Ike-a-saurus is set for surgery at 9 am Eastern time tomorrow morning. We have to check in at 7:30 am.
The surgery should last 4-6 hours. They'll take rib cartilage and create a little canoe looking thing out of it that will then be grafted onto his trachea, eliminating the stenosis and creating an airway wide enough for exciting things like breathing! (Here's a site that explains the surgery.)
After the surgery he'll be sedated and intubated and taken directly to the PICU where we'll be for about a week, if nothing weird happens (says I, who knows something weird ALWAYS happens). After that, word on the street is that he'll be moved to the respiratory floor where we'll stay until the doctors are sure the graft is healing and Ike is eating and coughing OK. After that, we'll be released into the wild, but it will most likely be the Cincinnati wild. We'll hang out for another couple of weeks while he's closely monitored. And then – finally, then – if things still look OK, we'll be sent home for 4-6 weeks before we come back.
Of course, all of this could change. (And because I have jinxily posted it on the blog we know it will.) This all is just the outline we've been given on how things might and should go. We won't know until we're in the thick of it.
The thick of it begins in the morning. Until then, we're getting as many hugs and kisses and "uh-ohs" and dances as we can. This is the part of the party when I start to worry about being here. The dangers and complications of the surgery creep into the back of my mind and make it literally hard for ME to breathe, and my trachea is just fine. This is such a delicate surgery, on a delicate area, and if I keep writing this I'm really going to have a panic attack right here on the hotel couch, so I'm going to stop.
This is the day we've been waiting for and dreading since Ike was trached at five and half months old. Will it work? Will he have to the surgery repeated one day? Will he have to be retrached? One step at a time, right? I have to remember that whole minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour thing we got so good at when I was in the hospital and he was in the NICU, and then the PICU. Everything from then has trained us for now. It's like we've been in the National Guard for Larynogotracheoplasty.
Surgery tomorrow. My hands are so sweaty they're slipping off the keyboard.