Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Meeting with the Surgeon and Telling the Kids

Today Pat and I went down to Milwaukee to meet with Abby's surgeon - Dr. Woods and it couldn't have gone better!  Every time we talk with someone at Children's Hospital we are amazed and today was no exception.  It truly takes a special person to work in a children's hospital - I think they need to use the slogan "parents first, doctors and nurses second" because that is truly how they act.  They give you all the time you need to answer questions, ease your concerns and just reassure you.

We went armed with literally a 2 page list of questions and when he got done talking to us, he had addressed every question on that list except for the one about whether or not she could wear her own pjs.  And the answer to that question is yes, she can!  Of course she can, they've literally thought of everything! 

He explained the procedure in detail, talked to us about what possible issues they could run into and how they would deal with them and most impressively he allowed us to be involved in deciding what type of incision he would make, he explained the advantages and disadvantages to each and offered what he would do if she were his child, without us even asking. 

We left there feeling really good about everything, knowing that she is in the best care with the most incredible people!  I don't think people realize how lucky we are to have a hospital like that only 2 hours away from us.

After we got home from Logan's soccer game tonight we told both of the kids what was going on.  We told Logan first, explained to him in terms he could understand that Abby has a hole in her heart and they need to fix it so she can continue to grow big and strong.  We told him where he would be during all of this and that he would be able to come and visit his sister.  I have been worrying so much about how he would react and he took it really well, had a few questions but overall seemed to be ok with everything.  Abby, being only 4, doesn't really understand, we just said she has an owie that needs to be fixed and that we're going to a special hospital for just kids and that Mom and Dad will be with her the whole time.  We told her that they need to fix it so that she can keeping dancing, swimming and doing gymnastics and if they didn't do it she would get really tired and not be able to do those things.  She said "and so I can chase Sandy (our neighbors dog, who she dearly loves).  We said they will give her some medicine to make her sleepy so they can fix the owie, she wasn't real thrilled about that and said she doesn't like medicine, but when we told her she could bring Kitty with and that she would be getting lots of presents, the medicine thing didn't seem so bad.  Overall, it went incredibly well, I should have known I was worrying waaaaaaaaayyyyyyy too much about it.

Obviously, we'd prefer not to have to see her go thru this, but we feel some relief after talking to the doctor, he said that if you're going to have a heart defect this is the one to have.  He said they only do about 3 of these procedures a year that are just closures.  But, they do 300+ per year that are closures combined with other issues, so I guess we have to look at it that we're pretty lucky - it could be a whole lot worse!

Hopefully our calmness and positive attitudes towards this remain with us thru Friday!  Good thoughts and prayers, however, are still welcome!