Emily is very good at describing things, and she scored some points with the nurses yesterday in describing the removal of her pacer wires. During her surgery, three wires were pressed into the outside of her heart and passed through her chest to the outside. These "pacer wires" were left so that she could be connected to a pacemaker if her heart needed some regulation. Her new heart hasn't missed a beat so it was time to remove the wires. We were a little apprehensive about removing the wires, since removing the chest tubes last week was very painful and gross.
The nurses said, "we ask all the patients what it feels like and all they say is, 'that was weird!'" So one of her nurses grabbed one of the wires, counted down from three and pulled about 8" of wire out of her chest. Emily yelped, "that was weird!" She said it didn't hurt but was just strange. They proceeded to pull the other two wires with a little squirm from Emily each time.
They asked her to describe it so that they could explain it to other kids. She thought for a few minutes and said, "it's like pulling dental floss through your skin instead of through your gums." The nurses liked that explanation and thanked Emily for the good description.
We're glad to see the pacer wires gone. The only tube left in her is one IV in her arm. That's quite a reduction from the maximum after surgery, which was three chest tubes, three pacer lines, a breathing tube, a stomach tube, a line in her neck, one in her groin, a right atrial tube in her heart, and three peripheral IVs (I may have missed a couple). All these holes are healing, and the stitches that close the wounds will be going soon. She is really over the worst of the surgery, but of course faces a long road adjusting to lifelong medications.