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Archive for the ‘Surgeries’ Category

Surgery #2 – Left Eye Cataract Removal

Posted by themoneyfamily on March 14, 2009

Penny had surgery again yesterday, at the tender age of 9.5 weeks old. They removed the cataract in her left eye, which was the less obstructing of the 2. The doctor thought this one would be easier because of that, but apparently it wasn’t any easier.

I called the hospital on Thursday to get Penny’s surgery time for yesterday. The nurse I spoke to told me 11:20am for surgery, be there at 8, and stop feeding her at 5:30am. I was panicked about that! You can’t make a 9 week old baby wait 6 hours (plus surgery and recovery time) to eat. I expressed my concern (to put it mildly), and the nurse put me on hold to check with the unit nurse. Between them, they decided that 5:30 was the correct time. I explained that last week she only had to go 4 hours without food, not 6. So the nurse started running through the times again for this week. Well…her actual surgery time was 9:40 NOT 11:20! No wonder that seemed like a long time to go without food. Glad we got that straightened out.


Borg transformation 34% complete

Everything went pretty much the same as last time, except the nurses didn’t carry Penny out again. She came back in her crib, but was totally bundled up in blankets and seemed very comfortable. Well, she was sleeping and pretty much stayed that way till we left at 2:30 or 3. She did eat a little when I would hold the bottle up to her lips. Every once in a while she’d let me put it in, take 3 or 4 swallows, then spit it out again. But she ate, she kept it down, and she had a wet diaper – all the things they look for before you can go home. Her oxygen level would only drop this time when she was eating (gulp, gulp, gulp…oh yeah…BREATHE!). I actually thought to write down what drops she got this time, although I’m not sure what they do: Cyclopentolate hydrochloride, Phenylephrine hydrochloride, and Ciprofloxacin (I know that’s an antibiotic).


Sweet sleepy Penny

While we were there, we met another family in for day surgery (poor little guy). Turns out Mom is an optometrist, and recommended a friend of hers for Penny’s glasses when we get them. I mean…Lenscrafters might have kids’ glasses, but I have yet to find anyone who carried BABY glasses. Apparently there’s 2 major manufacturers… Solo Bambini and Miraflex. I just need to find someone in town that carries them. And this guy might, because he only does kids and babies. So, that’s good news for whenever the doc decides she’s ready for them.


Daddy and Penny with matching orange toques. She's definitely going to be Daddy's Little Girl!

We stopped in at the hospital this morning for the doctor to take off Penny’s patch and see how well she’s healing. Looks great again, but drops and ointment to do for a few days. During the surgery, the doctor checked the first eye to see how well it was doing and told us it looks “frickin awesome”! We’ll go back on Tuesday for a follow-up, and go from there, but probably start glasses when she’s around 4 months old.

Yay for Penny being able to SEE! She’s such a strong girl, and so happy and easy-going. If she weren’t as calm as she is about everything, I don’t know how Court and I would have been able to get through this.


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1st Surgery – Right Eye Cataract Removal

Posted by themoneyfamily on March 3, 2009

Penny was scheduled for her first surgery at 12:15 on March 2nd. We had to be there at 10:15. She needed drops put in her eyes before the surgery – 3 different drops 3 times in 15 minutes. The first set of drops made her cry, of course. The second set made her scream! For a normally easy-going and happy girl, the sound of that cry was heart-breaking. But, the third set of drops, she didn’t even make a sound.

Penny lying in a hospital crib

Penny lying in a hospital crib

From the pre-op area, the nurse carried Penny into the OR, with a porter pushing her crib behind. It made me feel better that she was carried, like they were going to take better care of her because she was a little baby and not just a patient. I’m not sure if I can put it into words the way I felt. But I think it would have broken my heart to see my little almost 10 pound girl wheeled away in a big 6-foot hospital style crib.

Beautiful Penny eyes

Beautiful Penny eyes

Penny was brought back to the day surgery unit at 3:00 pm. I’m sure for most people, that 3 hours would have felt like forever. For me it didn’t, thought I’m not sure why. Again, the nurse carried her instead of wheeling her. I had been waiting since 8:15 to feed her, and unfortunately had just pumped my breastmilk. So I fed her from a bottle – which actually worked better in this case. She was hungry, but still quite groggy. So the first ounce and a half was eaten a little at a time. Then all of a sudden she realized how hungry she was and chugged the rest. This was the first obstacle we had to overcome. The second would be holding down her meal. She did that as well.

Post-surgery Penny snuggling with her daddy

Post-surgery Penny snuggling with her daddy

Unfortunately Penny’s oxygen level kept dropping. Usually to about 85% when it should be between 95-100%. Twice that I saw it dropped to below 80%. But as soon as the alarm went off, her oxygen level would go right back up to where it should be. The nurse thought it was a kind of apnea, where Penny would stop breathing, and as soon as the alarm went off it would startle her into breathing again. By 8:00, she’d been on oxygen to keep her levels up, still hadn’t had a wet diaper, and the nurses were a little bit worried. They called the anesthesiologist, who decided to keep us overnight for observation. By morning she was able to go without the pumped oxygen, so the anesthetic had finally worn off. She had one bout of fussiness at 5:30 where she only wanted to cry. But when a baby gets upset like that, their oxygen level goes down and their heart rate goes up. I had alarms going off for both, plus the O2 meter kept sliding on her toe, so the alarm would go off saying it couldn’t read her at all. And my poor baby was crying and attached to all these cords so I couldn’t go get a nurse to shut the alarms off. Finally, a nurse came and helped. Shortly after we did everything to stop her crying – fed her, changed her diaper, swaddled her and took her for a walk around the unit. Something worked because it put her to sleep.

We were discharged at 10:30 this morning, and headed down a floor to the vision clinic to see a doctor there at 11:00. The doctor pulled off her eye patch – which made her scream again, and checked out her eye. The doctor didn’t say much to me, just that it looked good, and that I should bring her back on Thursday. We got prescriptions for Tobradex (Tobramycin-Dexamethason Op) ointment which is a corticosteroid and antibiotic, and San Prednisolone (Prednisolon Ace Oph) which is a corticosteroid eyedrop.

So, surgery #1 is done. My baby girl still smiles at me, and I can still breastfeed her (if with a little difficulty feeding from one side). I’d say it’s been a success and not the most stressful 2 days by far. Surgery #2 is coming up on the 13th for her other eye.

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