Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cleft palate repaired

Zoya's cleft palate repair was a success, and we are so grateful for the wonderful care from the wonderful people at Arkansas Children's Hospital! She and I returned home yesterday afternoon. She is feeling so good it is hard to believe she just had mouth surgery yesterday. Wow.

Here are a couple of photos from the hospital:

The Child Life social worker showed her pictures of children in surgery and post surgery and gave her ECG monitor stickers to play with. How clever. Zoya had been going around the waiting room that morning showing all the people her cleft palate, and telling them in her own way that she was going to get it repaired today. :) So I think she was already somewhat prepared, but it was nice to have this anyway.

Charlie, the nurse anesthetist (Loved him!) asked her what kind of goofy gas she wanted to smell before she went to sleep. She picked bubble gum. Here Charlie is explaining that after she smells the bubble gum, she will get very sleepy and then it will begin to smell like dirty socks but not to worry because she would be asleep by then. ha. As you can see Zoya was absolutely mesmerized by Charlie. He was so, so fun.

Surgery took about three hours but all went just as planned and we went home the next morning. The hole is now totally repaired and we will be going back in a year or two for another nasal surgery and possibly a re-do of the lip.

For the next three weeks, she can't have anything in her mouth other than liquids through a cup (not a straw, not a sippy cup). She can't blow her nose or cough, or brush her top teeth. Because she sucks her hand,  and because she tends to put objects in her mouth, we had no choice but to put her in arm restraints for the next 3 weeks. Ugh. Can we say stressful.

The night before we left the hospital I kept dreaming she was eating carrot sticks, tortilla chips. I even dreamed she had a bicycle hook in her mouth. LOL. Well would you believe the minute we walked in the door one of the kids was eating chips and offered her one. Oh dear. Thankfully another kid caught it in time. Sigh.

Meanwhile I have experimented and experimented with these arm no-no's using Velcro, safety pins. tights, jackets. Every time I would come up with a new plan she would say, "Good idea, Mom!", very enthusiastically, right before she proceeded to get out of it. :)

Let's just say for  having developmental and motor delays, the girl sure can maneuver her way out of a straight jacket! 

So today I texted John this picture showing him that I had FINALLY found the solution! Jacket underneath (to prevent arm rashes), turned backwards (so she can't unbutton it), sleeves folded up over the ends (so she can't pull the velcro off), and safety pinned to the shoulder for extra security.

Wasn't I smart?


About one hour later she came out of her room holding this dress that she wanted me to help her put on. The jacket was crumpled up on the bed STILL BUTTONED. The Velcro strap behind her neck was removed. So she managed to get the whole thing off and then put the restraints back on her arms thinking I wouldn't notice.  haha. I noticed all right!

Don't you think it's going to be an interesting three weeks?


Timothy said...

Tis always a delight here on the Southern Post to read your quips and memos. Your mother forgot she was doubling the recipe for cinnamon rolls for the pastors event this am, reading your column settled her down. Charge on through the Storm, Walk On,...sing, others are watching and wishing they would take bigger risks in life.

ErinL said...

Oh my goodness! How did she get out of that jacket?! I'm so glad to hear she is doing well. I'm amazed at how fast she was out of the hosptial after what seems like a major surgery! As always, let us know if you need anything!

Lisa (DanielsMommy) said...

Glad things went so well! I can't even begin to imagine the arm restraints. She must be saying to herself...why are even trying to put those on me, I'm gonna take them off!!

Janet Caswell said...

Oh, Charissa, this post made me laugh so hard! The things we do to try and stay one step ahead of our kids and keep them safe. The photo of her holding the dress is priceless!! Enjoy every challenging moment ... Zoya is lovely :)

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised they didn't give you a retainer-type thing. That's what they did for me when I had the same surgery as a child.

Like Zoya, I would suck my fingers. There was a photo of Zoya sleeping and she had her pointer and middle finger in her mouth -- I did the exact same thing as a child! Same fingers, same hand. ;-)

The retainer was specially designed to accommodate swelling and the incision associated with this surgery -- basically, it attached to your teeth, but the plastic part didn't touch the roof of your mouth. It went straight across instead of molding to the palate.
On the plastic part, it had three "prongs" -- metal "U"s that were embedded in the plastic. (they basically looked like an extra row of teeth) They made it extremely uncomfortable to suck on my fingers -- that's what they're designed to do!

I recall my first night was awful. I was crying, crying, crying because I couldn't suck on my fingers. My mom had to sleep with me. :-)

Anyways, that retainer thing protected the incision from my finger-sucking habit, while also helping to break me of the tendency.

Perhaps you could ask about one of these?


JennyH said...

How funny! Should be interesting, alright!

She looks like she is doing great though!! Her eyes are so beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Oh my, she's like a little Houdini! Such a gorgeous girl and so proud of her for marching in there for her surgery. Aren't kids amazing??

Anonymous said...

I am thrilled that the surgery went so well, and little Zoya looks so tired, but so beautiful.
Good grief....maybe if she's so smart to get out of her 'straight jacket' and put the restrainers back on, she'll remember why she has them on in the first place. That little gal is having a ball keeping you tied in knots. lol!

Love you all,
Aunt Sharon

Anonymous said...

Since she is so small, how about put a long sleeved shirt on first, put the arm restraints on and then get a bigger pair of feetie pajamas and put them on her backwards and safety pin from the inside the shirt and pajamas to the restraints.

Tamara's Mommy said...

I have to tell you Zoya is getting prettier with each entry. Seriously she's going to be a knock out someday soon. lol
So glad the surgery went well. It's amazing to watch the children's transformation once they find their forever families. Congratulations and wishing you all continued success.

Gretchen Thibault said...

Boy that Zoya is a beautiful girl!