We arrived at the hospital at seven in the morning yesterday to check in for surgery. After a quick security check downstairs, we proceeded to the surgery center and waited to be called back. After just a few minutes, we were called back to begin preparing for surgery.
Before Nataleigh started changing, her doctor spoke with us and showed her most recent x-rays. It was pretty amazing to see how much her curvature had continued to increase. Nataleigh’s upper spine measured 52 degrees and the lower measured 57. Her doctor said the surgery was very necessary. I also asked him if they had determined how many vertebra would be fused. We were informed he would fuse from T3 to L4.
After our talk with the doctor, Nataleigh had to start changing. Because of the risk of infection, she had to wipe down with antibacterial wipes from head to toe before putting on her gown. After dressing, it was time for the first IV.
The IV process went relatively well. Only a little assistance was needed from the anesthesiologist and they got her squared away. She was very brave! In the end, she commented that really wasn’t all that bad. After all the prep, we hung out with Nat until it was time for her to go back. While waiting, she asked a lot of questions about how many people would be working on her. We never got a straight answer, but we were told there was a pretty large team. I must say when she rolled out there were quite a few nurses waiting for her.
Surgery lasted about six hours. The hospital used an app to keep us updated so we received updates almost every 30 minutes. That was nice to see an update that way even though the messages looked pre-generated. The wait was not too terribly bad. However, once we were notified she was in PICU, it took them a while to come get us and we started to get pretty ancy about seeing her.
Once we arrived in the PICU, we saw her doctor briefly and he said everything went great. We were taken back to see her and she was awake. The first thing I noticed was her moving her feet and legs. That was so reassuring. Nataleigh still had her sense of humor even though you could tell she was pretty well medicated.
Surgery had come to an end. We had seen she had movement in her legs and knew she was feeling relatively well considering the surgery she had just had. Now it’s time to start recovery. Discharge from the hospital is more than likely four or five days away.