Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I Don't Want To Be The Mayor Of Primary Children's Hospital!!!

I can't believe it's been almost two weeks since my sweet Baylee's heart surgery at Primary Children's Hospital.  As we checked in to the hospital I also decided to check in via Foursquare/Amy SoSavvy on my cell phone since a friend of mine recently challenged my competitive sensibilities.  (If you're not in to Foursquare, it's basically a way to tell your friends where you are and what you're doing, as well as get discounts to restaurants and stores.  Hospital discount anyone?)  If you're the person who visits any particular store or location the most you get to be the mayor - in name only of course - of that location!  If you're already in to Foursquare you may have that one friend who is always checking in everywhere and has a bazillion badges and points. If you have one of those friends you'll find yourself checking in to gas stations just to get an extra 2 points!)  But immediately upon checking in I wished I could erase my check after I saw a pic of the hospital's Foursquare Mayor!  "I don't want to be the Mayor of Primary Children's Hospital",  I told myself, as that would mean I had visited the hospital more than anyone else.  "Uncheck, Uncheck Uncheck!!!!!"

It was now 6:30 am and Baylee and I were ushered in to a small room to await the dreaded IV.  The anesthesiologist gently reminded us that we would get one shot at the IV and then he would have to use gas (which he did not like to do) if Baylee wouldn't let them put an IV in.  With a huge smile of confidence my daughter said one shot was all she needed as long as they used the J Tip.  The anesthesiologist had no idea what we were talking about but the nurses informed him it has only been in use for the last 2 months.  If you know about our last IV incident (otherwise known as the scream heard round the world) then you can appreciate what a miracle, albeit small, it was that PCH had literally only just started using this hand numbing liquid a week before Baylee had to go in for her Cardiac MRI.  Such a blessing!

Waiting in the O.R.
We got the IV - no sweat and headed in to the general waiting area in the O.R with all the other children getting prepped for surgery.  It is truly heart wrenching to see so many children in desperate need of care.  We waited ominously to hear our name called and then be quietly escorted to the operating room.  Before handing Baylee off to the surgeons (there were 5 due to Baylee's unique heart configuration and I think the newbies wanted to check it out for themselves) I was allowed to give her a brief hug and kiss.  It was not nearly long enough!  I wanted to hold on to her and not let go, to weep with her and tell her in a million ways how much I loved her and everything about her in case this was our last goodbye, my one last moment left to speak the words spilling out of my heart.  But, the doctors must know that every parent feels this way and thus intentionally whisked my child into another room with a brief word of support.  Baylee did not see the flood of tears streaming quietly down my face.  It was better that way, I thought.

Next came the long and lonely walk to the surgical waiting room to worry and cry with all the other parents.  Tim had stayed home to get the little boys off to school/babysitters before heading up to the hospital but that left me 60 minutes to let my mind wander aimlessly.  I sat alone in a corner cubicle eating Oreo cookies and juice, trying to pretend like my world wasn't crashing around me.  I'm pretty sure I didn't pull that off very well!  While I waited the nurse would call out the names of children with surgical updates and escort parents to recovery rooms for happy reunions.  It was during this time I noticed two small "consultation rooms" just behind the nurses check in desk.  It became quickly apparent that I did not want to be called in to one of those rooms!  Those rooms were the rooms that parents frequently came out crying from.  Those rooms were the "bad news" rooms.  "Please don't call me in that room" I repeatedly and frantically pleaded in my heart like some unsettling mantra.

Thankfully Tim arrived quickly, but the wait was long and tense.  Every hour we got cryptic calls from the doctors letting us know the progress of the procedure and saying things like, "We're having a a little trouble...."  I almost passed out twice from the overwhelming pressure of it all (and the hyperventilating of course!) after the surgery entered its 6th & 7th hour.  The doctors struggled to find the spot in Baylee's valve that was causing her heart to skip a beat because there was not one, but three electrical pathways causing the trouble.  All three were ablated and the doctors feel like the surgery was a success.  We stayed in the hospital overnight which I still think is not long enough for a heart patient, but Baylee has recovered well and is back to school despite football sized bruises on each of her legs.

I am thankful for all the doctors, nurses, friends and family who sent their love, prayers and support our way.  Baylee even received Get Well cards from as far away as Canada from people we didn't even know - Thank you!  We are awaiting her 6 week check up and the results of the stress test but for now Baylee's heart is beating better than before.  My prayer now is that whatever comes next for her that it will be as painless, quick and worry-free as possible and that I never have to become the Mayor of PCH!


  1. I love your heartwarming posts. Makes me cry every time. Super sweet pictures. Thanks for sharing

  2. Oh goodness how scary! Made me cry. Thanks for posting, I'm holding onto my little girl a little tighter. <3


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