We got home late last night. We had parked at diamond airport parking so naturally there was a foot of snow on our car. Olive still feels better than before the surgery. By that I mean she is experiencing less pain than before. We are happy to be home.

Coming Home

We are writing from SeaTac.

Olive is exhausted from recuperation and working hard to heal. She is weak and tired and getting lots of little naps in.

Our main risk right now is infection and hydrocephalus. Infection at the sight and hydrocephalus because they have altered her normal CSF flow. I’m watching her with a hawk eye. It’s a long travel day for us, but we get to be home for Christmas Eve.

Day 4 Post Op

Olive is self described as “cranky” today. We are watching a lot of movies and preparing to fly home tomorrow to Anchorage. We are now routinely washing her incision and that has been a small source of pain. We are all Seattle’d out at this point and everyone is looking forward to putting feet on Alaskan Ground.

Day 3 Post Op

We have left the hospital and are back at our Hotel. We will be at the Hotel Maxwell in Seattle until Sunday AM. Sunday afternoon we will head back to Alaska.

Today Olive’s in more pain as we are backing off of some of her meds and stretching them out. It’s a balance between pain and recovery for her right now.

Her incision looks good, but the vice that they held her had in has left some very painful places on her scalp that quite frankly really hurt on both sides. I’ve included a photo of the device they used to hold her head and her incision today. It’s already looking better. 🙂

2nd Day Post Surgery

Olive is well. HeR pain is managed mostly by Tylenol, Advil and Valium. The Valium is helping to unlock the muscle spasms in her neck. She is in good spirits and we got to clear her hair today.

There is still iodine and glue in her hair. That will come out over time, but getting to wash after 3 days was a nice relief. I’ve posted an incision picture. You can see her neck is swollen and bulgy. That’s the muscles that were cut, the swelling and the painful contractions of her neck muscles.

Post Surgery Day 1

Olive is doing great. Around midnight last night all her nausea was gone and the majority of her pain has went down significantly. She is still on round the clock pain meds but she reports that her head is no longer throbbing like it normally does.

So that means that Olive is in less pain after removal of a piece of her skull and her spine than she was in her everyday life. Her normal medications of Tylenol and Advil are all that she is getting as well as a muscle relaxant to help with her neck muscles that are constricting due to the incision. Seems like the surgery was a success we are hopeful that there is not a slow return of symptoms over time and that she won’t need another surgery.

Talking to Dr. E.

Olive did well. They did a craniotomy and a laminectomy of the C-1. They did not have to cut the Dura, thank God. They were able to restore her flow on the right side, the left side needed more convincing. So we watch her for the next couple of months and protect her neck. This may mean she needs additional surgeries in the future. About 10 percent of people who do bone only decompression will have to do a more aggressive surgery. For today though, it looks like we got away with a less invasive procedure. I’m so thankful for Seattle Children’s Hospital and all the staff here.

Olive is awake now at 1:52 Seattle time. She’s been in a lot of pain, but has been asking for lots of food. So that is a very good sign!