pacman inkee

zane on her ds in the children's ward.

update! so i tried to write this out at least once already, but my computer ated it by spontaneously rebooting on me. i guess it did not like what i had to say. so i am going to try and rewrite. at the end of june zane was scheduled for an outpatient tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy, and tubes in the ears. the day before the surgery i was a wreck, i fully had at least 4 distinct panic attacks. i kept feeling the same as i did before several other outpatient surgeries in my family that went wrong, sometimes we joke that sometime back in the family line we pissed off hypoxia, goddess of complications under general anesthesia. yuriy couldn't understand why i was so stressed out or upset, but i was panicky trying to figure out if this was all in my head or if i really was feeling super paranoid for a reason. to that end, i scheduled one more appt right before the surgery with her anesthesiologist to go over the family history again and talk over my concerns. i fully believe now that not only was my paranoia justified, but the reason zane did not die after the surgery. right after they pulled her surgical airway tube, she developed post-obstructive pulmonary edema from laryngospasm probably from an anesthetic sensitivity. the anesthesiologist sat with her for longer after the surgery waiting to wake up, and he was able to immediately notice when she began foaming up and was unable to breathe. from what i have read, many pediatric patients who develop this don't get caught as soon and it can lead to cardiac arrest (and heart problems are well-known in our family). in fact, i was worried because the entire time she was in the hospital her resting heart rate hovered around 130 and never dropped below 100.

so she was rushed from the out-patient surgical center, up into the city to a pediatric hospital over in the inner richmond where we camped out for the next week. the hospital was really great, it was very warm, inviting, there were lots of distractions and things set up to help relieve the kids from the fact that they were in a hospital. even the picu was relatively quiet and free from distractions aside from nurses coming in to monitor vitals. we were there for about three days until zane was able to be fully off the respirator and the nose canula oxygen, and until her nighttime blood oxygen sats were above low-90s. once that happened we spent a few more days on the normal children's ward while she got better. it was great up there, they have movie lending libraries, lots of aides to entertain kids. we spent a lot of time in the ward playroom where they had a pool table, GIANT tv, and tons of toys and playhouses. we played a lot of operation and other games, colored, watched the world cup, cheered, had a midnight pizza party with mushed up pizza once zane was cleared to try solid foods. it was a very positive hospital experience for all that it was having to stay in a hospital. hospital time is so weird because it feels like time stops, and the world keeps going but you step outside it for awhile. eventually we were cleared to go home, and had the fastest discharge in history (seriously like 5mins) so we could get home for the home medical supply people to deliver zane's home compressor and oxygen cart. she will have to be on oxygen at night for a few more months until all the post-surgery swelling and remodeling is done so we can have another sleep study done. hopefully then she will be all healed and we can forget about this whole thing.

so the following two weeks were spent heavily recuperating and helping zane get better. i knew there would be recovery time needed, so it was only a little longer than i had planned. we also were able to do some fun stuff in there with making art, working on learning projects, etc. it took zane quite awhile to get back even up to the point where she could take a walk on the beach. she is doing much better now however, almost totally back to normal. she is even cleared for swimming, just in time for the children to all go to mexico to visit our family (we moved this year's trip to the end of summer so she would be able to enjoy it, and thank god. my mother in law was pushing for it to go on as normal and to just push her surgery to later in the summer ("it's just an outpatient, she will be fine!") and thank god i listened to my intuition and did things the way i thought was smart. i would have hated for her to miss the beginning of her 6th grade year! this is the first year that school really starts to count!

hospital art

for those who are worried that i was exploiting zane by taking pics of her in the hospital, etc, she asked me to do so so she would know what was going on. we all take so many pictures because we use them as reference, probably from having me, a photographer, as a parent. but we like having a visual record to refer to, and to kind of put things together in our heads as to what is going on sometimes. and if you don't have a mirror handy, a picture and lcd display make an awesome substitute.
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I'm glad she's doing better. I was really scared for you guys.

It's weird, because the same day that happened to Zane, the same thing happened to one of my mom's friend's. She's still having troubles.
zaney is such a tough, awesome girl! i think she got it from her mamacita.

what a nightmare for your family. i'm so glad it's over now, and thankful that you rocked that intuition and did what your heart told you needed to be done.

much love to the whole hep clan <3
oh she is 10x tougher than me. i think i forgot to mention all of that part. she fkn never cried or complained except for 1 point of low moral on the 2nd night (part of that was due to them constantly promising that perhaps she would be untubed "soon"). she is way stronger than i ever was through similar incidents as a kid. she didn't even cry when they untubed her, and i can't tell you how many times i sobbed thru that so much that they worried they would have to retube me. i may be tough now, but it took trial by fire for me to get this way. zane was just born forged from steel.
I'm glad she's doing so much better. And thank God you listened to your intuition.
Bless her heart. That is awesome that she is feeling better! Also awesome that there is still plenty of time for summer swimming.
example me:

Seriously Hep, I came here to say that if anyone thought that anyone who thinks you are exploiting her by taking these pictures probably also has some other gross ideas about parenting that are not worth your time.
I could not agree more, anyone that questions YOUR parenting ability and said you were exploiting Zane....I AM SO SURE. You love your children, you worry about them and I can just see her saying to you TAKE PICTURES SO I KNOW WHATS GOING ON.

Her movie? AWESOME. She's an amazing child and to know she did not complain or cry...seriously, you have amazing children and that is no accident, a huge part of it is that YOU are their mother Hep.

How horrifying to go through, there is nothing worse than watching someone you love sick and a child is a million times worse..I am so glad she's okay and again...YOUR FILM ZANE IS AWESOME :)
I totally wish I had some pictures of me when I was in a coma for 2 months back in 2004.... i know I had some crazy monchichi beard and wacky rashes. it would have been entirely a great conversation starter.
Thank you for the update. I'm so glad that everything turned out ok and I'm just so fucking relieved for you guys. Hugs.
so scary! and i'm so glad she's ok and on the mend. i seriously think you are the best mom in the world. xo.
oh don't tell me people really thought you were exploiting her!!! omg ugh other people

throughout this saga i knew she was a trouper and was probably all TAKE THE PICTURES NO I DON'T LIKE THIS ONE ERASE IT LET ME POSE BETTER ONE TWO THREE MYSPACEEEE

or something
Zane is like a little mini-hep! It's kind of adorable.

I'm so glad it looks like she'll be back at 100% in a few months. I'm sorry you had to be scared first. It's the worst fear ever.

I wish the speediest of recoveries upon her. And some rest upon you. ;)
So relieved to see the post. I am so glad she is doing better. I try to model my parenting after yours you are the best parents I have ever known.
awe that is one of the sweetest things anyone has ever said to me!
First, anyone that says that a parent taking photos of her child while said child is in the hospital is exploiting them should talk to me. My husband has a terrible visual memory, and thanks to years of prescription medications, I have almost no memory of conversations. We work together in harness, but one of the ways that we work is that I take notes and he takes photos. They've often helped us. So they can fuck off.

Secondly, I agree, sixth grade is when it starts to really count. Alicia wishes now (now that she's entering eighth grade) that she'd paid more attention during sixth because she'll have her transcript from seventh go out along with her transcript from eighth. It's part of the reason she went to Middlebury, to prove she could take schooling seriously. She's applying to ten or a dozen schools, and all of them are very competitive.

Tell Zane that I send her my best wishes, and when I pick up Alicia tomorrow, I'll see if I can remind her to send an e-mail. :) (Don't be surprised if it's in Denglisch — Alicia is having a helluva time with English cognates. I guess she can sing Rammstein songs now, though.)
holy shit, that is scary. i've had so many surgeries in my life, starting from early early early, i never really understood the risks. i mean, i knew they existed...i guess they just didn't seem real.

for those who are worried that i was exploiting zane by taking pics of her in the hospital,

what the hell? it's your fucking kid! why the hell would you have to justify taking pictures of your own damn kid?
for those who are worried that i was exploiting zane by taking pics of her in the hospital, etc,

What? Who would think that? You're so not one of those people who goes running to all the communities for pity or anything. You're a photographer. I figure that this is the way you document things, just like I keep things in writing.

I'm glad that she's doing better AND that you had that extra talk with the anesthesiologist.
Love love love the pics of her doing fine, surrounded with blankets and stuffed animals, but omg how will I ever deal with having kids of my own? I'm a wreck just seeing the one pic with the tubes and reading about the post-op complications.

I don't even know you guys except via your posts on LJ, but I'm totally rooting for you. I'm so grateful to read that Zane's doing better, and I love that you express so much appreciation for your kids in your journal, both overtly and between-the-lines. I'm totally going to be that way with whatever kids I end up having.

Also I'll just echo the comments of others re: 'exploiting' ... did someone actually believe you were doing that? lame.
so scary! I'm glad you were so on top of the anesthia and meds given to her. and I'm glad you got someone responsive to your concerns. poor zane, here's to lots of speedy healing vibes!

and i agree, you aren't a parent until you exploit your kids. I'm sure it's in some parent handbook somehwere :P :)
I am so glad Zane is doing better, and I hope you all can have some decent summer before school hits!
geez ow. what an ordeal. i am glad she's doing better, and she's an awesome kid. but you know that ;)