to stay overnight with Carter. We are extremely thankful they have involved us in all of his care. Neither one of us got much sleep, if any last night. We have spent most of the day trying to nap and taking turns sitting by Carter's side. He wants his hand held or his head rubbed. He is scared and just wants to make sure we are there. This has been the worst surgery yet. Every inch of his body has a bruise, a dressing or a drain coming out of it. My heart hurts so much to see him in so much pain. He is sedated enough to not move or open his eyes, but he is here(coherent) enough to know exactly what we are saying. I told him his puppies were ready to see him and he smiled and tried to open his eyes to look for them. He is so sweet.
The short-term plan is to get Carter comfortable and on a medicine(pain) regimen that can be continued on the Urology floor. We aren't sure if this will take another day, two days, or even weeks. We don't want to push him, but these are not ideal accommodations for any of us. Brandon and I have been at the bedside every second since the surgery. The nurses have trusted us enough to allow the restraints to come off of his hands along as one of us is sitting next to him. Brandon and I have traded off holding his hand and rubbing his head. There isn't much room for anything in this new "abode" because it is set up to handle any and every emergency situation. We are blessed to be here and the nurses have been great, but we are ready to move on.
We are so thankful for each and every prayer for our family. Carter is extremely sick, so please keep them coming! As with any situation our family encounters TO GOD BE THE GLORY!