Out of all the suggestions I received, I think I have settled on Herman and Sherman for my newly separated tubes. Herman will be my G tube since that is the original stoma site, and Sherman gets the distinction of being my brand new J tube. And, as promised, SHOUT OUT to Elizabeth for having suggested the chosen names!
At the risk of sounding like, yet again, a broken record, THANK YOU ALL so much for your prayers. I think I was more nervous for this surgery than I have been for any of my previous procedures. But God answered our prayers in an incredible way on Thursday and this surgery went even better than any of us could have expected.
After my pre-op appointments on Tuesday, the anesthesiologist I had spoken to actually called the doctor who would be overseeing my procedure. He had 2 days to research, and think about what our best options would be for my surgery. Before they took me back, he came to my pre-op room and we talked for maybe 20 minutes about every little detail. He knew which meds were most likely to cause mast cell reactions as well as which were usually safe for mast cell patients. He listened to all my previous issues with anesthesia and what my biggest concerns were. By the time he left the pre-op area, we felt confident that he was as prepared as possible to handle anything that might come up during the surgery.
|Leni in pre-op...her head is always too heavy =)|
The surgery itself went better than anyone could have anticipated. It was scheduled for 118 minutes, so my mom got a bit of a scare when her pager went off after only 30 minutes saying the doctor was coming out to speak to her. Turns out everything went so smoothly, he was able to do everything that quickly! My anatomy that made it tough to place GJ tubes actually turned out to be beneficial for a surgical J tube. My G and J tubes are only about an inch apart and fairly high up, close to my ribs. There is so much less muscle to have to cut through in the upper abdomen vs. the lower abdomen closer to the hip bones, and I think that is partially why the recovery has not been as bad as I expected. In about 2 months or so, once the stoma has healed completely, I will be able to exchange the long J tube for a J button and be rid of long tubes forever! I am very excited for that =)
While the surgery was quick and I had no major reactions (praise God), we were very aggressive with our pre-treatment medications and continuous medications during the procedure to keep it that way. I typically get benadryl, pepcid, and solumedrol before any procedures, and this time we added in continuous benadryl and racemic epi during the actual surgery to keep my mast cells under control. They had a bit of a challenge placing the breathing tube because my vocal cords started to spasm, but they were able to control that with a muscle relaxant that we knew I tolerated well. We also found that one of my sedation "allergies" I CAN tolerate if we are aggressive with the mast cell protocol before and during. It is more of a mast cell reaction (likely to some of the ingredients and not necessarily the actual medication) vs. true allergy, so keeping my mast cells under control meant I was able to tolerate it well. This is GREAT to know going forward!
I cannot say enough good about the anesthesiologist. He was more than on top of anything that came up, and I don't think we could have done anything differently or better. He also said that for any future surgeries or procedures needing anesthesia that I may need, to call him directly and he would personally oversee me in the OR. While I will hopefully have no need for any more surgery in the near future, I feel as comfortable as I think I ever could feel knowing I have a fantastic anesthesiologist on board who knows what is going on and how to deal with things. We are so thankful for that!
|In the PACU before waking up|
|Just woke up in my room!|
|Leni was very ready to snuggle as soon as I woke up.|
Always a whirlwind in Bokatopia! But for now, we are so thankful that surgery went so much better than we expected, and I am recovering well. We're just taking things one day at a time and doing our best to find reasons to smile every day. Thank you for being a part of our lives in prayer and with your encouragement. We are so grateful for all the prayers said for me and my family for this surgery, and we are glad to be able to share how those prayers were answered more fully than we could have hoped!