Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Elle Chronicles. Episode: 1017

Elle's surgery went well. She is recovering like a champ, eating a popsicle ('sicles, as she calls them) and watching Blue's Clues as I write this. The reason why I'm writing is that I wanted to share an Elle story with you. My beautiful daughter amazes me everyday but this time, she has outdone herself. Here goes (with a bit of background included for good measure):

The type of surgery Elle had is called tearduct probing. A pediatric opthamalogist inserted probes into her tear ducts to help her tears and sinuses drain properly. Once the surgeons got her into surgery, they realized that her sinus passages are more lateral than vertical (due to the typical craniofacial structure of a person with Downs) and she would need a stint to help with drainage. So, they took a tiny tube and strung it through her sinues & tear ducts . . . let me describe: Picture a string across the bridge of your nose going through your tear ducts in the inner corner of your eyes, through your nose, like an inverted triangle, then tied at the point of the V, at the base of your nose. This is what they did to Elle.

I was quite surprised that the doctors chose to do the temporary stint (one that you can see) rather than a permanent stint because this is a girl who will not leave a barette in her hair. I had to ask them to put a brace over the IV so she wouldn't pull it out. What made them think she was going to leave a rubber band strung through her head? Doctors!

Regardless, her doctor explained that this temporary stint would have to stay for 6 to 8 weeks. Sure.

Elle came home without incident. She breezed through recovery, asking for her "Pippy" (our dog), not her Momma, although she was glad to let me rock her and feed her popsicles :) She looked scary post surgery. I know that is an awful thing for a parent to say but it surprised me. Have you seen the move Outbreak where the people have the Ebola virus? Well, suffice to say my babe had blood coming from her eyes and nose (which was normal) and I was somewhat freaked, but still able to handle it without looking like I was going to have a breakdown.

We were home by 11:30. I put her down for a nap at 12:30 to let her sleep off the rest of the antistesia, checking on her every half hour or so. She was sleeping face down, with her face towards the wall so I couldn't see her face but I saw that she was breathing fine and resting well, so I let her sleep until 4:30. Whe I woke her, I noticed immediatly that the stint was G O N E. Meaning, there was no longer a tube in her head that I could see. The ensuing conversation went like this (and I am not kidding - this is what happened):

Me: Elle! Oh no!
Elle: Hi.
Me: Elle! Where did it go?
Elle: (matter of factly, knowing EXACTLY what I was talking about) It bye, bye.
Me: Oh my gosh! Elle! I can't believe this?!?!
Elle: Hi.
Me: Elle, where is bye, bye?
Elle: (reaching under her pillow and producing the rubber tube) Here.
Me: Oh, holy heck.
Elle: Yeah, bye, bye. (holding out her arms)
Me: Elle, there *is* such thing as a tooth fairy. NOT a tube fairy. I'm not paying you for this.
Elle: Ok. Hi. Sicles?

How smart is my kid? She actually saved the stint under her pillow. She knew that I'd want to see it - so she put it under her pillow. Yeah. It bye, bye, alright. Six to eight weeks? We didn't even hit the eight HOUR mark.

Oh, my sweet sweet Elle.

I have talked to her Doctor a few times and they expect she will be fine but there is the chance that she will have to have the surgery redone after the first of the year with a permanent tube put in (one that is subdermal). Anyhow, there is my Elle story. And no, there aren't accompanying pics this time. I never got a chance to take one of her with the stint in (hello, eight hours!?!) and she won't be still enough to allow me to take one this morning. She has too much to do, apparently.

So there is my Elle story. I hope you enjoyed it. I will be contacting the Social Security Admin this afternoon and officially changing her middle name from Elizabeth to Houdini.

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