Wednesday, December 31, 2008
It’s been a long day and a half. Poor little Hannah is sound asleep in bed right now. She and John got back to the house just before 1pm. They spent the morning in Dr. Grayson’s office as Hannah was fitted with her new removable orthodontic appliance. This new device replaces her splints and her wedge that we had so many problems with over the past 8 weeks. It was amazing to watch how they build the new appliance. The used an acrylic powder mixed with some chemical solution that makes the acrylic malleable and they spread it like puddy on the base appliance. The acrylic hardens with time and warm water. Once the soft acrylic is shaped correctly and the fit between her teeth and the appliance is perfect the technician grinds the excess acrylic away and leaves a smooth surface perfect fitted to Hannah's lower teeth. As There is nothing on her lower teeth - she just wears this device on her her upper teeth. It’s quite amazing what Dr. Grayson and Dr. Pocock have planned out for the long term for her mouth. This device is a temporary appliance and a new one will be built by Dr Pocock when sometime in early 2009. The new device will have the same basic structure but will have many other features that allow it to act as the anchor for the next stage of treatment. The next step in this procedure will be to systematically pull each adult down to meet the lower teeth. It will take a long time for this procedure to be completed and will require Hannah to endure a significant amount of discomfort.
So yesterday did not go at all as we planned. Dr. McCarthy spoke to us for awhile before Hannah went in to surgery and he felt it was going to take an hour and half for the whole thing. So when the three hour mark came and went we began to wonder what was taking so long. Then when we went past the four and half hour mark, John went in search of someone at the nurses’ station to see if they could find something out for us. On the way there, he ran into Dr. McCarthy on his way to speak to us. He explained that he had a difficult time getting at the distraction device on the top end of the distracted bone. He had to make a second incision just below her hair line to be able to remove the device at the upper end. It turns out, she began to bleed quite heavily at that point and it took quite a while to get the bleeding under control. The scare tissue that formed from her last surgery was the culprit for the bleeding complications. Due to the length of time she was in surgery, the lateness of the day and the fact that she bled quite a lot during surgery the doctors decided to keep her in the hospital for the night.
I was taken to see Hannah while she was in recovery, about a half hour after the surgery was over. It was so different compared to going to recovery in BC Children’s hospital, where there are only little one’s in the recovery room. This time, she was the only child in there - the rest were adults. Lots of moaning and weird sounds coming from all the beds. Very unpleasant place to be. There she was, so tiny, in her big bed - she looked terrible. Lips were translucent and she was so puffy - whether from all the fluids they were putting into her or from the trauma of the surgery, who knows. She was asleep when I walked up to the bed but as soon as I said her name she woke up and wanted a hug and then through a very croaky voice asked me to ask her nurse for a popsicle. This is standard procedure at BC Children’s - as soon as they are awake they have a popsicle in their hands. No such luck in grown-up recovery. Ice chips and water. So she made do with water but came very close to having a cry about the no popsicle. I was in recovery with her for an hour before they moved her up the pediatric ward. Her doctors and nurses were amazingly nice and kind to her. One of Dr. McCarthy 5th year residents came to see us before Kez and I left the hospital - he found out that Hannah really wanted a popsicle so he said he would see what he could do about it. Ten minutes later he arrived back with two huge Lifesaver popsicles - more than likely he went and bought them for her. So nice and sweet of him.
Last night was a challenge for both Hannah and John, neither were prepared for an overnight at the hospital. They shared a room with a very young baby who spent most of the night crying. It must of have being so hard for the mother as she tried with little success to get the baby settled and comfortable. Hannah watched TV and videos throughout the night and napped between. John on the other hand, rested until about 3 am when Hannah finally feel asleep. By 4 am Hannah was so full from the constant IV that her bladder was on overload. She peed almost 5oo ml. She peed again at 5 and again at 6, but only 200 ml each time. (It is hard to imagine how uncomfortable she was with that much urine in her bladder) At some point in the midst of a pee break, John remembered when Hannah was in the hospital in September and the fact that she was not allowed to leave the hospital until she walked to the bathroom and went pee on her own. A light went on at that moment, Hannah must have remembered that she had to pee before she was allowed to go home but held it as long as she could.
John did manage a couple of hours of sleep and according to Hannah he snored rather loudly!
Yesterday was all very hard on Keziah. She told me over dinner that when she saw Hannah in her room that she almost started crying because didn’t expect her look like that. Poor old Kez. Such a tender heart.
Tonight is New Year’s Eve. We will not attempt to go to Time Square. It is cold and snowing and they expect to have about a million people there - Crazy! So we’ll stay home and join the House’s New Year’s eve celebration. They are having a dinner and a dance. Don’t think Hannah will be dancing tonight. We bought Wall E and Peter Pan
(the one with real people) and are going to eat ice cream, chip, chocolate pudding and watch movies.
Hope everyone is well - happy new year!