Saturday, May 12, 2012

Bump In The Road

We are half way over a speed bump early in Audrey's life.  I am writing this from the neonatal intensive care unit at the children's hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Let me back up a bit and explain how we got here and how we plan to leave here.  An important note for reading further, however, is that the photographs below are a little bit intense.

Ever since Audrey was born (Tuesday, if you needed a reminder), she has spit up a little too much.  The issue really wasn't the volume of the spit up, but that it was turning more and more fluorescent green.  We brought her into a pediatrician on Friday morning to have him take a look.  He didn't like what he saw, and sent us to radiology.  The radiologist team gave Audrey some barium in a bottle and watched it flow through her digestive track using this kind of active flow xray thingy.  What we could all see was a minor blockage, but then that the barium was leaking up into the chest cavity.

A few more X-rays later and it was apparent the she had a hernia in her diaphragm.  This hole in her diaphragm was allowing all sorts of things to move up into her chest, ultimately presenting itself when Audrey would throw up the stomach bile.  Her digestive system routed into her chest cavity, and compressed her right lung while not permitting anything to flow downstream, thus the puking.  If you think this sounds like a potentially serious thing, you are right.  Once the team in Bozeman discovered this, they made arrangements for Audrey to get fixed.  This involved dispatched a team of flight nurses on a small jet plane from Salt Lake City to fly to Bozeman and pick up Steph and Audrey.  So about two hours later the flight nurses rolled into the ER and took control of the situation.  Might I add, these nurses are super hardcore.  They were so good working on Audrey that they made the Bozeman staff look like a bunch of idiots. 

So Audrey and company hurried back to the children's hospital in Salt Lake to get prepped for surgery.  I made arrangements to fly down to Salt Lake Saturday morning because I wasn't sure that there would be room for me with the rest of the crew.  That night, Henry and I hung out for a while, and eventually we heard that Audrey had been successfully transported to the NICU at the InterMountain Primary Children's Hospital.  It was formally diagnosed as a diaphragmatic hernia.

This morning, I arrived at 8:45, just 15 minutes before Audrey's scheduled surgery.  I got to see her, say hi to her, and hold onto her foot to let her know I was here.

Our surgeon was named Dr. Skarda, and he, along with the rest of the staff here, did an excellent job making sure we knew exactly what was going on.  It took two hours from start to finish.  Steph and I can not even begin to explain the relief felt when Dr. Skarda walked into the waiting room and said that Audrey did great and the surgery went flawlessly.  He said that the hernia was about 1.5 inches wide and .75 inches tall.  And with a hole that size, Audrey's kidney, part of her liver, part of her colon, and part of her upper intestine had pushed up into her chest cavity.  To fix it, all they had to do was put the organs back where they should be and sew up the hole.

From the moment of diagnosis, everyone we have talked to that looks at Audrey then looks at her diagnosis can not believe how healthy she is.  Even though her right lung was compromised, her O2 and CO2 levels were great.  She was even pretty happy in spite of the all of the nasty puke stuff she had to endure.  This, along with the successful surgery puts here in a good place to make a speedy recover.  That said, we will still be here in Salt Lake for a good two weeks if not more.

Now, for the pictures of our super-trooper Audrey.

The view out of Audrey's window

Lastly, the cutest little grin that we are so excited to see again soon


Paige King said...

What an incredible little girl Audrey is! Sending lots of love your way, thank you so much for the update. The photo of Steph looking at Audrey's is absolutely beautiful! Love you guys!

Montana Mama said...

Sending LOTS of love and prayers your way!!! I'm so glad you had such an amazing team of medical professionals around you to make a quick diagnosis and surgery. If there's anything we can do for you guys when you return, PLEASE don't hesitate to ask! She is sooo beautiful!!

Stat Family said...

Thanks for sharing the good news of a successful surgery! We've been thinking and praying for Audrey all day.

ron said...

Dan and Steph,

Thinking about you two and Henry a lot. So sorry to here about Audrey, but happy for the successful surgery. Sending positive wishes and love your way!


Tyler B said...

She's so beautiful, Dan. I'm so happy she's okay now.

Campanelli said...

We were laughing so hard at Henry on the golf cart!! He's such a cute little guy, make sure you put in a good word for Ella ; ) It's so nice to see Audrey looking so healthy, we've been thinking of you guys a lot lately.

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