Friday, February 27, 2009

The Last Surgery from the BABIES...

Or "How to almost die, part 3…"

What is it with my inability to do anything simply????

First, the ‘catch up’ part:

It has been a while, but the bottom line is F came home on Wednesday, January 21, 2009. YAY!!! He passed his car seat test, and home he came! So everyone is home and good!

My Coumadin levels finally had stabilized to the point that I did not have to go and have it checked weekly. But we still needed to face the final surgery to have the filter removed. That appointment was scheduled for Thursday, February 26, 2009…we will get back to this in a minute…

Meanwhile, the twins had reached their 1 Month Birthday (on February 9th)!!! We have taken the "Blue Chair" photos with each of them, but admittedly, it was WAY easier with E; she was almost 9 pounds at 1 month, and could support herself a little bit. M & F were only 7 pounds on this day, and not very good at supporting much more than their heads. But the pictures have been taken!! We are due to take the 2 Month pictures in a week or so.

We had about 10 days of help from MommaJo, who arrived shortly after Memaw and Pa left. Our family support systems have been AWESOME.

Right after MommaJo arrived, E came down with a virus and missed a week of school. This forced us to 'quarantine' the twins in the master bedroom. MommaJo was basically quarantined with them. She camped out during the day with the twins, feeding and taking care of them, while the hubby dealt with E and I pumped and slept. That was a crazy week!

I'm not long for the had become more of a hindrance than a help. It was taking away time from the twins AND from E AND it was excruciating. I went to my 6 week Post-Op visit and after talking it over with Dr. G. we discovered I have DOUBLE MASTITIS. Well No Wonder I’m in such PAIN!!!! So I’m on big doses of antibiotics and trying to dry them up, and complete the switch from half breast milk and half formula to just formula for the twins….just the first week on antibiotics so far has made such a huge difference.

After MommaJo left, Memaw came back for a week…..she was here the week I was finally diagnosed with the double mastitis, so it was not a fun week for her.

This week Aunt Charlene has been here….and she has been Great! She has 13 grandkids of her own, so she fell into the routine without batting an eye. And granted, this week, I’ve been more able to help out….not as many ouchies on my part….that does help!

So lets get back to the LAST Surgery:
Remember when I said my coumadin levels were great? Well, I had to come off of it in preparation for the surgery. So I’m back on the Louvenox shots again… (sigh) After the surgery, I will ramp back up on the coumadin, and the shots will go away again… on with the story…

We were told that the Interventional Radiology Nurses would call to ‘fill us in on the details’ on Wednesday, the day before the surgery. When they did not, we did not think too much about it, because we had already been through this once, so we kinda knew what we were in for…..or so we thought.

We showed up at 7am, and from 7am until 9am, things were going very smoothly. We were passed off from one Nurse and one department to the next waiting Nurse in the next department. All the paperwork went smoothly, and when they called us to go back we were like “hey, this is going to be smooth and quick….we will be home before lunch!”

So I dropped off the hubby in the waiting room and they wheeled me back. Dr. Clare came in to talk to me…..everyone asked about the babies….everyone was all smiles, this is going to be easy, type attitudes…..I was very relaxed. She mentioned the risks, both high risks and low risks……I joked with her “hey, remember, I’m Special Ed. Be prepared for ANYTHING!” We both laughed…..should have known better….

Continuing, she told me they would be going in through my neck again, as opposed to my leg, due to the positioning of the filter….basically, you have to get it out the same direction you put it in……she also told me I would be getting the FULL dose of Happy Drugs this time! YAY ME!!! I let her know that I had mastitis and was wearing an ace bandage around my chest, that I really did not want to take off…she said no problem, let’s go.

They remembered about the claustrophobia, so that was not a problem. I got my first dose of happy drugs and was listening to the doctors….everything started out so nice….

Then I started hearing them say things like ‘the filter is tilted……do you have it?.....can you get the cone over it?.....’ Then there was more pressing on my neck……OW!! Then they would give me more happy drugs…..then Dr. Clare started making requests for additional staff to be on hand….she was covering her bets…..more struggling to retrieve the filter…..more pressing…..more OW…..more drugs……then all of a sudden, I heard one of the doctors say ‘shit’ under their breath……the room went completely silent for about 10 seconds……then I was saying OW, OW, OW!!!! She was yelling at me, ‘Where??? Where is the pain?’ I was yelling in my head, “I’m having a heart attack”….but finally I managed to say out loud, “it feels like I’m having really bad indigestion”….

Next thing I knew, I had another line put into my neck, a line put into my leg, and what seemed like ‘new’ doctor voices in the room……I clearly heard Dr. Clare tell the nurses to draw blood for cross and type and called for a Cardiac Thoracic Surgeon, and she kept saying ‘Is Thoracic here?’

Then someone was saying, “What is that? What is in my field? Are those clips? Get those clips off her bandage, they are blocking my sight!” So then the nurses were wrestling with my ace bandage trying to pull it off or down or something….I’m trying to help, but they are like “Don’t Move!” They got the clips off…..I got more drugs….

So now I’m thinking……”hhmmmm…..Am I fixing to die? I can’t Die!!! I have Twins that need me! I have E that needs me! I have the hubby that needs me! I can’t die! I can’t die!” Then I had what I call my “Saving Private Ryan Moment”: I started whimpering on the table, “momma…..momma…..” {reminded me of the scene on the beach in the beginning of that movie when the solders would call out for their mothers]…..Then I just started praying as hard as I could……

The next thing, Dr. Clare is saying “check it! Check it! Do you see 6 legs? Are all 6 legs there? Are you positive?” Then it seemed like they were done and I was being wheeled into recovery.

Recovery….that was totally weird too…..I’m awake, but loopy…I’ve been awake but loopy this whole time…they tell me to keep my leg straight and my neck still……I have catheters in both…..the nurse removes these in recovery, which turn out to be HUGE…..not exactly what I wanted to see being pulled out of my leg…..I saw the first 6 inches of the tube come out of my leg and when she went to pull again, I closed my eyes. Then she moved up to my neck…..she pulled one out, I started to move, she said “wait” and then pulled out the other…..I got bandaged up and told not to move my leg or neck for a while.

Meanwhile, the doctors have been popping out during all of this, letting the hubby know what is going on.

Bottom Line:

• The filter had tilted, as is typical with filters placed in pregnant women. The blood flow changes after birth, so this effects the placement.

• They tried to get it and fish it out, but when they were passing my heart, they lost their ‘grip’ on the filter, and it got sucked into my heart.

• It became what Dr. Clare described to me as a “video game”….the filter is bouncing around in the first chamber of my heart and three different doctors are in there trying to catch it, with the Thoracic Surgeon standing behind them, ready to Crack my chest if it got away from the first chamber and into the second ….the second chamber would have sent it to my lungs….(this is the part where I said I am feeling ‘really bad indigestion’). When she was telling me about this part, I’m imagining people running around with nets trying to catch a butterfly…..good analogy….For those of you interested, here is a link to a visual of the Heart

• They caught it, got it out, checked to make sure nothing had ‘broken off of it’ inside me, and sent me on to recovery.

• I ended up with 7 doctors and one Surgeon in the room with me…..basically ALL the doctors from the Day Surgery Staff…..I put everyone behind schedule for the day…..I did not go to recovery until Noon. The hubby was in the waiting room with another guy, who kept calling the staff and going “they STILL have not started?” After the last update to the hubby, they guy looked at him and said, “I guess they are all in with your wife”

Yep! That’s me! High Maintenance! Special Ed!!


We had to stay in the hospital for about 4-6 hours, to make sure the leg and neck entry points stayed closed. Then they let us go home.

Our friends the Carzola’s had picked up E the day before for a sleepover, so Aunt Charlene would only have the twins to deal with on Thursday. And after the scare, the hubby asked them to keep her again. We will get her today, Friday, after school…..’cuz I -need- to see her! :o)

As for me, I got to sleep for about 12 hours when we got home….got up and pumped, ate a little something, and went back to sleep for 3 more hours…..I feel SO much better than I did.

The hubby and Aunt Charlene took over the feedings for last night, but I’m hopeful to be able to pitch in today and tonight.

I gotta say, now that this is O.V.E.R., I am very grateful to know that I will not EVER be doing this again! HA!!! I believe God is telling me ‘Be grateful for your kids! Be grateful for your spouse! Be grateful for you life!!’

So I am telling all of you to do the same!

Here is hoping you are well rested and happy!

Love to all,