Monday, August 29, 2011

Eye surgery

A month ago, Natalie had an EUA that showed her eye pressures were the highest they've ever been: 26 and 27.  Today, after giving five drops a day for a month, we went back to see what the pressures were. 

I was really nervous about this day:  at 8:30 am, I remembered I hadn't given Natalie her seizure medicine (which is supposed to be given at 6:30 a.m. and p.m. every day).  I haven't forgotten that in a long time.  I guess I was so focused on her eyes that I forgot about the other thing that is a constant part of our routine.

Since surgery was a possibility today, Tom and I both went.  I'm so glad he did!  We spoke with the dr. before Natalie went under to find out what level she considered worthy of doing surgery.  She said if the eyes were 25 or above, she would do surgery.  I was CERTAIN they would be below 25 after all the eye drops we'd been giving.

But 10 minutes after Natalie was under, the assistant doctor came out and said one eye was 28 and one was 17, so the dr. wanted to do surgery on the left eye, which is 28.  Wow, if it's still 28 after all those eye drops?  We understood Natalie really needed the surgery to protect her vision.

So what does glaucoma surgery look like?  The dr. said the shunt is actually very "elegant."  Not what I would use to describe it...although I haven't seen it yet, because Natalie's eye is covered in a patch until the morning.  But the dr. is comparing it to glaucoma options of the past:  it's a thin plastic tube attached to the back of her eye that comes down to the front of her eye, to drain fluid and thus release pressure.

Tom and I had so many emotions today.  We were both sure there wouldn't be a surgery, and then Natalie gets a 50%, but that still means surgery.  She has been a trooper through it all.  It took longer than previous times for her to come out of anesthesia, but this was also the longest she's been under in a while, and definitely the longest outpatient procedure she's ever had.  And she did great without versed!

So we're home now, and Natalie is sleeping.  She's wearing splints on her arms so she doesn't take the eye patch off.  And we have another appointment at 8 a.m. tomorrow for the doctor to remove the eye patch and make sure everything looks good.

Thanks to everyone for your prayers.  We were definitely comforted by them today, and are so pleased that the surgery went well.  Please continue to pray that Natalie's eye will heal without infection, and that the tissue will not scar excessively (which we were told could also cause the surgery to fail).

 Natalie kept saying, "May I get dressed?" and "May I go home?" so I started asking her to tell me her telephone number and address.

After waiting tooooo long for surgery, we finally asked to go in the play room, where Natalie had a great time.

The view out the window of the parents' waiting room.  The television show in the waiting room was terrible...some gossip show with a woman slamming people she's never met.  It made me quite nauseous to hear it, while dealing with the emotions of Natalie being in surgery.  So we waited in the hallway instead.

Natalie was number 3784, so we got to watch the board for her progress in the OR.

When we first saw Natalie, she had the oxygen mask that Jessie is wearing.  Natalie is still sleeping off that anesthesia.

The outpatient PACU was sort of like a bar closing at 2 a.m. (Tom wanted me to write that...there you go, Tom!)  The PACU was supposed to be closed at 5 p.m., so around 4:15, they started actively trying to wake up all the remaining patients so they wouldn't have to go to a hospital floor room to recover.  Natalie was not a happy camper:  no glasses (they won't fit over the eye patch), arm splints and a big patch on her eye.


Sarah said...

Poor girl! She's such a trooper!

- Sarah

Nicky said...

Broke my heart to see little Natalie in her stroller, looking so fragile. Sending her tons and tons of hugs, kisses & prayers for a quick and complete recovery xxx

MommyP said...

Your sweet little angel sure is a trooper!!! (((HUGS))) to Nat from her buddy Stephen!