Coming Home

That was the fastest turnaround in our family's history. 5 days after her fourth Open Heart Surgery and Martha Grace was discharged home.

The last update I posted was on Sunday morning while we were in HDU. Martha woke up and we put the cartoons on for her, she drank some milk and we made her some Ready Brek for breakfast which she refused to eat. The main plan for Sunday was to take out her Central Line and remove the plaster covering her wound. I couldn't stay to watch this, so I headed back to the waiting room and asked Nan to take my place with Mark. The scar looked beautiful, neat, clean and dry. Martha didn't like to let any of us near it though so she most definitely is aware of something happening in that area.

Around lunch time on Sunday the nurse in charge asked me if we would be interested in moving to the single cubicle on the ward itself; you could tell she remembered me from the last time Martha was a patients
because she seemed cautious as she asked me and completely taken aback when I said I would love to be moved. It was getting really noisy in the Bay we were in and it was becoming a bit of a struggle to get Martha to nap, as soon as she fell asleep she'd be woken up by another patient crying or their TV on too loud. Usually I'd be apprehensive about moving to a room by ourselves, but because we were staying with her around the clock and Martha was doing so well I wasn't fazed at all this time.

Monday was a busy day; we were told during Ward Rounds that we were beginning the discharge process and could be sent home later on in the evening if everything went well. 4 days post-op was way too soon for me so I asked if we could see the day out in Hospital and leave on Tuesday morning.

First up was the ECHO. I wasn't nervous for a change, she'd already had a Transthoracic ECHO before coming out of theatre that the Surgeons were happy with and she'd been stable for a cardiac point of view...what could have possibly changed in 4 days. Mark totally lost it, it's been a while since I've seen him get worked up like that. I tune out what the technicians are saying as they talk amongst themselves, but Mark always tries to listen and only catch snippets of their conversation which is never good. Dr Ram arrived to review the images and put his mind at ease and confused me a little. But to cut a long story short, there is a small VSD (how - I don't know!) and there is mild regurgitation from her Aortic Valve. Neither of which is a concern for the immediate future, but things to keep an eye on and see how they develop as she grows. The important thing to remember though is that for these two issues - there is a procedure that can help!

Next up was the ECG and Pacemaker check. I don't understand ECG's but as far as we aware there were no issues. The Pacemaker check showed an episode of a really high Heart Rate at lunchtime on Friday, which makes sense because this would have been the time that Martha Grace had her chest drains removed. The battery longevity had decreased to a minimum 10 months somehow so we now have to send monthly downloads through Carelink to the Hospital so they can keep an eye on the battery and plan a time for us to come in for Martha to have a new device implanted.

So that was it, we were allowed home. We didn't tell anyone until Tuesday morning, it was all going to well and I was petrified that it would all go wrong at the last minute if we got everyones hopes up.

The Cardiac Nurse Practitioner came to see us before we left, she went through the usual discharge information but she knew we'd been through it twice before already. Our Nurse gave us the medicine that Pharmacy brought up for us (Martha has 0.5ml Furosemide once a day and Paracetamol PRN). We packed up Martha's little room and off we went in the direction of Home.


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