Man oh man, I don’t know if I like this whole “waiting around for a surgery date” business – especially when it involves a trip to up to the Stollery Children’s’ Hospital for open heart surgery. Excluding Evanna’s very FIRST open heart surgery (okay okay …and the GTube surgery), we haven’t had to wait for “that phone call” in a very long time. Normally (for us), it generally goes along the lines of “Evanna needs surgery”, is immediately flown up to Edmonton, and has surgery the next day. Instead of just a few moments notice, a couple of hours to pack, and hastily making several phone calls to family, homecare nurses, work, and the Ronald McDonald, we now have a handful of weeks to do all of that…. and I’m not sure if I like it. We had a check-in with our Cardiologist (more on that a bit later), and she chuckled at my remarks and stated “this is how it’s suppose to be!”.
So Monday was Halloween. At one point I was 100% sure that we’d still be in hospital, but the stars aligned and we managed to get discharged just a few days before – meaning for the first time, we got to celebrate our FIRST Halloween HOME! I originally didn’t have plans to actually take Evanna out, but my mom called me on Sunday night and said they were coming over with my sister, niece + nephew…. which meant I had to figure out some logistics on how I was going to make the whole thing work (ie. both Evanna’s original and newly acquired medical equipment). Well I just happened to purchase a wagon for Evanna (it's suppose to be a Christmas present -- oh well), so I decided there was no harm in breaking it out a little early for a good cause.
It’s quite common for it to snow by Halloween here in Calgary (think snowsuits under Halloween costumes), but thankfully we had decent weather – warm enough that just a few layers were required. I was sure the wagon I purchased was on the larger end, but apparently Evanna’s “stuff” proved otherwise. I was able to get her emergency trach kit, suction machine, IV pump bag, and her ventilator in the wagon with Evanna, but I still had to pull out the oxygen tank carrier. We made it to about 7-8 houses before Evanna was DONE, but we still did it nonetheless, and we achieved this little milestone!
On Tuesday we had a quick appointment with our Cardiologist. The ECHO + ECG was done first (with a few compliments on Evanna’s excellent behavior), before proceeding to meet with Dr. Fruitman. Overall we’re just keeping a close eye on her prosthetic devices for any vegetation growth (which would prompt an immediate surgery), and our Cardiologist was just ecstatic with how great Evanna was looking. She has since reported Evanna’s status to our surgeon, and now we're just waiting for that phone call with a surgery date (again, aiming for the end of November). Plans are in the works with Edmonton and Calgary’s ICU’s in regards to transport, and we’re just trying to enjoy these last few weeks at home as best we can.
xo The Irvine Family
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