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Wednesday, 27 December 2006

Hospital Update: Amber goes from good to great

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I've decided to write an update on our daughter Amber, and her situation post major Heart surgery, as a few people have emailed me, asking if everything is allright.

The reason why I haven't updated again recently, is that I'm trying to not, 'write from my own myopic perspective', to those that are interested I am deeply grateful.

First Amber's recovery is progressing very well. She has now got rosy cheeks, warm pink hands and warm pink feet. This is something that she didn't have before her last operation.

Despite previous extensive surgery, Amber's resperation level was 84%,
The normal is apparently 98%. This is to do with the level of oxygen that is taken into the blood stream.

She is now at 95% with further improvement expected.

We don't have any 'digital' photos of Amber as someone forgot to pack the Digital Camera. [probably the same person who has been harping me to buy her a New digital camera that doesn't take about 40 seconds between shots to 'reload'.]

We have the modern day equivalent of the 'Edwardian still camera' that involved people having their heads in Braces so as able to keep still enough. It cost a fortune back when digital cameras were a novelty, but now it just doesn't cut it.

Its slow to shoot, save, flash, retrieve and the worst thing is it makes you wait a seemingly eternity between shots when the kids are being spontaneous. Try coordinating three little girls smiling similtaneously whilst waiting for the camera to be 'ready'.

Anyway, we did take normal photos, when we finally get home I'll scan a 'before and after photo so you can see just how much our little girl has endured.

If I may be candid when Amber came out of surgery she had 4 large 'fish tank' tubes emitting from her chest; She had wires that were actually poking out from her heart connected to external wires.

She had pressure sensors which were plugged thru fine holes in her chest into the arteries of her heart, she had an array of heart monitor wires pasted on her chest, wires attached to a probe on her finger, an automatic blood pressure cuff that inflates every certain small period, two canulars for injections on both arms, about five drug adminstating machines, about six bags of liquids and other pipes, tubes, wires, bottles, machines that I can't remember.

To a parent that finally gets the beeper message to go to the IC ward, to come round the corner and see your unconcious child in essence a mass of wires.tubes and electronic gizmos that beep loudly the second a reading doesn't come in is disconcerting to say the least.

To the trained ear, these different beeps bops bings and bangs indicate different sensors are temporarily for a multitude of reasons not getting a reading. To the professional, the occassional blip instead of beep doesn't mean pacnic stations.

To the parent praying at their childs beside each blip signifies another possible looming disaster. You get used to the beeps and the bops, but you freak when you hear the odd blips and boops and wonder what that sound means.

You look at a series of medical monitors that have more numbers on them than NYSE on a bad day and you pretend that the ones that you do partly understand can 'reassure' you/ balance out that ones you don't understand, in essence you convince youself things are ok.

Slowly as the attending doctor feels more confident, tubes and pipes and wires are slowly stripped away, revealing more and more of your child.

Amber now has almost no monitoring and only two drainage tubes from her chest cavity, she is getting her appetite back and is able to with some assitance be escorted to the bathroom. We have been 'rigging up a wheel chair to take her on short trips, to the accomadation we have been staying at.

We're staying at a Ronald Mcdonald house, this house has been a real blessing for my family. Now I know a lot of Jews wouldn't be eating at Mcdonalds but Mcdonald's charitable program of supporting seriously ill children and their families is one very bright star in their day to day corporate operations.

I've got some funny stories about staying here which I will be posting on tomorrow.

Any way the gist of the matter is Amber is recovering well, the heart surgeon is very happy, and avoiding setbacks, the operation looks like it has been a Very big success.

Thank you to all the people that sent emails, left comments and have been davening we really appreciate it.