Sunday, February 12, 2012

January 18, 2012

I have been so overwhelmed the last few weeks with dealing with Catherine's medical journey and trying to figure out how to catheterize her, as well as trying to get as much home schooling done while I can, as well as representing my clients in court as needed, that I have been quite absentminded lately.

Tonight I had some time to upload pictures off two separate cameras and found some pictures I completely forgot we had taken.  Yet, I am so glad we took these pictures.  It is such a gift to find a picture that records a moment in time!  Here is Catherine right before her bladder/colon surgery:
This picture is special for me because it is taken in the holding area right before Catherine is taken into the operating room.  We have been through a lot of surgeries with Catherine, but I still have that little twinge of fear that she may die during the surgery.  We have had a few operations that did not go as planned, so that fear is ever present.  But, I don't want Catherine to be afraid, so I have to act like I am not afraid.  We just tell her she is taking a "special nap."

Another special aspect of this moment is that Robby is there.  Catherine's bladder/colon surgery was scheduled for 1 p.m.  Our plan was for Robby to work in the morning and drive over during the lunch hour.  But, the operating room and surgeons were available early so the hospital told us at 10:30 that they would start at 11.  I called Robby, who hopped in his car at the Smyrna Home Depot Headquarters and drove to Egleston.  He walked in about three minutes before they actually took her back.  Yeah!! 

We were able to say a quick prayer with her and take a picture with her doll of the day, Princess Belle.  Then, they rolled her away on the gurney and we went to the waiting room for the next five hours.

Here is a picture of her abdomen two weeks later, when we were at the surgeon's office to remove the tubes.  The upper tube is the Mitrofanoff, which goes through her belly button into her bladder.  The lower tube is the MACE, which goes into her colon.
These two holes look like open wounds, because they are actually the ends of her appendix.  It is living tissue, so it looks like an active, sometimes bloody, site.  We were very concerned about it, but the surgeon says that is exactly what it is supposed to look like.  Now these tubes are gone (they were temporarily sewed in) and we insert new tubes every time we need to use them. 

Her abdomen still looks quite distended in this picture.  Since then, she has passed a lot of fecal matter and her colon blockage has loosened.  So, her abdomen is a lot flatter.

We are still having a lot of trouble learning how to use these tubes, especially the Mitrofanoff.  But, we are learning and it has only been a week that we have been doing this on our own.

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