Into the double-digit days now! Ugh…
The day started out as normal, with Dr. Wormer coming in to talk to us. He said that she was doing well with the suction on her stomach and that later on they would turn off the suction and use a gravity drain. If that went well and nothing came out (or not a lot came out) for 6 hours, then they would take out the NG tube. He said that if any normal person had a tube down their stomach, that it would probably get about 400ml of stuff over the course of 24 hours. At 8am this morning, Mackenzie’s canister was full (about 1000ml), but that was from the past 36 hours. So a reduction of about a third of what had been normal for her before. 🙂
A little later, Dr. Bambini came back in with Dr. Wormer (and some other guy who always comes in but he never talks so I don’t know his name). They basically said the same things over again. While I had them, I asked some questions. In my research, I had read that in the spot where this SMA branches off from the abdominal aorta there is a normal angle of 38-56 degrees and the space is normally measured from 10-20 millimeters. I asked the doctor if they typically measured that angle in these cases and he said they didn’t because they already knew this was her diagnosis. He did say that hers was the smallest angle that he had ever seen and that it was practically laying down flat, with no angle at all.
Around 10:30am the nurse came in to take the NG tube off of suction and hook it up to a gravity drain (which was just a foley catheter bag). 6 hours later the nurse came back in and said that Dr. Wormer had called her on the phone, all excited, asking how much was in the bag. She told him that none was in there, so he told her to hook her up to suction and if 100ml or less came out, then we could take the tube out. During the same phone call, Dr. Wormer yelled over to ask Dr. Bambini what we should do and Bambini just said “just pull the tube!”. Our nurse wanted to make sure this was going to be the last time we had to mess with any tubes, so she hooked up Mackenzie up to suction just to make sure a whole lot of stuff hadn’t accumulated over the past 6 hours. Over the next 30 minutes, right at 100ml got suctioned out. So from 8am until 4:30 there was a grand total of 200ml!!!
The nurse and I stood beside Mackenzie, trying to get her mentally prepared for taking the tube out. She was crying at this point because she was scared that after the tube came out she would start coughing, sneezing, and choking (which is what happened after the first tube came out). After several minutes, the nurse suggested that she start taking the tape off her face and then said that Mackenzie could pull it out herself if she wanted to. Mackenzie liked that idea better so she started pulling it out…very, very, very slowly. After that tube was out, she asked for her iPad (something she hasn’t cared about since before the second surgery) and was laughing (but trying not to laugh) at some videos! She also asked when Ethan was coming back so I think she actually misses her brother! She hasn’t even mentioned Cayden yet…lol.
Today around lunchtime I made her get out of bed and sit in the chair. She ended up sitting in the chair for about 3 hours because she didn’t want to move! About an hour after we finally got her back in the bed, physical therapy came in and woke her up and made her get back out of bed. They made her walk to just outside of the door to the room and wanted to make sure I was getting her out of bed the correct way. It was still painful getting out of bed and walking was still pretty painful…she had trouble standing up straight and keeping her neck up straight.
Tonight after my parents left, I made her get up and walk some more…this time almost halfway down the hall. She did much better this time. She was standing up straight and she said that her stomach wasn’t actually hurting – her shoulder was hurting her. The nurse said that sometimes air can get trapped in your shoulders after abdominal surgery and of course the thing that helps the most is walking.
It sounds like tomorrow will be a big day…she should be able to start drinking some water tomorrow!