Sunday, July 24, 2016

Recovery Part 2: Daily Updates

Now that most things have calmed down, my plan is to do once daily updates as we continue through this recovery process. 

Sunday, July 24

Today, the infamous Day 5, was actually a pretty great day. I guess someone knew what I needed today, and a couple of hours after Aberdeen woke up, I got just that. Abby went from grumpy, sleepy, and unengaged, to suddenly smiley, playful, and very much herself. Last heart surgery, it was an entire month before we got any post-op smiles, but Aberdeen was full of great big smiles and giggles today. I am so thankful for that. Her breathing has remained stable, she finally started peeing, and she is back on her home feeding regimen (still slowed down, but the same volumes as at home). She is unfortunately still having some diarrhea and her belly is pretty distended. They've sent cultures to try to pinpoint what's going on in her gut. Tomorrow, they are planning on removing the pacing wires that have been in place in case of heart rhythm issues, and possibly moving her out of the ICU! There are three tiers of care here, and I think we'll be in the middle one, since she will still have the chest tubes in. Looking forward to a change of scenery, but incredibly thankful for the CVICU team and the wonderful care they've provided our bird.


Monday, July 25

It is Monday, right? I feel like the days are starting to blur together. So, pacing wires didn't get taken out. Because her surgery puts her at high risk for heart block, they want to make extra super sure she's ready for those wires to come out, so they decided to wait until tomorrow. Not a big deal, but now that she's fully acting like herself again, she's starting to fiddle with all of the extra things on her chest, and those wires are a favorite. They have been taped and covered and seemingly thoroughly hidden from sight, and then she'll suddenly have them again. So it would be super great if they could go away. Chest tubes aren't ready to come out yet, but they don't seem concerned about the nature of their output anymore. Thank goodness. Still waiting on the labs to rule out gut issues, and I think we made it through the whole day without spiking a fever. Oh, and she was moved out of the CVICU to step down. That's right, out of the ICU before even being a week post-op! Woohoo! We are completely exhausted today and hoping for a quiet-ish night out of the ICU. 


Tuesday, July 26

was pretty sure today that it was Monday again. Days so blurred. Today was another good day. We tried something different with Aberdeen's overnight feed (we mixed her formula ourselves, instead of having the hospital's formula room do it), and her diarrhea was much improved. All of her labs came back fine, so hopefully it was just a sensitivity to whatever made their formula different and her GI symptoms will dissipate. They added in a diuretic to help with any additional fluid issues leftover from being on bypass, which may help with some of that belly distension. The surgical team also removed Abby's pacing wires today and performed an EKG. Daily chest X-Ray is looking good. Chest tubes are still in, but will hopefully come out soon, and then we'll be pretty much ready to be discharged. Crazy. We'll have to stick around Houston for a week or so post-op, just to be safe, but we're ok with having that safety net close by. I think tomorrow will include an echocardiogram to see what Abby's gradient looks like now when she's awake! 

Got that crazy chlorhexadine hair tamed and some clothes on! 


Wednesday, July 27

Woof. Today was kind of a marathon of a day. Abby woke up in meltdown city and decided to hang out there most of the day. I think she's maxed out with people bugging her. She wanted nothing to do with pretty much anyone but Larry the Cucumber. Can't say that I blame her, but unfortunately we had a lot of things to accomplish today. Abby got her morning chest x-ray, the lab came up to get a blood sample and failed miserably. The surgical PAs came in and removed Abby's chest tubes, while her nurse removed an IV that was shot, and another nurse removed the dressing where her central line had been. Then x-ray came back to get another image, post chest tube removal, EKG did their thing, the vascular access team came up to get her blood sample via ultrasound, the surgeon came by to check on things, and PT came to work with her as well. The plan is to be discharged on Friday, fingers crossed, and then we'll hang out at the hotel until her follow-up with the surgeon in about a week. Tomorrow, there should be an echo and more chest x-rays, but hopefully not much else. I think we're all a little burnt out by everything moving so fast - though, of course we're thrilled that she's done well enough to even be looking at such an early discharge date. Hoping we all sleep well after such a busy day! 


Thursday, July 28

I'm convinced that Abby is experiencing something akin to cabin fever, that I'm going to dub "the hospital crazies." She did this when she was inpatient in San Antonio with all that GI junk back in February/March too, but the tantrums are just bonkers. She goes from zero to 100 with no warning or apparent reason and then eventually goes back to zero if you leave her be for a bit. Can't wait to get her out of there and back in familiar surroundings with no one bugging her (except us of course). The echo and X-rays went smoothly today, so hopefully we're still on track to leave the hospital tomorrow! We are so ready! It will be weird leaving with incision care and on sternal precautions, but I think we've got it under control. All the fingers crossed!


  1. Thank God! Extremely happy for her, you, Jamison and the rest of the family!

  2. That smile is priceless! Aberdeen is making all of our hearts glow here in Atlanta. Thank you, Bethany, for your amazing writing and updates. We are so honored to share in your baby bird's journey and are pulling for her every step of the way.

  3. I know you're happy to see that beautiful smile! You are all in my thoughts.

  4. I know you're happy to see that beautiful smile! You are all in my thoughts.

  5. Bethany, That little lady of yours is amazing! Thinking of you, Jamison and your baby bird everyday. Thank you for taking the time to update us back here in your hometown.

  6. Just loving the good reports!!! It is crazy... wonderful. Abby's indomitable spirit is something to behold. Love and hugs to all!