Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Night Before (The 2014 Edition)

ChinaBean’s third (and hopefully last) open heart surgery is Tuesday.  Her congenital heart defect requires a three part repair and tomorrow is the last step in the repair.  ChinaBean’s heart has one working ventricle.  Last year’s surgery took all of blood traveling above her heart (upper body) and directed it straight into her lungs using gravity.  Tuesday’s surgery will now take all of the blood below her heart (lower body) and run it directly to the lungs, bypassing the heart.  It is called the Fontan procedure.  

She is a firecracker, but it has served her well.
All I can say is what a difference a year makes.  There is still fear, apprehension and large dose of seriousness leading up to this surgery, but we have experienced the good life since her last surgery.  We know how good it feels to watch ChinaBean live her life without worrying (too much) about what is going on inside her special heart and grappling with the should of, would of, could of’s.  After her surgery last year we were told to go and live life and we’ll see you in a year!  We were encouraged to watch her grow and keep her around other children and running outside.  No need to keep ChinaBean in a bubble!  

Last summer, the night before ChinaBean’s surgery was terrifying.  I didn’t know what the surgeon would find during the operation (ChinaBean has a very unique heart…why be boring, right?), I had no idea what she would look like after her surgery and how she would handle the recovery, I was worried about living in a hospital for a week or so and I was sad that I had to spend more time away from our older two daughters.  

Many of those fears have disappeared, although the surgery is still a scary thought, I am ready to watch ChinaBean live the good life some more.  I want to be other the other side of the surgery and helping her along the road to recovery.  

After last summer's surgery, we were told to expect ChinaBean in the hospital for 7-10 days.  She was a rock star and was discharged after 5.  This year, we are told to expect a hospital stay of 14 days.  A complication of this surgery are pleural effusions (fluid build up around her lungs) and there is nothing that we can do speed it up.  We just have wait for the fluid to drain.

As we wait and cheer on ChinaBean during her recovery, please pray with us for these specific things:

6 am Tuesday, July 8: That we would arrive safely at the hospital and ChinaBean would not be afraid.  That her surgeon, nurses and anesthesiologist be well-rested and prepared for her surgery.
7-8 am Tuesday, July 8: That ChinaBean would separate from us without fear.
8-9am Tuesday, July 8: That ChinaBean would peacefully go under anesthesia and that all the grandparents would safely arrive in Peoria
10-11am Tuesday, July 8: That ChinaBean would safely go on to the heart and lung machine
11am-3pm Tuesday, July 8: That ChinaBean would successfully respond to the Fontan procedure and come off the heart and lung machine.  That she would return to her cardiac room breathing room air and not dependant on a ventilator.
3pm-midnight Tuesday, July 8: That ChinaBean would be settled in her room, come off of her anesthesia well and begin the recovery swiftly.

Jamie is scheduled to return to China 2 weeks from ChinaBean’s surgery, so prayers would be appreciated that she recovers quickly (I am secretly praying for 10 days) that we might be able to enjoy a few days together as a family of 5 before Jamie flies.

If you wish to cheer ChinaBean on during her recovery, I know that she would love to see videos from each and everyone one of you even if she doesn't know you personally.  Just saying hearing her name in a video and a quick message about feeling better would be amazing.  If you’d like to do that, you can send it to me via an email, Facebook message, Skype video message (our Skype name is mcclintock.family) or any other way you can think of.  OSF St. Francis also allows you to send a free e-card to patients.  Go to their website and enter our information (A. McClintock, 4th floor) and the hospital will print out the card and deliver it to ChinaBean’s room.  Keeping ChinaBean’s appetite up will also be a challenge and any offers to bring her rice/fried rice, pizza, fresh berries or other fruit, plain vanilla ice cream or chocolate will not be refused!

Ready to be on the road to recovery!
There is a saying in Mandarin “jia you”  (pronounced ‘jai yo’) that is chanted and yelled at sporting events to encourage the players.  One website said that jia you is used “to cheer or encourage someone in action: persist! with more effort! Don't give up! etc.”  Will you join us and  say “jia you” to cheer on our ChinaBean?

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