SAL-VA-TION: by grace

E-LEV-EN: children from 1984 to 2006

HOME-SCHOOL-ING: since 1990

DOWN-SYN-DROME: susie and gabe

GRAND-CHILD-REN: since 2010

FAITH-FUL-NESS: my steadfast rock, my biggest supporter, my leader, my friend, my love, my husband

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Day Three

Here, finally, are the pictures I promised. Gabe is doing unbelievably, remarkably, asontishingly (insert your favorite adverb) well. If there had room on the ultrasound schedule this morning we would probably be heading home right now! Follow the picture story and I'll give you the run down.

In the hotel room before surgery and after his bath. Gabe loved sitting propped in bed with the pillows by Daddy.

Just an hour before surgery on Thursday an unsuspecting Gabe thoroughly enjoyed the playroom.

Here he is in his room at 2 PM following the open heart surgery. His connections include: a catheter, a chest drainage tube, two pace leads (in case his heart needed pacemaker/type help--it didn't), an IV line in each ankle, an arterial line in one wrist, two IV lines in the other wrist, three lines in his neck, a brain oxygen sensor, a kidney oxygen sensor, an overall blood oxygen sensor, and I think that's all. The functions of the lines included administering fluids, antibiotics, pain medications and detecting pulse, temperature, arterial blood pressure, venous blood pressure, and respiratory rate.

Believe it or not, these pictures were taken just 28 hours later, on Friday evening. The only attachments remaining here are the two pace leads and an IV lead in his left ankle!! Gabe spent Friday evening playing in the playroom, reading books and playing toys and cars in our room, and watching the Disney and Nick channels. He especially enjoyed Dora the Explorer, Diego, and High School Musical. In between times he was up in the bed, down on the floor, over on the couch, up in the bed, down on the floor, playing with the foot controlled sink, up in the bed, down on the floor, up on the couch....get the picture?

Hanging out with Papa and Grandma--his activity level made Grandma VERY nervous!

Gabers finally conked out at about 9:15 during one of his many trips to the couch to chill with Keith. We gave him about ten minutes to make sure he was out and transferred him to the bed. Afraid he would wake up and make an escape, I slept with him. He woke up once at about 12 and I did, indeed, prevent him from climbing over the edge (they're bringing in a crib today for our overactive guy). Other than that, Gabe slept soundly and didn't even wake up for his blood draw at 4 (really? they're in the rooms drawing blood at 4 am?!! wow.). Because his lines were out they had to poke him for the blood and all he did was wince for a few seconds. At 5 he was up for good and watched the Disney cartoons while I slept a little longer.

So far this morning Gabe's played in the playroom, has forcefully let everyone know he does NOT appreciate their presence or interference in his life, had a sponge bath, and ate a big breakfast. I left him on Keith's lap watching golf. That should put him to sleep.

The final bit of news is that he is scheduled tomorrow for an early morning sedated echo to recheck his heart. At that time they'll remove those chest wires and after he wakes up and eats breakfast we'll be discharged. The only "complication" we're looking at is a small amount of congestion in one lung. When the doctors did their rounds one was concerned about the fluid and pushed for doing the echo tomorrow (another plan was to do it this afternoon and send us home today) to give them time to recheck the lungs. Our surgeon told Keith that under normal conditions no one would be kept for the insignificant amount of fluid they were seeing. However, being less than 48 hours out of open heart surgery and showing every sign of being ready to go home is not considered "normal conditions".

Our next hurdle will be keeping Mr. Gabe from harming himself and keeping everyone from picking him up under his arms. He technically has a "broken" sternum and, well, all of the sensitivities that come with opening your chest cavity, stopping your heart, cutting it open, and sewing a patch into it! I plan to buy four or five t-shirts and fabric paint "Don't pick me up" on the front and back to remind us all that we do need to be careful with him.

We are thanking God for His goodness that is packed down and overflowing in ways greater than we could have imagined. We also thank all of you who have prayed for Gabe with us these past few days and weeks and for including us in the prayer lists of your family and church groups. We know that God's people have played a large part in this remarkable outcome for Gabe.


Keelie said...

Praising God!! Thank you so much for taking time to post and especially the pics!!! He's such a doll! I'm all teary-eyed!

Love you guys!

Marcia Wilwerding said...


Again, can't wait to see him! Thanks for the pictures and the post. What a great blessing the internet is. :)

Anonymous said...

Again I say...God is Good. (It was the theme of our parish mission last year... God is Good, all the time. All the time, God is Good.)Amazing to see the before and after pictures and how short (to those of us who didn't have to watch) the down for the count time was. Thanks for keeping us all updated.
Love to you all,

Anonymous said...

I am SO glad to see you little boy doing so good since my little boy is having OHS end of August. This gives me much hope. thanks for posting.

Kari Mitchell said...

That pic of Gabe and Keith is sooo cute AND Gabe looks just like Shaner to me. So adorable! i love you all