ANNIE GRACE SABIN - March 30, 2010 - August 1, 2010

ANNIE GRACE SABIN - March 30, 2010 - August 1, 2010

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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Butterflies

I woke up this morning with butterflies in my stomach and a prayer in my heart that today we would get the miracle Annie needs. I have never prayed like I did today - every part of me aching for an answer, for resolution, for peace, for strength, for faith and hope, for courage, and for healing. Cameron and I exchanged very few words on the drive to the hospital. Both of us were struggling with the emotions of again sending Annie into surgery. When we arrived at the hospital it felt like the entire staff here was holding their collective breath right along with us. The only advantage of being here this long is that most everyone knows and loves Annie. So many of the nurses have told me that they are praying for her and some have put her name on the temple rolls. Even the surgeon that assisted on her operation told us this morning that he was praying for Annie as well. I love that these good people love her! We spent close to an hour with her this morning before the anesthesiologist came to take her to the operating room. How strange it was to repeat the long walk and the dreaded kiss goodbye. This time around was even more difficult than the last as we really knew that this was Annie's last shot at a surgical resolution to her complicated problem. I made sure that the surgeon knew how very many people were praying for him today - all of us desiring for his skilled hands to be guided in making the necessary changes to her anatomy to finally give her the relief that she so desperately needs. This time, instead of waiting in the regular surgical waiting room, we retreated to Annie's room in the CICU where we could be alone in the comfort of familiar surroundings. It was strange to be in her big empty room with no Annie. It felt so hollow without her there. While we were both nervous, we felt peace in knowing that we had done all we could to make the right decision for Annie. Now it was time to trust in God.

The first hour was spent prepping her for surgery and the next two hours were spent getting her on the bypass machine. This took much longer than last time because the scar tissue from the original surgery was still very fragile and required tedious and slow going to prevent too much bleeding. Once she was on the bypass machine, Dr. Burch removed the valved conduit that they placed last time as well as some of each branch pulmonary artery. He then installed the homograft, making sure to lengthen the arteries with it. He also dissected some of the tissue behind the aorta to give it room to "float" forward and off of her bronchus. At that point the ENT doctor came and performed a bronchoscopy to determine if the bronchus was still occluded. He determined that while it was 100 percent occluded before the surgery, now it was 50 percent occluded. A big improvement, but is it enough? At this point, we do not know the answer to this as only time will tell. Dr. Burch decided to leave her chest open in an effort to drain as much fluid as possible before closing it. Minimizing the pressure in her chest will lessen the chance of her bronchus collapsing when they do close it.

I would describe the feeling in Annie's room tonight as guarded hope. Immediately following the surgery there was noticeable improvement in her ability to breathe. When I walked into her room and heard the doctors discussing how happy they were to see both sides of her chest moving with each breath and I saw numbers on her ventilator lower than I have ever seen previously, I had to choke back the tears. It is way too soon to know if the surgeon has succeeded in his efforts to relieve the pressure on the bronchus and if it will be strong enough to remain open, but it has been so long since I have heard anything optimistic about Annie that any good news makes me emotional. The coming days will be telling, but tonight she is breathing easier than she has in weeks. The peaceful rise and fall of her chest fills my eyes with tears and my heart with gratitude.

7 comments:

  1. Hope today is a good day for her recovery!

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  2. I hope she had a restful night. I am so overcome with emotion thinking of all you've had to endure. My thoughts and prayers are with you and with Annie. I truly hope that this is the solution that everyone has been praying for.
    Hugs,
    Hollie

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  3. We are praying for sweet Annie and her recovery!

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  4. Dear Amy, I just posted to you for the first time, did not know about this comment section before, but I posted under the wrong section, "Never the Same". Aunt Linda told me people could comment at the bottom, so I just flipped all the way to the bottom ( well I thought I was at the bottom, not really sure now how I ended up there) and posted there by accident, totally out of order. I meant to post it here under "Butterflies", as this particularly entry just touched me so very deeply. Wow, it is pretty sad how computer illiterate I am. I tried to copy and paste it here but that did not work. So sorry. Happy Birthday to Hayden! 6-5-10- Love you, mom

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  5. Teri Curtis said...
    My dear Amy Annie,
    I just read your most recent post, about all that you and Cameron went through the day of Annie's second surgery. My heart literally aches for you, and the tears spill over. It is hard for me to watch little Annie Grace suffer so, but the most difficult part for me is watching you, and wondering just how hard it must really be, and worrying about you. I see the strong woman you have become, and I know that your faith will continue to sustain you through each and every moment of every day and trial you will face.

    I am grateful for Cameron, for this good man you married, and for the way in which he is always there for you; I am so grateful you married your very best friend. I remember well the strong feeling I had when I first heard him speak, that the two of you had much in common, and how I hoped you would someday meet. I am so thankful that "someday " did come, and for all the love and joy he has brought into your life. I am grateful for the 6 beautiful grandchildren the two of you have brought into my life.

    To this day I remember very clearly what you looked like at Annie's age, and how thrilled I was to finally get a beautiful little daughter. I remember in that recovery room, way back in 1975, I kept drifting off and then waking up again, asking the nurse one more time if I really did have a little girl. I was filled with an indescribable joy and constant thoughts of white lace and bright colored bows with which I would someday adorn your hair. And then I cried, over and over. I remember it like yesterday. And then when you finally got enough hair to really work with, how you loved to wear it in french braids. I long to see Annie one day in french braids.

    You were a lovely child to raise, so very happy, always helpful, always grateful. You loved the out of doors, always, and wanted to be out fishing and camping with your brothers and your dad from the very start. You had a love of the beauties in nature from a very young age.

    I remember once when you were about 4, we were driving south on State Street in Sandy, and you were looking east out the window at the beautiful red and yellow patches covering the autumn Wasatch Mountains. Suddenly, I heard you exclaim, "Heavenly Father did such a good job!" It is one of the sweetest memories I have of you and I carry it with me always.

    What a wonderful daughter you are, always thoughtful of others, always the one to go out of your way to make others feel included. Last Christmas that "other" was me, and I will never forget what you did. My heart overflows with love for you, my sweet daughter.

    Your posts have been so very touching to read. You have a gift with the written word, and these words you have written here will be a treasure for your family forever, and someday your own grandchildren. Please know that I am here for you always, and how very, very much I love you. I know that Annie is in your heart every minute of every day; please know you are both in mine.
    Love, mom

    JUNE 5, 2010 5:54 PM
    ps- I tried again and think it worked this time, the copy and paste

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  6. Hello Amy,
    My name is Jennifer Tenney, and your blog was sent to me from my mom, from Suzzane Jacobsen from your ward in Utah. Reading your blog brought back so many memories and feelings from our experience with our Isaac. He is also a cardiac baby. He was born 5 weeks early with Pulminary and Tricuspid atresia. Which means he was born with a right venticle malformation. That's the best I can describe it with out going into HUGE detail. I'm sure you know what I mean. Our Isaac has also had 2 open heart surgeries and still one more between ages 2-5. The 1st surgery was the hardest because he was only 1 1/2 weeks old and it took a huge tole on his little body, but after 3 months we were able to take him home. At 6 months he had his second surgery and we were so blessed he was only in the hospital for 6 days.
    Any way, I really just wanted to say how amazed I am at Heavenly Fathers love and healing power. These experiences change us in way we could have never imagined and at least for me gave me a whole new view of the power of the Lord's tender mercies and Our Saviors Atonement for us. I will keep you in our prayers during this time and I know you don't know me, and it sounds like you have such wonderful friends and family to support you, but from one Cardiac mom to the other if you ever need anything, just let me know, even if it's just to talk. I know how much it helps to talk to someone who knows a little of what you're going through.
    Sincerely Jennifer Tenney.

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