It's intense in there. There is so much medical equipment. The beeping from the monitors start to sound rhythmic after a while, and then you don't hear them anymore because your brain tells you it's information you don't need after the 100th time. The nurses here are so much different than they are on the regular pediatrics floor. The pediatric nurses are the friendliest people you'll meet. They use a soft soothing voice when they talk to parents, and they're not afraid to break out the baby talk when they address your child. I like them. The nurses in the Cardiac corner of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit are very business like. They buzz around like bees, everything seems so hurried, I think they must get a caffeine drip before their shift. Their kids are just coming out of surgery and they have a lot that they need to manage for their little patients. It seems that they are very skilled in keeping a mental catalog of every function of the body at any given time and they are quick to react to any need of their patient. I like them too.
Danielle came out of surgery around 7pm last night. The surgeon said the surgery went well. He said the hole in her heart was big, and that there was a 2nd hole in her heart that we had never seen during her echo-cardiograms, an atrial septal defect. It was a small hole and he used a few sutures to close it. Before her surgery, the doctor's had prepared me for her to be sedated through the night while on the ventilator. They said that she would probably stay on the ventilator through the next day. Danielle was breathing almost entirely on her own only a few hours after surgery! I expected that when I saw her after her surgery she would be sleeping peacefully, instead, she's kicking all around and seems agitated by everything she's hooked to. All day I've been questioning the doctors decision to take her off the vent so quickly. There's another patient in the 2nd bed of the Cardiac Corner who came out of surgery this morning. The baby is still sedated. He looks so peaceful resting and I can't help but feel like Danielle deserved to have that time to rest and relax after such an invasive surgery as well. The doctors keep re-assuring me that she's doing great and that coming off the vent so early was a huge success for her. She seems to be much more comfortable as of this afternoon. Apparently managing pain can be like walking on a balance beam. They want to make her comfortable, but they don't want to slow her respiratory rate and risk having to re-intubate her. She took about 10cc's of breast milk this afternoon. It's such a small amount but it made me feel good that mommy was able to do something (ANYTHING) to help her. Let's get some "liquid gold" (I love that the pediatrics people call it that) in to that girl, she could really use those antibodies after being on the heart and lung machine. Her blood seems to be clotting well enough, and she hasn't required any blood transfusions, which is great. I think I heard that they were going to try to move her out of the PICU on to the regular pediatrics floor tonight but that seems so quick. We'll see what happens.
Thank you all for your prayers and well wishes!