The surgery went well. Ike has a brand new 7 mm graft (created from a rib) integrated into his trachea, replacing an area of collapse as well as replacing a skin tract, both of which were causing the stenosis.
Did that sentence make sense? I am so tired, you guys.
We're in PICU now. He is heavily sedated, but still wiggling enough to freak us all out. He has to remain sedated and still so that the endotracheal tube that is through his nose and down his airway stays still and helps stent the healing graft. It will probably be about a week that Ike will remain on the ventilator, sedated. We're trying to avoid the paralytic drugs because he had a hard time with them previously. (Or maybe I'm just remembering it wrong, or maybe there were a lot of other things going on that didn't help matters much. Or maybe all of the above.)
He has a big dressing on his side where they took part of his rib. There is a drain and other fun stuff. He also has drains on either side of the incision on his neck, and a huge amount of gauze, making it look like he's wearing a mock turtleneck just like cousin Eddie in the National Lampoon movies.
Lots of tubes and drains and technically he's not breathing on his own yet, because of the ventilator. BUT, the trach is gone. We just have to hope and pray and wish and cross our fingers that the graft heals nicely, doesn't swell or occlude his trachea, that there are no areas of collapse, that no infections pop up, that there is no invasive scar tissue or granuloma, etc. etc. We are still deeply entrenched in the woods here, not out of it by any means. But… the surgery is done. The trach is out.
Right now he's running a fever, which is scary, but not unheard of after a surgery like this.
It really is just plain scary to see him this way, just like I knew it would be, but also… the trach is out. Did I say that already? I think I did. 🙂 It's terrifying to think about what's to come, and yet… the trach is out. Did I say that already? Now we just have to heal the graft, wean from the vent, not require any o2, learn how to eat and cough again, and we're good. Oh, and we also have to get the nurses and doctors (almost wrote coctors there. HA) to keep their voices down and their movements slow and steady. The calmer and quieter everyone is, the less of the sedation meds we'll need, and the easier the weaning process will be. We've already butted heads with one nurse and we haven't even been here four hours yet!
Overwhelming. It's all overwhelming. As is the support and love and prayers and good wishes from everyone.
Thank you, everybody. It means so, so much.