Not much sleep was had last night. Reliving the past 24 hours and hoping that I was in a nightmare.
This morning we prepared Cydney for a Pre-Op MRI. We walked down with her to give hugs and kisses before the anesthesiologist gave her a sedative and wheeled her back. I could tell Cydney was nervous. We had decided not to tell Cydney about surgery, as to not stress her out. Reminding her to brave and strong!
This was the longest day, the MRI began at 7:30am and surgery was said to begin at 9am. We were told we would be updated each hour with progress. We began pacing the hospital from one end to the other. Come 10:00:05 there was no phone call, and the anxiety set in. I kept telling myself "no news is good news"! The same thing I tell myself with Jared is deployed and I haven't talked to him in a few days or haven't heard from him when I think I should have. Soon the phone rang and the update went something like this. "She is doing well, the doctors have now gotten into the brain area. Will call back in an hour with another update." So back to pacing we went. During this time we had some friends show up that we had been stationed in Misawa Japan with. This was a welcome distraction to help pass the time. Updates came each hour, sounding much the same. "She is doing well, tumor is tougher than previously thought. Will call back in an hour with another update". Lots of walking the hospital end to end.
Jared took time to go get his parents at the airport as they got on a flight as soon as they could. Once the arrived at the hospital we walked them up to Cydney's room and waited for more updates. Hour after hour the updates came. Around 5pm the update was, "Doctors are almost done, should be ready to close up soon." Maybe 10 minutes later a call came "there had been a lot of bleeding from the brain, the doctor would like to talk with you, can you meet us on the 4th floor?" Once again, the knot in the stomach came back, and we jumped on the elevator to the 4th floor. Were going to have to discuss end of life decisions? I was scared! We sat in a waiting area for a minute or so, before being escorted to a consultation room. There we waited for what seemed like forever! Waiting for the doctor to come in felt as if time stood still. Once she came in she began to tell us that you brain was doing fine and then became "angry" there was a lot of bleeding from the left side and they needed to stop with the tumor resection and find the source of the bleeding. We signed a consent to go forward with the procedure and were sent on our way to wait some more.
Updates did not come as often now and time went slower than ever. Around 8pm we were told she was out of surgery, they had cut a bone flap on her left side to access the bleeding and replaced it with titanium plates and screws. She would be on a ventilator and swollen. The image I had in my mind of her was not pretty. I felt bad or her, for her to have to go through all of this and to be in pain. We returned to the PICU and learned they had moved her to a room across the hall, due to the number of machines she would now need. They began rolling in the respiratory machines, an IV tower, heart monitor, EEG machine. It took the medical team over an hour to get Cydney settled and all hooked up to her machines. During this time we talked with the neurologist about what had happened. She believed that a device they use to keep the head stable in surgery had caused a fracture in the skull at the sight the pin is placed. That in turn caused the bleeding on her left side of the brain. The left side of her skull was removed in order to get to the bleeding sight. Once the bleeding was controlled they decided to stop and give Cydney time to recover.
After several minutes the anesthesiologist came to talk to us and in more detail of what happened told us that Cydney had required 14 units of blood in the OR. That is her entire blood capacity! She would require one more over night as well. We were told she remained stable during the entire time and everyone worked very hard to keep her here. It took a moment for all that to sink in.
We walked back to the room and saw our baby girl all swollen and hooked up to the multiple machines. I held on to her hand, gave it a kiss and stood there staring at her. She did not look like herself, eyes swollen shut as if she had been in a boxing match. Arms and legs swollen, a large bruise on her right ankle from an IV, and looked so small in that moment. My heart broke for her and I would have traded her places in a heartbeat.
That night very little sleep was had, with all the beeping of machines and concern of how she was doing it was hard to settle and fall asleep. The nurse that night stood watch all night, keeping fluids, meds and steroids going. She was very attentive and caring towards Cydney.