We have had a mix of emotions the last couple of days, but in the end, we feel very blessed to be where we are right now with our little man. Waiting for him during the surgery on Wednesday was not easy, luckily we had some visitors to help us pass the time. Another HydroMOM friend stopped by as well as our friend Heidi who is also Elliot's babysitter/nanny/caretaker...never sure the right word and her little guy Jude. While we were waiting we also headed down to the cafeteria to get some lunch and when we were eating we recognized probably about 15 people there...we both looked at each other, like, wow this is kinda nice that we actually know people, but then it dawned on us, hahah, that this is not really normal. But we realize this is our life at this point and even though its a little odd, at least when we are there we feel like we are oddly surrounded by many familiar faces. Around 4:30 that day Byron and I were feeling a little queasy that it had been an hour and a half since our last update, so Byron went to the surgery receptionist and asked if she could have the nurses call for an update...little did we know the next update would be the surgeons and the anesthesiologist walking out to tell us the good news. Elliot truly has the best team at Children's, we even got the same anesthesiologist he had in July who we just loved. Byron and I jumped up immediately to hug them all (eventhough Byron already told Dr. O'Neill that he loved him but not in that way earlier that day). They let us know that Elliot did fantastic and they didn't have any hiccups at all, which is exactly what we wanted to hear. He did have to have a blood transfusion of around 250 something (I'd be lying if I said "ml's", cause I really have no idea...but its not alot). We then headed back to see him where he was in and out of it. We just sat with him and held his hand and were ooing and ahhing at how different his head already looked to us.
Then we headed up to the Pediatric ICU for the night...my sister Blair was there, and my brother was able to make it as well and pop in to see how well Elliot was doing. That first night was an interesting night to say the least. When we first got there, Elliot was on all sorts of pain meds and was finally opening his eyes and actually smiling at everyone and just laying nice and still...so I figured, sweet, this won't be bad...WRONG. We had forgotten that the anesthesiologist mentioned that he blocked Elliot's nerves in his head from feeling pain and they would wear off eventually that night. And, yes, yes they did wear off. Around 2am, he was PISSED and inconsolably crying and pulling at all his IV's and his blood grenade in his head. We couldn't hold him yet so it made it particularly hard to comfort him...and his nurse moved at a snails pace getting that Morphine! Yes, you might be wondering right about now about his blood grenade...oh it was a lovely added bonus to the surgery. He had a 2 foot tube coming out of his head behind his ear connected to a grenade looking object that once an hour had to be squeezed and it acted like a vacuum that sucked fluid including blood from his head. It was like a medical "rat tail". It was hard to keep little boys hands off of it. He also had a catheter, an IV in each foot and an arterial line (IV) in his right hand which is a line that is run in his artery to measure his blood pressure. With all these it was just to hard to have Byron or I hold him. We did make it through the night with lots of oxycodeine, morphine, ibuprofen and tylenol (unfortunately only Elliot was offered these, ha).
The next morning, he headed to radiology for a CT Scan to make sure everything was looking good and then throughout that day, he rid his arterial line and his catheter. He was also drinking fluids on his own and tempting some baby food. We were finally able to hold him, and eventually we got the hang of holding onto his blood grenade while holding him. Chris and Ann came that day as well and helped us move out of ICU into a private room on the neurosurgery floor. That room was WAY better, we had our own bathroom with a shower and everything, I was thrilled. That was one of the best showers, eventhough I had to duck under the faucet (it was made for kids) and it was cold water, but I didn't care. Elliot was doing pretty good, still needed Oxy and Morphine for the pain but he was starting to be more and more like the Elliot we know. That night was hard again, Byron and I were really in need of sleep, but the nurses kept coming in (which I know is there job) checking Elliot's vitals and drawing blood through the night but it would wake him up and then it would take us forever to get him back to sleep. We may have not been very nice people that night...
The next day, the doctors did rounds and let us know that Elliot could go home, we were floored and a little hesitant. They pulled his blood grenade and told us that as long as it stopped oozing we could go home...well it didn't stop oozing, so we stayed another night, but it was a good thing in the long run. Dr. Elliott his pediatrician from Ft. Collins called the night before to let us know that he was going to come down for a visit and to give Elliot a hug from him. When he stopped by for a visit, Elliot even cracked a smile. Dr. Berman also stopped by, who was the first doctor we had contact with when we found out what was going on with Elliot. Its so sweet of them to come and check in on Elliot, everyone seems to be pretty amazed by him...sometimes I feel like this is normal and then I am reminded that no, Elliot is one of a kind and a pretty amazing little dude. This day we also had nurse April, who was a friend of a friend in Fort Collins, which was nice to have another sweet person taking care of Elliot. During the day though little boy wasn't eating and drinking like he was the day before and I was a little worried he wasn't getting enough fluid. That night though he finally ate some mashed potatoes, A LOT of mashed potatoes, but I was just happy he was finally eating something. Then I tried giving him a bottle, he took one sip and gagged and then 5 seconds later projectile vomited mashed potatoes all over me (Don't worry we didn't have time to take pictures of this). Thankfully our friend Deborah was visiting so we had another set of hands on deck to clean him up. Poor little guy just had a bad tummy from all those pain meds and antibiotics, nothing was meshing well with his system. He luckily perked right up and ended up having a great night and sleeping almost through the night. He even slept through his pain meds running out.
That brings us to today and they did rounds this morning, checked the status on his oozing, wrote him a prescription and sent us on our way. He is just better off being home. Less germs in our house, he has room to play, has his own bottles and food he is used to, his crib and his dog. He is a much happier camper. We still spent a lot of time in the glider once we got home but him and I can snuggle as long as he needs it. Now Byron and I are just keeping up the medicine and checking his temperature (we are still monitoring him for infection). He has a follow up this week and an appointment for his helmet. We think his head looks SO different. The sides of his forehead are more filled out and the back of his head is much rounder and doesn't have as large of a slope as it did before. I'm posting pictures, but some are kinda hard to look at, or maybe its just me, but you've been warned.
We want to thank everyone for your good thoughts, prayers, care packages, food and love! We are ready to now to just love on our little guy and help him recover at home.
|In baby jail before the surgery|
|Little does he know what is about to happen|
|This is how Elliot kisses me|
|Poor boy in post-op|
|sweet thing with his blood grenade|
|so very sleepy|
|Spending time with Auntie Blair, but not knowing it|
|Me love cookies|
|Finally found his thumb|
|I love Morphine|
|Sitting up the next morning|
|More Morphine please|
|Dad, Shut Up, I have a headache|
|I want to smile but my lips don't work|
|"Wait, you have hands too"|
|Come here blood grenade|
|Favorite pic of our little guy|
|Jack Daniels, cigarettes and women|
|Byron hiding his beer from the nurses|
|Back home playing|
|Hey look mom, its my duck|
|Hamming it up|
|Mom please, I'm on the phone|