Monday, February 2, 2009

Sinus Surgery

One of the complications with CF is that some patients develop sinus problems. The mucus is so thick that someone like Elizabeth can't clear it out of her sinuses, even with antibiotics. This causes polyps which block her sinus cavities. Her first surgery was July of '07. She was so impacted there wasn't even the smallest air space in her sinuses. The polyps were so bad the bridge of her nose was actually changing shape! The doctor told us that most patients get seen every 6 mos to a year for another surgery. 4 mos after that first one the polyps were almost as bad as the first time, and it had taken 2 years at least for them to get that bad the first time around. We weren't too happy about that as it looked like she'd be going in several times a year for this. There isn't much they can do, just hope that after so many surgeries scar tissue develops making it harder to grow polyps. Anyway, the second surgery was in Dec of '07. So, we made it a little over a year this time around!! We had changed the way we delivered one of her meds (it's inhaled) and that seemed to help keep the polyps at bay for most of last year. Then she started getting the runny nose that wouldn't quit in November last year and we knew it was time again.

Elizabeth's surgery was today and it went well. It's always such a long day up there. She was checked in at 8 am and they pulled her back for surgery by 9:30. This is our third time and I still cannot help the anxiety I feel when we walk her to the operating room doors then have to say goodbye to our baby. I'm a bit of a pessimist (though I'd prefer the term realist) and can't help but think of all the things that can go wrong. I have to force myself not to think of those things or I'll just sit there and bawl. We curled up (the best you can in those chairs) and read our books. We got smart this time and brought something to do :) At noon our doctor came out to tell us she was done and it went well. We waited until 2 before finally making her wake up enough to get her dressed so we could leave. They must have dosed her up good with anesthesia because here it is 4 pm and she is still in bed sleeping it off. Fortunately she seems to heal pretty quick from these operations so I imagine she'll be running around as usual tomorrow. She is supposed to take it easy for a day or two but in the past it's been hard to keep still. I imagine having all that pressure gone just has to feel great!! I look forward to her feeling better because along with the return of her sense of smell comes a return of appetite! Elizabeth eats so much better after her surgeries! Oh and more good news-The doctor told us when she went to get a culture straight from Elizabeth's lungs (through the breathing tube) it was hard to get one, meaning there isn't much mucus in her lungs!! That's what we want to hear :) This is all about keeping her lungs clear and healthy!!

Elizabeth with Fluff before they took her away. She's smiling because Rob just showed her a bag of gummy worms he was holding for her when she got out :)


Rachel said...

What a little trooper! I am glad she is doing so well-- other than the sinus thing. =)

Quawana said...

OH MY GOSH!! We really need to catch up. I knew she was going to have surgery, I just didn't realize it was yesterday. I know what you mean about that walk to the operating room and all those feelings. It is the hardest thing I have ever done, again and again. Sigh.... love ya guys.

Breezy said...

What a brave little girl. I don't know how you go through all of that except that you have no choice. She is so blessed to have such wonderful and loving parents. We'll pray you get at least a whole year before having to do it again. I'm glad it all went well.