Friday, November 21, 2008

Surgery Success

Crew has/had what is called necrotizing enterocolitis or NEC. It's a fairly common, very serious condition that happens in premature babies. The information we were told and the papers that we read together made us absolutely ill with worry. While many babies have to deal with it, the possibilities were somewhat chilling.

The prospects were: 1. a small, isolated perforation. 2. A small, diseased portion of his intestines that would have to be removed. 3. A large, diseased section of his intestines that would have to be removed, resulting in longterm nutritional absorption issues. 4. Rampant, untreatable bowel failure, in which case they would simply close him up and he would die.

There was a certain degree of urgency to performing the surgery as quickly as possible. Bowel gases are poisonous and lead to infection that can go to the blood stream and make babies extremely sick. Because they didn't pass our cell phone numbers around to quite the right people in time for anesthesia consent, they had to hold off until we arrived at the hospital. This didn't cause an alarming delay in his treatment, but it did allowed us a few last minutes to gaze at his perfect little face before they wheeled him into surgery, which was nice.

He sailed through the surgery without incident. It took approximately 2 hours. Of all the possibilities, he was the very best case scenario. He had one isolated perforation and they did not have to remove any of his intestines. They opened them up and brought them to the surface of his belly. He now has an ostomy bag and will be pooping out his belly until he is big enough for the second surgery, which will put him back together. Could be weeks, could be months, depending on a lot of factors. Having his intestines hanging out of his belly looks a little gruesome, I'm not going to lie, but I assume I'll get used to it. There remain possibilities of somewhat daunting complications now and later, so he has a long road ahead of him and we pray that his path is nice and boring, as uneventful as possible.

I can tell that the drive is going to get old very quickly, as it takes about an hour each way. We have a few darling friends that live about 20 minutes away from the hospital, whose offers of hospitality I'm sure I'll take advantage of at some point. Justin is going to have to survive his phobia about me driving into the city by myself. The Children's Hospital definitely has a bit of a different feel to the environment. Little bigger, little less personal, which is going to take some getting used to. We don't know if and when we'll be able to bring him down closer to home. It's a question we'll ask (again) a little further down the road of his recovery and development, but I've already been able to tell that it's a fairly insulting request! I know he's receiving phenomenal care where he is, but we have been so happy at our local hospital (ok, "happy" is probably a stretch, let's be honest; it's been the best it could be under the circumstances) and now he just feels so far away. We had already tentatively thought out a schedule that we thought would work well, and now everything is up in the air again.

Thank you so much for your love, faith and prayers on Crew's behalf. They are making a difference and we continue to pray for the very best during his recovery.

On a side note, he opened his beautiful right eye for the first time yesterday! Just as Justin and his brothers were about to give him a blessing, he opened that little peeper wide and looked right at Daddy. He is so darling!

1 comment:

K2 Designs said...

I'm SO happy to hear Crew's surgery was a success! His little brother is watching over him I bet and helping to keep him safe. Brothers are good about that no matter where they are. We're keeping good thoughts going as well for Crew to continue getting stronger and stronger each day.