Open Heart Surgery - number 4

It's now 3:40am as I sit down to try to write this. We've been up for almost 24hrs straight and so much has happened that I want to write it all down before I get the chance to forget after I've had a sleep in the morning.

We brought Martha Grace to Walrus Ward for 7:30am on Thursday, she was first on theatre list. The anaesthetist was waiting for us and we mentioned to him about Martha's cough, be listened to her chest and consulted with a colleague - they both confirmed that the operation should go ahead as planned. Around 8:15am she was given a dose of Midazolam (pre-med) which worked a treat and she was  totally relaxed from then on. The next person we saw was Ben Davies, he's been involved in her previous operations and would be performing this operation again with Professor Victor Tsang. He explained what they'd be doing and took Mark's number so that be could call us when they were done.

Suddenly the theatre team arrived and it was time for Mark to take Martha Grace for her operation, I waited until he had come back to let everyone else know that she had gone. For some reason I didn't get as worked up when she went today. Yes I cried and was heartbroken to think of what Martha would be going through, but I regained my composure really quickly today. We spent the whole time in the Lagoon drinking tea, eating and chatting - I kept having to remind myself that my daughter was only one floor above us going through major surgery. I think it's because I knew that the hard part was still to come - recovery in CICU.

I happened to pick up my phone at 13:43 and see that I had two missed calls from the Hospital at 13:41. Panic set in. We ran to Patient Accommodation to check if they had tried to call me - they hadn't! So it must have been a call from Theatre.

Mark decided to head down to Walrus Ward to check with them and I headed back to the Lagoon, turns out I'd just missed Ben Davies - he'd come to tell us that the operation was over and that Martha Grace was OK.

We knew there would be a wait until she was settled  in Intensive Care so we stayed put for another panad, but by half three we were getting anxious so we made our way up. Turns out she was already there.

Her chest had already been closed. 

She was only on Morphine for pain relief, Millrinone for Cardiac Support and a drug used in theatre to combat all the blood thinning products shed been given to on By-pass.

She wasn't on any other sedative as they were letting her slowly wake up.

She wasn't on any diuretics and she was peeing nicely.

The loss from her chest drains was minimal.

If she continued to do that well they were considering taking her off the ventilator later on in the evening.

We were gobsmacked. Martha Grace has never done this well after surgery before.

The more she woke up the more upset she was getting with the ventilator tubes and tried to grab at them and so shortly after 10pm - just over 8hours after major Open Heart Surgery Martha Grace was extubated. Mark said that the first thing she asked for was a drink of Pepsi. We had to wait 4hours before we could give her a drink so she was a bit upset at times. She's drifted in and out of sleep and has been a little cranky at times but nothing that we don't expect from her. We let her have 20ml of water when she woke around 3am and so far she's kept that down. She's fast asleep again now but I'll give her some more the next time she wakes. She was asking for Ice Cream earlier so will go looking for some for her tomorrow, we've already been to get her a bottle of Pepsi.

I sent Mark back to the accommodation at 4am as he was struggling, Mam and Dad are coming back to the Hospital at 6am so I can get my head down for a few hours then... I'm still running on adrenaline at the moment.

We really couldn't have coped today without my parents and Mark's grandparents here with us, and without the peace of mind knowing Osh and Isabella are loved and cared for at home by my grandparents and my sister. But your messages of concern and support has really been lovely today and its been truly humbling to think that so many of you care about Martha Grace.

I'm so relieved to be able to say that so far - she's doing freaking amazing after Open Heart Surgery Number 4!


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