Monday, April 25, 2011

After I sent a second picture to the cleft palate surgery nurse, I got a call at 8:30 on Friday morning, saying the surgeon wanted us to come in ASAP. Another trip to Little Rock, and another surgery Friday afternoon. The surgeon explained that some of her palate had disappeared. She had to reinforce the stitches that were still remaining but she was not able to repair the hole until the tissue is allowed to heal. She (Dr. Buckmiller) thinks that Zoya must be sucking on her tongue at night while she sleeps, since the hands that she normally sucks on are restrained. The suction effect must have pulled out the stitches. So what this means is that half of the hole in her back. I can't tell you how depressing that is just to type out. Poor girl has had so many setbacks. The doctor explained that Zoya does not have much going for her in the self-healing department: a poor nutritional status, low immune status, her age, her activity level. She says while it is rare for a cleft to come undone like that, Zoya would have been at risk and so it was no huge surprise, I guess.

So one surgery has basically turned into three surgeries. We will have to start all over again once the tissue heals itself, in six or eight months. Meanwhile we keep doing what we're doing, giving her liquids only, and keeping hands and objects out of her mouth. I did ask about the retainer, which one person commented about. The surgeon said they don't typically use the retainers because it traps infection. She was willing to consider it, but the orthodontic surgeon was out (Good Friday) as were other doctors whose opinion would have come in handy. I think it might be a good idea for the next surgery so I will definitely bring it up again.

We have a follow up in Little Rock next week. I am soooo thankful to our wonderful friends, the Lorraines, who have opened their home up to us over and over again. It came in real handy on Friday night when we were discharged late. I have not been sleeping well since I'm up multiple times every night making sure Zoya hasn't gotten out of her restraints, or gotten twisted up in her tube feeding tube. So I was so grateful to be able to stay with the Lorraines. It's fun to reminisce about our time together in Ukraine while we were adopting Joseph and Zoya, and they were adopting Oksana.


Chad and Dana said...

I'm so sorry, friend! Praying you get some proper rest. It does wonder for your perspective! Much love to you and your family!!! XOXO

Anonymous said...

I had commented about the retainer.

The type of retainer I'm referring to is designed in a way that *does not* trap infection.

Unlike a normal retainer, which is molded to and sits against the roof of your mouth, this one goes almost straight across. So if you put it on a table, a normal retainer would look like a little mountain, whereas this retainer would look like a plain. (There's a slight curvature to allow your tongue to be more comfy, but it doesn't touch the roof of your mouth, even right after the procedure when there's swelling).

It maintains air flow, so there is no added risk of infection.
The only added risk would be if pieces of food got trapped between the retainer and the roof of your mouth. So you need to be careful to take it out while eating solids and clean it after drinking anything but water.

Curved pieces of metal (they look like "U"s) are embedded in the plastic. They look like a second row of teeth; they prevent you from sucking your fingers, etc.

I'm so sorry to hear that little miss Zoya will have to undergo another procedure! Such a bummer. Hopefully, though, this latest operation will give her some advantage when it comes to her speech?


debi said...

Charissa I think the world of you. I am sure you see yourself as just a mom doing what moms do. And you are that. But you are so much more. You have the most beautiful family in the world. I must say that I am especially fond of Miss Zoya.I guess because she has had so many things to deal with. She is such a beautiful tiny girl.I always keep you in my prayers. As busy as you are it is a real treat when you find time to post and share the latest news with us. Thank you so much. God bless you.

Tim Rovenstine said...

We are on your team and want to come and help.

Anonymous said...

I think what Madi said regarding the retainer is a God-send if it works for Zoya. I am excited to come help Oma and Opa care for the little ones while YOU and your family get the rest and fun you so desperately need. You are an awesome mom and your whole family is a treasure.
Love you all,
Aunt Sharon

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry - for you and for Zoya. You both deserve a break!

KT said...

Im SOOOO sorry :-(

Deb D. said...

Dear sweet Zoya. Such a happy, joyful, beautiful little gal even in the midst of her challenges. Dear Charissa. I imagine you must be tired . . . quite tired. But don't lose hope. All will work through in the right time and in the right way. You're not alone in your hopes for the best for Zoya. Trust Him to continue to lead you and give you the wisdom and discernment you need. He is faithful