Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Staples Out

Dr. Haynes removed Aerin's staples and the top layer of stitches in his office yesterday. They had to stay in an additional week because the skin was so tight. The tightness was to be expected - Dr. Pozez only had a limited amount of skin to work with. It's really a testament to her monumental skill that she was able to close the wound without a graft. Both Dr. Oiticica and Dr. Haynes told me that they were astonished that she managed it. We're thrilled, particularly because a graft would have been quite painful and taken much longer to heal. It also would have left more scarring.

The wound is pretty gruesome. It's not like a cut or a surgical incision - it's much bigger and nowhere near as straight. It is, however, much straighter than I ever thought it could be. There's some swelling and separating, which is to be expected. New skin will grow to cover the separation. We're keeping it clean and bandaged. Thankfully, I have a lot of experience with wound care from when the hemangioma was severely ulcerated. Otherwise, we would have had to go into the office every day for dressing change. Our routine until the next visit to Dr. Haynes it to clean it with soap and warm water every day, cover it with Neosporin, and bandage it.

Aerin is not in any pain. It's hard to believe, especially when you look at the wound. She's using the arm normally and she's her usual exuberant self. We did have two incidents when she had just come home - she woke up screaming in pain. We think she probably rolled over on the arm in her sleep. We gave her Motrin and Pedialyte and she was fine within minutes.

I'll write a full account of the surgery in the next week or so. Aerin and I came home from the hospital with colds and we're both just recovering now. Here is a link to a picture of the wound 5 days post-surgery. It is very graphic and icky, so please don't look at it if you have a weak stomach. Seriously. I cannot emphasize enough how gross it is. Okay, here goes: the picture.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Home Safe

After a very, very long day and night, the entire Marx Family is home! Aerin is doing unbelievably well - you'd never know she had major surgery 2 days ago. We trying, with limited success, to keep her as still as we can.

Here are some pictures from the surgery:

This is Aerin in the PACU (Recovery). We were the only parents allowed in.

Here are Aerin and Momma in Aerin's station in the step-down unit.

Here are Aerin and Momma asleep in the crib. It was even less comfortable than it looks for Momma.

Here is the immobilizer that Nurse Joanna and I had to rig to keep Aerin from moving her arm. She still managed to pull 2 stitches, which Dr. O fixed before she was discharged.

I'll try to write a more detailed post in the next few days. Aerin is getting her staples out on Tuesday and her stitches out in 2 weeks.

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Incredible Symmetrical Baby

The surgery had barely started before it was over, and it went better than anyone had anticipated. No skin graft. No blood transfusion. She's likely to be discharged this weekend.

She spent about an hour in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) before moving up to the PCU (i.e., "Step-down" nursery), where she's now resting and watching Peep on DVD. Her momma is holding her, which is why I have the honor of writing this post.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Surgery Tomorrow

As of right now, Aerin's surgery is on for tomorrow. She's first on the schedule, which is great. Andrew's blood is still good and made it to the hospital. We plan to spend a quiet day together.

It's raining, so that should put out any more hospital fires.

Our family has received much loving support, for which we are very grateful. Aerin will be at:

Main Hospital - 7th Floor
Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center
1250 E. Marshall Street
Richmond, VA 23298
(804) 828-9602