Those days all ran together. She successfully had 2 valves (mitral and tricuspid) replaced with tissue valves. The doctor had told us he would not use mechanical valves, because he didn’t want her to be on blood thinner the rest of her life. Her lungs were those of a 50 year old the doctor told us. She had a temporary pacemaker placed and would have a permanent one soon. I had prayed she would not need the pacemaker, but the electrical nodes of her heart were so damaged, she had little to no conduction on her own without the pacemaker.
The ventilator became an issue also. She had been on it too long. It would begin affecting your throat and vocal cords. They began taking her off the sedation medications the 1st day after surgery (December 16). They took her down to only morphine, and they told me she was going to be in pain. Hard to ever see one of your children in pain. They left her off the meds for 2 hours at a time. Her respiration rate kept rising and she was having way too much trouble. They turned it back on and let her rest. They performed the trach the next afternoon (December 17) and also lessened her medications. By the 6 pm visit, she was somewhat awake and able to move her mouth (a smile maybe?). By the 10 pm visit, she was much more awake and I began trying to explain what was happening and she was so confused. Looking into her beautiful green eyes full of pain and confusion were almost too much to handle. Leaving her like that was heartbreaking. She had come to the hospital for pain meds for her legs and now I would have to explain to my 18 year old everything she had been through.
She was getting tube feedings and had one chest tube left to remove. The kidney function was good, too. God is good all the time. We now had to wait for chest x-rays and blood culture results and hope they came back negative and the antibiotics were working. The permanent pacemaker and wounds on her foot would be the next thing we would battle.