Update 7.1
 
Monday, June 18, 2007
 
We just found out today that Bailey will have to go back in to the hospital in July for her follow up scope for her surgery from last year.  I know that it is just a follow-up to make sure that everything is progressing as planned but I can't help but have a tremendous amount of anxiety about her returning to the hospital.
 
Bailey has also needed a surgery on her third toe of each foot for a problem called hammer toes along with the tendon under the toe being too tight.  Hammer toe is where the pad underneath the toe is larger than normal and causes the toe to lean to the side.  The tendon that is under her toe is too short and this causes her toe to curl down so that the tip of the toe is pointed downward.  Because the tip of the toe is not as thick as the pad (bottom) the tips of Bailey's third toes have had open wounds for almost a year now.
 
We are hoping that both surgeries can be done at the same time to help limit the amount of trauma that Bailey will have to go through and to limit the amount of risk.  Because of the reconstructive surgery done last year Bailey's ENT is concern with the idea of someone other than him intubating her.  Bailey would have to be intubated for the surgery on her toes.  The scope date is tentatively scheduled for late July.
 
 
 
Update 7.2
 
Tuesday, June 26, 2007

We found out today that Bailey will have both surgeries done on July 10th at Primary Children's Medical Center.  I am glad that both surgeries will be done on the same day.  I will pray for good news from the scope and good results from the toe surgery.

I know these surgeries are nothing compared to last year so I will try and let that comfort me.  However, there is still a part of me that thinks that they will scope Bailey and it will look bad forcing them to do anther surgery similar to last year's.  The more I worry the more I seem to hear wheezing from Bailey again.  Every breath she takes sounds more and more like her pre-surgery breathing form last year.  I hope it is my imagination.

 

Update 7.3
 
Monday, July  10, 2007
(Click here to go to Father's thoughts)
 
Weight: 26.75 lbs

Surgery days at PCMC are scheduled in advance.  Surgery times are not.  The hospital calls you the day before and tells you the time the surgery will take place.  We were a little shocked yesterday when they called and told us that the surgery would not be until 3:00 PM (Bailey wasn't allowed to eat or drink anything since going to bed last night).  We were also a little miffed that the hospital asked for us to pay for part of the surgery in advance.  Last year we paid $400 in advance and then we were over billed by the hospital and had to wait almost 4 months for the hospital to return our $400. (NOTE TO ALL READERS: do not ever pay for any medical treatment in advance).  We politely declined to pay in advance.

I went into the office this morning for a few hours mostly to keep my mind off the surgery.  We arrived at the hospital at 1:30 PM and checked in.  The hospital felt familiar but it wasn't a comfortable familiar.  We got all ready for surgery and were waiting in the pre-op waiting room by 2:30 PM when they told us they were running about an hour behind.  No big deal.  That meant that we only had to wait another hour and a half until surgery (Stacey and I hadn't eaten for a while either because we didn't want to eat in front of Bailey).  4:00 PM came and went and before we knew it we were in the waiting room all by ourselves.  One of the surgeons had a more difficult surgery than anticipated and it was taking a long time.  As the parents of a child who was about to have surgery and not wanting the surgeons to ever do a rush job on our own daughter, we waited patiently.  The staff was helpful but it was not easy on Bailey.

At 5:30 PM Bailey fell asleep on Stacey's lap and the podiatrist came out to talk to us.  Since Bailey said she was going to be brave about "the mask" (that puts her to sleep) and because she was half asleep when we handed her off to the hospital staff, we decided not to give Bailey any medicine to help keep her calm in the O.R. before getting "the mask."  At 6:30 PM, 3 1/2 hours after our initial surgery time,  we handed Bailey off and went to wait in the parents waiting room.  About 10 minutes later one of the hospital staff who had been really helpful keeping Bailey entertained during her long pre-op wait came out to tell us some bad news.  The look on her face spoke volumes and my heart sank.  The news wasn't as bad as I feared but it was sad.  She told us that Bailey fought hard and cried a lot when it was time to get "the mask."  She told us she would send the mask home with us so that we could talk to Bailey about what happened and explain to her why all those people had to hold her down.

By 7:00 PM I went down to get some dinner for Stacey and me.  When I came back up the surgeon who did the scope had already come and gone.  Stacey shared the good news with me.  They were able to easily get a 3.5 mm diameter tube down Bailey's airway and they were able to squeeze a 4.0 mm diameter tube in as well.  This shows that Bailey's airway is growing again.  At her September 8, 2006 check up they were only able to put a 3.5 mm tube down Bailey's airway.  Now they can put a 4.0 mm.  The doctor said we wouldn't need to come back for two years.  This was a big relief.

At about 7:45 PM the surgery was done and the podiatrist came out to talk to us.  He said all went very well and that he put two stitches in each toe to keep the wound from opening. Stacey got to go back to see Bailey in post-op.  I was able to join about 20 minutes later.  Bailey woke up and was very hungry.  She ate two cups of Jell-O (inhaling the first cup) drank a ton of water and Juice and downed a cup of ice cream.

We left the hospital and were home late.  Despite the long day it was really good to have Bailey home with good news about her airway and about her toes.  Maybe next year can be a surgery free year at the Strong household. We will pray for the best.

Here are three recent pictures of Bailey (4.5 years old) just for fun (and because I am a proud father).

... and one of Bailey's 2.25 year old brother Hayden because I know someday he will ask why he doesn't have any pictures on the internet (and because I am a proud father).