Thursday, January 23, 2014

George's Surgery: Days 5 & 6

Not much happened on Day 5 at the hospital. We woke up in a new room, having moved the night before. The PICU was clearing out and they wanted to move us closer to the nurse’s station. In the morning, George FINALLY pooped for us. Kinda gross to announce, but it is a big deal following major surgery to know that my little boy’s body is functioning properly. Nurse Monica was back with us again, and she attempted to get George to walk again. This time, it worked. He seemed ready and eager to get out there! His legs were still very weak but he was moving right along.

This was bittersweet, because it meant that it was time to move out of the PICU and to the Peds floor. The nurses in the PICU are some of the most amazing nurses I’ve ever met, and we especially bonded with Monica as she was our nurse the majority of the time we were there. Here is George and I packed up and (sort of) ready for the move.
Moving to the Peds floor was a major change for us, and I couldn’t wait to get out of there. That first night away from the PICU was rough. George threw up twice and needed to be changed and bathed. Luckily, the nurse we had that night used to work in the PICU at a hospital in Raleigh before she moved here, and she was particularly familiar with the care needed for heart surgery patients. She was a lifesaver! She gave George some medicine to stop the vomiting and we went to sleep for the night. That was the end of the vomiting! The next morning, George woke up ready to eat some Cheerios. Doesn’t he look so happy? I enjoyed sitting with him and holding him, especially with him smiling so much. My little George was coming back to me.

After breakfast, we were allowed to go into the playroom early to pick out some toys for George to help him start standing/walking on his own. As soon as he got in there, he was all over the place! It was hard to keep up with him and at one point he fell down trying to push around a toy car. That was pretty scary, but he was fine and recovered quickly. Once we picked out a few toys, we hung out in the play room for a bit longer to play while the nurses set up and awesome play area in our room, complete with a soft playmat for him to stand on.

But before he was able to start playing, we were told that he will be getting released from the hospital at around noon!!!! The nurse took his last IV out, which he did great with except once it was finally out and she put the Band-Aid on he started crying. Go figure.

Then it was time to play! We got him out of his hospital gown and into a pajama top. The pants were a bit too long and we didn’t want him to trip over them. His legs had gotten so skinny since we first got to the hospital. I didn’t realize how much muscle mass he was losing just laying in bed until I saw him standing on those little sticks. My little boys chunky thighs were all gone. Now I can see why he was so wobbly.

Shortly after playing, the pediatric cardiologist and pediatrician came in to talk about care at home, when to call the doctor, fever concerns, etc. All that fun discharge stuff. Then all we had to do was wait for Aaron to leave work and get the van to pick us up! Once he arrived, he started loading the van while I signed the official discharge papers. Then the nurse brought in the wagon for George to leave the hospital in style. He wasn’t too sure about the wagon this time and looked rather grumpy/unsure to begin with.

But then as we started going down the hall, onto the elevator, and down the main hallway where he could see out the window, he started to get happier. Then for the first time in almost a week, we were OUTSIDE! I saw George light up as soon as we walked out the door and he could hear the cars, feel the breeze, and then he saw our van and I knew that he knew he was finally going home!

Here is Aaron and George shortly after we got home from the hospital. George was all set up on the couch with some juice and crackers, a blanket, and the TV. So happy to be home!

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