Monday, July 18, 2005

Surgery Went Incredibly Well

The day started out at 3:00 a.m. this morning when Bailey and I finally fell asleep. With a whole 2 1/2 hours of sleep, I woke up at 5:30 and got ready for the day. Another surgery day. Couldn't stop thinking about what the day might bring. I woke Bailey up at 6:30 and before she even opened her eyes, she said, "I don't want to go to surgery." She was pretty scared this morning. Luckily, they took her in at 7:00 so we didn't have to wait around too long. They let one of her night nurses, Jenny, scrub up and go back there with her until they got her to sleep. That helped her out quite a bit.

[Well, if I don't speed up a bit, I'll be here for a while.]

They got her to sleep and did lots of echos and various tests continuing to check on the function of her heart to make sure they were making the right decision by removing the Berlin Heart. It wasn't until about 1:00 this afternoon that they decided to go ahead and take it out. That was the longest morning. Then, not too long after that, they said she was off the by-pass and doing great. We got to talk to Dr. T about 4:00. He was very pleased. He said her "numbers" were better today than they were even at last week's cath. She's got a little leak in her mitral (sp?) valve that they thought they might try to repair while they were in their, but Dr. T told us after surgery that the left side of her heart is working so well that there was nothing that the repaired mitral valve would improve, so they decided not to do anything with it. And, that can be controlled - they don't seem to be worried about that at all. Dr. T said there was a dramatic improvement in the function of her heart, so much so that he felt good in their decision to remove the device. I really haven't seen him this happy outside of a water fight! He really had nothing negative to say. (And the documentary team who was filming the surgery let us in on some things they heard in surgery regarding how happy everyone was with everything.)

So, we finally got to see her about 6:00 in ICU. I hadn't even walked in the room yet (without gloves and mask, I might add) and she looked over at me and waved. That was shocking. They were already talking about taking the breathing tube out - and that kind of scared me since coming off the ventilator back in early February was quite an ordeal. So, after holding her hand a while, I went down to get some dinner, thinking that maybe they'd have the tube out by the time I got back and I wouldn't have to be there for it this time. Well, Scott came running through the cafeteria and said, "They're ready to take the tube out but she won't let them without you there, so you gotta get up there - they're all waiting on you." Well, that blew my plan, but I managed to get up there and ran into Dr. T right outside her room. I whispered to him that I didn't think I wanted to be in there for this and he said, "No, it'll be all right." Sometimes, that's all you need to hear. Bailey and I both braved through it and it went fast and easy. I got to finish my dinner, and came back to word that we might be going back to the Heart Center tomorrow, since she's doing so well. She was already giving Dr. T a little grief. It's good to see her spuny already! She's not in any pain, except for her sore throat, and is in very good spirits. She looked at me and said, "I'm so happy," as her eyes rolled shut again. One of her biggest worries with this surgery is getting her chest (drainage) tubes pulled out (in a few days). After she saw them a little bit ago, she said, "I was worried about getting my chest tubes out, but I was looking at them, and they're nothin'!" I suppose they do look like nothin' compared to the Berlin Heart canulas. There are just two little square gauze patches on her belly where the canulas used to enter her body. The reporting nurse told us during surgery that she was unhooked from the Berlin Heart and I said, "You mean it's further than 6 feet away from her?" She said, "Yes, it's in another room."

I just can't explain the craziness that today has been. Being so excited about the possibility of her heart healing and going home soon, but at the same time, still not knowing for several hours if it would actually happen or not. But they didn't change their minds. They took it out! And she's doing incredibly well! Dr. T passed me outside her room in ICU a few minutes ago and he simply looked at me with a smile and said, "Who'da thought?"

Another incredible day. Another crazy incredible day. Lots of tears, lots of fear, lots of family, lots of friends, lots of sleepless hours, lots of ecstatic joy. I think we can finally let ourselves be completely and fully happy.

We don't know what the future holds. We're hoping (along with the doctors) that this will have been her last surgery she'll ever need. It's possible she'll still need a transplant at some point in the future - whether it be 6 months, 2 years, 10 years, etc. - but for now, we're going to enjoy it and live life to the full!

I love you all, and thank you for hanging in there with us.



Blogger Rev. Evans said...

Bailey and Angie,
Hurrah!!!!!!!!! Fantastic!!!!!!! We hold you in our prayers at First Christian Shelbyville. We can't wait to see you all at church!!! All our love!
Rev. David

9:07 PM  
Blogger Janet Shelton said...

Fantastic new!!! I am so glad that Bailey has some spunk already. It is just so wonderful. I am smiling with happiness for you all : )

9:13 PM  
Blogger Lori said...

What wonderful news to hear the surgery went so well. Bailey you are incredible.
Thinking of you with love and prayers.

9:45 PM  
Blogger Aunt Debi said...

Bailey, I told you this morning when I saw you at 5:45 am it was going to be a great day and it was. It always makes me very happy when I am right. We love you so much. Ryann was doing flips when she found out,she is as nutty as you are. See you soon!
Angie & Tom, Scott & Nancy, I know as parent I would do anything for my children, but you all have such special gifts that you have continued to give, 24/7, for many months, and many years and Bailey is extermely fortunate to have each and every one of you in her life. As I said to Vickie this morning, breathe and smile!
See you soon.

10:11 PM  
Blogger AuntieJean said...

You have all been in my thoughts and prayers all day. I called Phyllis, but when she didn't answer, I thought they were at the hospital. I checked the web a couple of times today, waiting to hear the GOOD NEWS. I am ready to go to bed (11:15 PM) and I cheked again and now I can sleep. May God continue to watch over all of you. Good Night, Everyone.

Love Auntie Jean

10:16 PM  
Anonymous Kimberly Utt said...

Way to go BAILEY!

with much rejoicing,
The Utt Family

10:22 PM  
Blogger Scott Needham said...

I've been thinking of you today and knowing that God would take care of you all. Thank YOU Bailey for being so brave and such a role model to us all...

Love you all much!

11:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God is so good, love and prayers. Dane's Gr-grandma amd grandpa Melvin

6:10 AM  
Blogger Jeff, Trisha, Courtney, Kendall & Sammy said...

Yeah Bailey! And Aunt Debi is right: Bailey is incredibly fortunate to have such a loving family. What a great day!!!!!

6:40 AM  
Blogger Aunt Vickie said...

Angie and Bailey,

Wow what a day yesterday was. You know I heard Keith Urban on WFMS on the way to the hospital in the morning and after a great day and a lot of rejoicing about how the surgery went so well, I turned my car on to go home and heard Travis Tritt singing "What a great day to be alive" - that says it all.

It was great to spend time with the family talking about how great God is and even though you know God can do anything, when you actually see it, as Rev. Evans said, "it just blows you out of the water."

I'll see you today sometime. Maybe you'll be in the heart center by the time I get there.

Love you much and continuing to pray, Aunt Vickie

7:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bailey and Angie,
What wonderful news! Bailey, you are just an amazing person.

Like I said before, The Lord has something special in mind for you.
You are going to be a leader.

I will be sad the day WFMS takes your link off their web-site. I would love to follow your recovery.

I will continue to pray for you and your family

Linda Rose

7:05 AM  
Anonymous Kara said...

Congratulations! You guys have been such an inspiration to everyone. I am so happy for you and your family. We will continue to pray for Bailey's health!

Kara, Jami & Kaitlin

7:31 AM  
Anonymous Great Aunt Robin said...

YEAH RAH!!!!!!! Bailey - We can't tell you how happy we are for you!! Grandma Carol kept us posted all day on how things were going. I wish we could have been there with you all to share in the joy. You just want to pinch yourself don't you?? We love you bunches and can't wait to see you.

7:33 AM  
Blogger Nancy DeCamp said...

Woo Hoo!!! I stand totally amazed and in awe of God and his great plan! I am so happy for you all! God's plan and timing is totally cool. Remember how I said a few weeks ago we were adding a room and deck onto the house and that we had to get it done in time to have a party for Bailey's homecoming! Well, it is almost done - and you are almost home - so I say Let The Party Begin!!!!

7:44 AM  
Blogger Indiana Miller Family said...

That's great news Angie and Bailey! Alex and I are very happy for you. Maybe we can visit later this summer!!!

7:46 AM  
Blogger Carmen said...

What a wonderful day! I'm sitting here with goose bumps all over. Thank God and His greatness that things are going so well. You are all so deserving of this joy and we're so blessed to be sharing it with you!
With our love and prayers,

7:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a wonderful day!! We at R&L have followed every move over these past many months and we couldn't be happier. The spirit and courage shown by Bailey and by you, Angie, has been truly inspiring. I know it's always said that people find a way somehow to make it through tough times, but I believe that few have ever done it so well. Good Luck!!

8:55 AM  
Blogger Lara said...

This is just such an amazing, wonderful, miraculous twist to your story! I'm just so happy that you all will be going home soon and Bailey will be getting back to feeling normal. What a day that will be! Hope today is as good of a day as yesterday was!

Love you lots,


9:38 AM  
Anonymous Lynn said...

Bailey, Angie and Scott,
CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I had to wipe the tears away just to write this. I am soooo happy for you guys. I know an incredible weight has been lifted off of all of you (especially Bailey and the 200 pound box). Your whole family is beyond inspirational.

10:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praise God for such fantastic news. I'm so happy for Bailey, Angie and your family. I will continue to pray for you all for continued healing and success and happiness. God Bless you all.

10:42 AM  
Blogger Annette said...

Angie - I just got back from Washington and the first thing I'm doing is catching up on "Bailey news"! I'm reading "backwards".

I've been thinking about you all while I was away, and praying things went well. And they did!!!! Congratulations on your persistence and determination! I admire you all so much! It'll be a great day when Bailey walks out of the hospital to go home! I'm so happy for you!!!!!


11:14 PM  

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