Monday, July 14, 2008

Amanda's surgery was today!

Amanda has a cochlear implant!
Amanda and Joseph arriving at the hospital

Amanda with her bionic monkey prior to surgery
  Her dad kissing her as she was leaving for the OR

The surgery is behind us and went off smoothly....overall.   Amanda did really well and is happy to be home.  In fact I just checked on her again and she is sleeping peacefully.  She has an adjustable bed and she's raised the head as we've heard that it can help reduce swelling and be more comfortable.  

That, and the fact that we left home about 3:45 AM and returned home about 4:45 PM, she was under anaesthesia for 4 1/2 hours and finally got the operation she's been wanting since she was 10...could all possibly contribute to the fact that she's exhausted! 

Amanda's only question for her surgeon before the operation was related to the location of her monkey!  Being a sweetheart and humanitarian doctor that he is, he did the only thing he could. He went searching for the whereabouts of her monkey.  Three members of her surgical team delivered it to her about 5 minutes before she left for the operating room.  She didn't have quite the outwardly joyous response they seemed to be hoping for as she'd just been poked three times by two nurses...and they had finally found a decent vein. 

 Yes, that's me in a jumpsuit!  Wonder why? 
 Me with Amanda's monkey.  I knew I'd get to hang with her monkey one way or another!
So why am I in a jumpsuit, you ask?  Interesting question!  When they realized Amanda was totally deaf and couldn't do ANY lipreading staring at surgical masks in the OR, the part of the surgical team who came to get her decided it would be a good idea if I went with her and interpreted.  

So last minute, I threw on a jumpsuit and tiny surgical booties over my size 10 flip flops, and headed over to the OR with them.  Just before we hit the OR door, someone suggested what a good picture it would make.  Since I still had my camera in my pocket, I unzipped the jumpsuit to retrieve the camera and posed for this picture.  Amanda couldn't contain herself and burst out laughing.

So I stayed for the 5 minutes it took to have her scoot from the gurney to the operating table, get her positioned, explain what they were doing and see her drift off to la la land.  No telling how much Amanda understood since:

1)   She was looking pretty nervous with 8 or 9 people fussing around her
2)  I had a mask over my face and so much of ASL is conveyed via facial expression
3)  Here was her stepmother in the OR wearing a white jumpsuit, hair net and mask trying to
      not get in the way of people getting her situated
4)  AND PROBABLY MOST IMPORTANT she was undoubtedly concerned about me
      confiscating her monkey (See Previous Blog:  A Little "Monkey" Business)

When we were called to sit with her in recovery, she opened up her eyes long enough to say, "What happened to the white clothes you were just wearing?"  Of course to her, 4 1/2 hours passed like 4 1/2 seconds so she must have thought I did a magic trick getting that jumpsuit off so quickly.

To us....the 4 1/2 hours seemed like 4 1/2 days.  Only thing that made it bearable for me was getting to spend some quality time with Amanda's bionic monkey!


suddensilence said...

Yay! I've been checking here all night, hoping to see some news about Amanda's surgery before I went to bed. :)

I'm so glad everything went well--that is just fantastic! I'm sure you're all exhausted...getting up at 3:45 am?! What a long day!

We're cheering Amanda on from exciting for all of you!



Jennifer Bruno Conde said...

Thanks, Wendi! I think we're running on adrenaline
still. Only one that is still crashed is Amanda!

Wow! You have quite the story! I have been so focused on Amanda I haven't even branched out much to others' blogs.

Your story is so completely different from Amanda's but absolutely fascinating. And you are so detailed in your descriptions of everything.

I'm glad you're learning sign language! Maybe watching some of Amanda's video clips can help and be entertaining as well.

I loved your take on the graduation where you had an ASL interpreter there for deaf ASL users but it helped you to read lips.

July 22nd is right around the corner. And bilateral! At least you only have to go under once!