Charlotte is drifting off to sleep as I type this, two hours past her bedtime, one hour past her chest xray, and about three hours after a (very) late breakfast.
I think if she were awake, she would tell you that the worst part of the day was not being able to eat for 25 hours. Second worst, being forced to lie on her back for six hours post-procedure, even if she got watch a “Cute-a-thon” on Animal Planet.
Eventually the serious stuff started. Vitals were taken. Charlotte weighs 26.6 kg. Then she had her blood taken. I had conveniently forgotten to tell her that would happen (after the histrionics over no solid food after midnight, I wasn’t taking any chances, folks!). She fussed for a moment, then considered and said, “Will they take more than at the doctor’s office?” It took me a minute to remember that at her 6 year old check up she’d had quite a blood draw. “No,” I said, “a lot less.” Boy, am I glad I was right.
Next the “sleep doctor,” Dr. Dsida came in and answered all of Charlotte’s questions about anesthesia. Her big one: How long will I be asleep? The answer: Just a bit longer than the procedure. Dr. Dsida explained that an anesthesiologist would remain in the room the whole time to make sure she stayed asleep the whole time. He let her choose a flavor for the gas mask (cherry) and assured her that the IV would be inserted after she was asleep.
Next, Dr. Jeffrey Gossett, the interventionist responsible for the procedure came in. Boy, was he surprised by her 13+ list of questions. What I liked best was that Dr. Gossett started his answers be explaining that he wouldn’t know all the answers, not until he was doing the procedure. He showed Charlotte his “bag of tricks” because a lot of her questions were around the instruments that he would use to take his measurements and do his magic. He deftly avoided the question about “how will you make the cut in my leg.”
And, off she went with Dr. Rivera, bravely kissing us good bye at the door.
Phil and I sought a comfortable waiting room and settled in. After about two hours we got the call you already know about, from Jean, informing us that Dr. Gossett had decided to go ahead with a balloon procedure (which he does only after assuring that the surgeon, Dr. Backer, is in the building and not in a tricky part of another surgery just in case of complications).
We waited another hour and there was Dr. Gossett striding across the waiting room to see us. We had settled in on the sixth floor in the surgical waiting room–warmer, no kids, and more comfortable–and he’d never been there! He took us to a consultation room where he walked us through the procedure (more on that tomorrow), and assured us that he was happy with the results.
We found Charlotte groggy, but awake on the 15th floor, the Regenstein Cardiac Care Unit, one of the marvels of the new Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital. (More about that later, too.)
She watched t.v. and counted the minutes until she could sit up and eat.
Then, after a chest x-ray, she grabbed that trusty (and filthy) bear–who has been with her all day, even in the catheter lab–and fell into a deep sleep.
- Cardiac Cath Lab, or The Importance of Philanthropy Or, where we’ve seen Dr. Gossett before in Charlotte’s Journey Home