Friday, March 5, 2010

Surgery Success!

Just in from outside, waiting in the pre-operation waiting room. Brynn likes to play with fingers:

Yep, lungs check out:
Dad--are you sure you washed your hands today?
With Brynn's tumultuous history, her lungs don't always jump back to normal after anesthesia. But all her stats were great and she didn't have to stay on any monitors for long. (Hooray!) Here she is still waking up from anesthesia:

The hospital was very full and they had a lot of trouble finding a room for us to stay overnight, so Mommy got to comfort Brynn in the wake-up room, where most parents aren't allowed to go. Here Brynn is still a little groggy:
When they finally found a room for us--a tiny space in the same room as two other surgery patients and their families--we headed over there. Mommy carried Brynn to the room instead of leaving her in the rolling bed:
Between Brynn's first halloween costume and this get-up, she's going to have major flashbacks every time we watch Star Wars and she sees Princess Leia:

Daddy played with Brynn and one of her favorite toys--she was pretty much back to normal already!
They finally found a bed for us, which Mommy and Brynn got to share all night and Daddy got to sleep in a chair. Brynn was really mad at her IV, and the fact that she couldn't turn her head with those huge bulbs of gauze, but she got a few winks of sleep when mom positioned her just right. Here you can see that Brynn LOVES tubes, and there is no time to think about IVs or head bandages when tubes are in sight:
We were discharged from the hospital the next morning at about 8 AM. Then once we had gone home and waited 24 hours post-surgery, we were allowed to remove the bandages:

There they are--just tiny little incisions just behind the ear. This procedure has come a LONG way in recent years and we were lucky to have a very good doctor. Visit this site to see how huge the scars used to be. Wow. We are glad Brynn doesn't have to recover from that much tissue trauma:
That same night, even after the pain killers wore off, she was sleeping on her fresh wound just like nothing happened. It's amazing how quickly kids bounce back. Here she is, sleeping on her ear's stitches during her nap today:

Aside from the swelling, you'd never know she just had two cochlear implants put in. She is the same little Brynn we know and love:

We are so grateful this surgery is over with. The best news is that they can do a test in the surgery room which essentially measures brainwaves in response to sound. The test isn't 100% reliable because if a child shows no response, it doesn't necessarily mean he or she won't be able to hear with the CI. But if you get a positive response, then it is certain that the child will be able to hear with the CI technology. In Brynn's case, the audiologist tested each one of the 44 electrodes (22 on each ear) and Brynn's brain responded to ALL 44. The CI works! The nerves work! She will be able to hear! What a relief, especially since the CI is intended to replace a non-functioning cochlea, but will not help if a child has a non-functioning auditory nerve. Brynn showed evidence of a non-functioning auditory nerve in all her early testing, so we were really taking a slight gamble here that the CI would even work at all. What a relief to know that it will work for her!

In two weeks, we'll be able to put the outer equipment on--one ear to start with and then add the other ear later. We'll keep you posted!

Love you all,


Skip, Stephanie, Emerald, Calvin, and Zachary said...

I had tears running down my face reading this. What fabulous news for you guys!!!!!!! I am so happy this is behind you, and that is was a success. She is such a fighter, and such a beautiful little girl. I can't believe she is already back to her same old cute self after such a surgery! Thank you technology!!!! Congratulations!!!!!!!

Angela Hill said...

yay!!!! so glad everything went well. you have been in my thoughts and I have anxiously been awaiting news.

Marie said...

Hooray!!! I'm so glad the surgery went well. You have a gift for making me cry... but congratulations on a successful surgery!

TiAnn said...

Fantastic news about the C.I. testing positively! So glad that all went well and that she's bouncing back so quickly. What a wonderful blessing. She is so precious & adorable. :)

AnnaW said...

I am so excited for your family, especially Brynn!!! It almost sounds to easy (though I know it wasn't) that all the sudden (which I also know it wasn't) she can hear. when you are up for it, i'd love to hear more about what happens from here. Is her hearing at the same level as people that didn't have hearing problems?

Natalie said...

Anna, the short answer to your question about hearing level is "NO," she will not have "normal" hearing. The long answer can be found on this post:

From here, Brynn's "hearing age" is considered zero--just like she were born the day she gets the implant. She will have to develop rapidly to catch up to hearing peers, which means I'll have to talk like crazy, narrating everything, until she has heard as many words as a newborn infant would have heard by this point. Her hearing development will develop much like a hearing child's speech and vocab develops. I'll probably write a post about it soon.

The Lingo Family said...

So glad everything went so well. Brynn is absolutely adorable and I LOVE her sweet smile!

Kate said...

yay! So glad this trip to the hospital was a short one.

Cori Henderson said...

That is so amazing Natalie! I am so happy that everything went well with the surgery! She is seriously adorable!

Erica said...

What a wonderful, wonderful miracle! I am so grateful and so happy for you guys.

The Ballards said...

Your faith is courageous :) We hope and pray that your Brynn will grow strong. We love your blog stories.

The Ballards

Audrey said...

I'm so glad to to know that everything went so well! You guys are often in my thoughts!