Tuesday, February 10, 2009

That was weird!

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.


Jolene said...

Felt weird just reading the description! Glad to here that you may be getting outta there on Thursday and have time to recoup at Deb's aunt and uncles home.
Also great that you may be back in Queensbury soon - unbelievable!
Keep up the good work Emily - we all look forward to seeing you.

Thinking of all of you everyday.

Jerry & Jolene

Joelle said...

Wow it really is a miracle the difference less than 2 wks can make. The new heart must love it's new home!!

Lots of prayers for a not so rough road through the medication trials....hopefully the worse is over and everyday she tolerates the meds more!!

Mike Kirk said...

Emily - I had a check-up yesterday, first time in 10 years. The injection and blood samples taken made a few holes in me, but that pales by comparison to what you have gone through.
Best wishes as you heal up and head toward discharge. We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers.

Jolene said...

Teacher just informed that "hear" is better than "here"!


Cynthia said...

Emily -

I also had pacer wires when I had my myectomy. I think that I would describe the removal of those wires as pulling a pipe cleaner through a styrofoam cup. It has been 2.5 years, and I still remember it like it was yesterday!

Anyway, I glad to hear that you are not attached to much anymore. It will only get better from here.

Keep up the good work.

Cynthia (Cynaburst)

JamieTaylor said...


Sounds like you are making great progess in your recovery. I hope to hear they are letting you leave the hospital soon.


jag said...

A great description of the wire removal--creative expression--evidence of a great teacher back in her elementary days!!
I am so proud of you, Emily.
I too had tubes removed after a surgery. I think the length surprised me. Felt like they were attached to my toes.
Prayers for continued strength.