The whole day took 5 hours longer than expected, but she is healthy, doing well, feeling well, and the cysts/cholesteatoma-both of them--were removed AND the drs did an extra electrical hearing test on her right hear (the one without an implant) and for the first time, we learned that she does in fact have the ability to hear on that side. This leaves open the possibility of a second implant, and a 6th surgery, but its complicated so we'll get back to you on that later...
But for now, here's a recap.
When we last checked in, Rachel was more excited than a child waiting for surgery ought to be. After making crowns, coloring, and taking pictures of assorted items in the pre-op room, and meeting hordes of doctors, nurses, and child-life helpers, Rachel was given a nasal shot to help her fall asleep before general anesthesia. She wasn't a fan, but minutes later she was dozing on Daddy's shoulder. Christian got to wear the fancy scrubs and take her into the operating room. Its tradition.(Surgery #1, age 2 1/2, with Daddy, different hospital, same bear...)
We then played the waiting game. An hour or so into it, we met with the Otolaryngologist about the hearing test--yay for good news! The actual cutting part took about 2 hours, during which we took part in a clinical survey and earned $5 to help offset the cost of lunch. When the surgeon came out afterward, he said that her inner ear looked good--no infection--and that one cyst came out very easily, but the other was larger than anticipated and broke apart as he removed it. Still, good all around. We were-and are- thrilled.
Rachel took her time waking up, and when she did, she immediately began asking to go home.(close-up of the Princess Leia head-dress)
Thus began the careful ritual of trying to get her to eat, so she could take pain medication, without having her eat too much and get sick. One round of vomitting kept us in the recovery room an extra hour and a half, but at least she could pick out a free teddy bear and book.
She was a good kid on the way home, took very little pain medication (the doctor mentioned that she may not have very many active nerves left in the left ear due to surgeries...), and slept well that night. The next day she was up and playing, eating normally, but wanted to hide her scar, so I rigged up this cute little headband for her....(Rachel didn't take her pullover off for days, regardless of the summer weather...she didn't want anything touching her ear, even a shirt! I finally convinced her she couldn't wear it to church...)
Thanks so much for the thoughts and prayers directed our way. I always get so nervous when Rachel has surgery--um, understandably, I think. This might be the first time everything has gone as planned, surgically speaking. I'm just so grateful that Rachel is so resilient--she honestly enjoyed the attention, and takes the pain and discomfort in stride. I think the hardest part for her was going without her implant (and without hearing anything) for a few days and not being able to swim for a few weeks. She's a good kid! Oh, and I'm so thankful for good doctors. Have I mentioned that we have coincidentally moved and used the top 3 implant centers in the country? Its almost like Someone is watching over my kid and guiding our family... :) and I'm grateful.