Wednesday, December 15, 2010

How Quickly it Changes

When Owen was in surgery having his shunt revised - replacing the valve and top half of the tubing - I kept myself busy writing a note that I posted about what had happened since we'd been here this second time.

Owen before surgery.

As I brought it all to a close Ed came in and told me that Owen was out of surgery and everything had gone well. The nurses wanted about 10-15 minutes to get him situated and then they would call us to come see him.

I closed the note so I could get to Owen and we waited for the call. While we waited the fellow from nuerosurgery who had been present during the surgery came and explained everything to us and told us that Owen had done incredibly well during surgery. We were so relieved. We waited and after a while we assumed the nurse had forgotten to call us so we went to see if we could get in to see him. The clerk said they were still working on him and to wait a little longer. It was probably an hour and a half before we were able to go back.

Owen after surgery.

The anesthesiologist came and saw us before surgery and told us that they would remove his breathing tube before they brought him back upstairs so my first question out the gate was why is his breathing tube still in. It was then that we were told that Owen had had another seizure after his surgery and that he had stopped breathing on his own for five minutes and had to be reintubated. They assured us that it was only as a precaution as he had started breathing again on his own but it was labored and his breaths weren't as strong as they wanted them to be. It would be the next day before they could tell us with some certainty that the seizure was likely a result of the change of pressure in his brain from the surgery and a combination of that and the anesthesia. We were told that a grown up who had just come out of anesthesia and had a seizure would just as easily had stopped breathing as Owen did. I asked about the lack of oxygen to the brain when he quit breathing and was assured that he never lacked oxygen as they bagged him immediately and gave him a steady supply of oxygen - he just wasn't doing it on his own.

We talk about it being a roller coaster and there being ups and downs but they come and go faster than you can imagine. One minute we're told how wonderful he did and while we're waiting thinking he's doing great he's in the next room not breathing. It's hard to wrap your brain around but luckily he has angels all around him - some we can see and some we can't - making sure that he is okay all the time.

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