Monday, July 23, 2012

The Cast is On!

Greetings and a Reminder:

I write this blog as we go through ET Mehta Casting with our daughter Olivia. The blog is intended to inform, possibly inspire, and raise awareness of Infantile Scoliosis and its treatment/cure. Please share our story. For more information please check out 

First off, I would like to thank our readers! We have surpassed 1000 page views! Of course I'm sure at least 1/4 of those are just me. ;-) Please keep sharing!

I am writing to you in Olivia's room at the hospital. She is currently enjoying a much deserved nap. This poor girl has been up since 5 this morning and CRANKY! She DID NOT want anyone to touch her, look at her, try to make her laugh. Nope! She wanted none of it! 

We arrived at the hospital at 6 AM on the dot. I took the advice of a mom from my support group page and grabbed a wagon for Olivia and our overnight stuff. We waited back at the Pre-Op clinic for about 30 minutes. Her vitals were taken and we were sent to a holding area in the OR Wing. All the nurses just couldn't get over her beautiful red hair. One nurse gave her a balloon, which she enjoyed punching around for about five minutes. We also got to pick her cast color. We went with pink! I'll have to find some pink fairy wings we can put on with it. :-)

Dr. G then came in to say good morning and to check if we had any more questions. He also mentioned how he and his team found my blog! Yes! Next, her anesthesiologist came in to explain what they would be doing and how I could go in with her while they put her under and that they would be running an oxygen tube down her throat to make sure she could breath ok. They explained that with the gas her brain falls asleep faster than the rest of her so her arms and legs may continue to move and her eyes may roll back and it may look scary but that it was all normal. My response was that I would not get worried unless I noticed her team was getting worried.

They dressed me all up in my blue scrubs and we were ready to go. Once in the OR I sat with her on my lap and they got her used to the mask a little bit by playing with it around her face and putting a grape scent on it. The t-shirt she is wearing under the cast was put on and then it was time to "knock her out." The next moment reminded me of when you watch a mystery movie and someone comes up from behind and covers the victim's mouth with a cloth soaked in ether. They held the mask on her and she was ssssooo upset and I was just working to calm her down. They told me she was out but I was disoriented because she was still kicking, then they reminded me that the brain falls asleep before the rest of her. I'm not going to lie. I thought I would be prepared, but it was still scary. I gave her a kiss and I was escorted back to Brian.

We were then moved to the waiting room where I sat and enjoyed a little Kindle time while Brian enjoyed his third cup of coffee and we waited. About 45 minutes later Dr. G came in to tell us she did well. They x-rayed her in cast and the spine is almost perfectly straight. That's a great start! Following Dr. G's visit a nurse came and escorted us to the recovery room. Miss Olivia was sleeping soundly.

We were warned that she was not going to be happy when she woke up. Our recovery nurse said that she may be particularly tough because she's a redhead. Ha! She said that her sister is a redhead and I told her that mine was too so I'm prepared. While she was out they put an IV in her foot (which I knew she was going to be very unhappy about) and they had given her some of the sedative she was given for the MRI to help her come out of the gas more gently. Our recovery nurse was concerned that she had a little bit of a diaper rash, but we learned later from our room nurse that it's actually a pretty mild rash. Anyway, we let her sleep for about 45 minutes and then woke her. 

I have to say she was not nearly as angry as I thought she was going to be. As I suspected she was really angry about the foot IV. She was probably more angry about that than she was the cast! It took  her about 45 minutes to calm down. A popsicle and some "overhead entertainment" helped. We found that if we bounced a random object around on the plastic about her crib that she was distracted and entertained. It was actually a great distractor for me too. I love the "get the mask into the kidney basin" game. 

Next stop, Olivia's room! I got all out stuff from our locker and we were on our way. She was definitely in need of a nap at this point seeing as she had be up since 5 AM and anesthesia doesn't count as a nap. We met our nurse who checked her out. In her anger she managed to kick her IV out causing her to bleed all over the bed. This girl knows how to get what she wants! Once we got the bleeding to stop (and I had something to eat because I was about to faint from the blood) we got her all settled in and she finally fell asleep. 

She got a good two hour nap then lunch! She is definitely a happier baby now. We also met with the cast tech and he gave me moleskin to bring home and showed me the best places to duct tape her. She is currently playing with some toys that the child life specialist brought for her. My next post will have cast pictures and will talk about her first real sitting up experience and attempted mobility in the cast. Until then...

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