The test Chrissie had yesterday was a CT Angiogram of the heart, which she had done November, 2009, but the test had to be repeated because Chrissie's cardiologist noticed (upon review of an x-ray of Chrissie's chest during her "Metapneumovirus" hospitalization) that her heart stent was fractured. The CTA will give Dr. Porisch a better look at the stent with much more precise and accurate imaging of the stent.
Chrissie is one observant little girl. She now knows the roads that lead to the hospital. Yesterday, she knew that we were heading there to get some good photos of her heart, so she wasn't all that stressed about it...until we entered the parking lot of the hospital. Then she began to cry and worry about "boo-boo's" (IV's). Daddy was able to calm her down, and we assured her that she wouldn't get any boo-boo's until after she was asleep. This was reassuring for Chrissie. We went to the radiology lab to wait for admitting, and the staff there remembered Chrissie from her November visit! I was amazed at this because out of the number of patients they see daily, after 4 months and hundreds of patients, they immediately remembered our sweet Chrissie. Everyone was asking about her, and she entertained waiting families as she talked and talked and talked in English. She "checked her email" on Daddy's phone, which cracked everyone up. She is such a little lady, and no one realizes that she's only been in Texas for 5 months! No one realizes she's from Serbia (she seems to look just like her adoptive mommy! :-), and no one realizes that she shouldn't be alive with her severe congenital heart defects. Even without realizing any of those things, Chrissie manages to have everyone fall IN LOVE with her after just one or two minutes in her presence! What a ham! We adore her!
So, that is Chrissie PRE-procedure! Sweet, lovely, charming, funny, full of joy and making everyone laugh and smile and dishing out large helpings of that giddy feeling that one gets around such a delightful child. Chrissie was such a BIG girl going into her procedure. She wanted to ride in the hospital bed instead of having us carry her. We walked alongside her. The staff took us into the radiology lab with the CTA equipment where Chrissie would be put to sleep during her procedure. I held Chrissie in my lap in a bear hold hug while the anesthesiologist placed the mask over her face, and Chrissie fought like a bear to get out of that hold! It took about 5 people to hold her down, and I could see her daddy holding back tears as he watched his baby girl fight the very thing that is intended to save her life. It took Chrissie a lot longer to fall asleep...about 15 counts instead of the normal 3-5 counts. She did NOT want to let herself go, even though she kept asking us when she could "take her nap", just moments prior to the mask being placed on her face. We said our goodbyes to our little sleeping beauty, and made our way to the waiting room.
We had been told the procedure would take only a few minutes, and from our prior CTA experience with Chrissie, we expected to be back with her in recovery after only being separated for about 20 minutes total. Well, that wasn't the case yesterday. We were separated for over an hour, which brought some worry to Matt and I. We had just been told that the procedure itself would take less than 10 minutes, so after an hour of waiting to hear something, we were getting anxious. Finally, we heard the cries (SCREAMS) of our precious darling, and we felt a sigh of relief. (We were down the hallway from the recovery room and could hear her wailing, but it was a welcomed sound to our worried minds.)
We went to be by Chrissie's side as she struggled to recover from anesthesia. We were told it took a lot longer than expected because they couldn't get an IV. (This is always a problem; Chrissie's hands are covered in scars from her 10 months of IV's in Belgrade.) So sad. Once they finally got an IV going, it blanched, and they had to do another one in the other hand. I don't know how many tries they made in total, but thank the Lord, Chrissie was asleep during that process! Nevertheless, Chrissie was SCREAMING MAD. As every other child (about 20 total) peacefully sipped from apple juice or licked their popsicles, our daughter acted possessed!!! If she hadn't been so cotton-mouthed, I'm sure she would have been foaming at the mouth!!! Oh.my.word. WOW! She kicked, screamed, flailed, wailed, hit, thrashed, banged and fought like it ws her last fight for about 30 minutes. She tried to break down the bed rails, rip out her 2 IV's, and "kill" the oxygen mask (which wasn't even on her face, just next to her because her oxygen sats were low with all of her fit-throwing). At one point, Chrissie screamed at the top of her lungs, "I WANT TO GO HHHHHOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!" I couldn't help but chuckle. The poor children in the other beds must have felt like they were witnessing a reality show of The Exorcist!
At that moment, I told Chrissie, "Young lady, THIS is exactly why you're alive! You are a fighter! Fight girl, fight! We're on your side. We want you to win. God loves you and He made you with this fighting spirit. That is why you're in our arms today. You go, girl!" (Of course Chrissie couldn't hear a word I said through all of her wailing!) But, I was thrilled to see such a fight from such a tiny, frail girl who was acting like she had been training for years for this moment. I would have given her a gold medal, for sure! And, you know, I guess she HAS been training for this for years. She's not about to willingly let someone "hurt" her, and that's a very good thing. We are proud of our Bruiser Brody Princess! (Wrestling fans of the 80's, you know what I mean!)
After 30 minutes of this wrestling match, with more drama than World Wrestling Entertainment, a sweet nurse who wasn't even Chrissie's nurse, brought her a necklace and a pinwheel in an effort to calm her down and prove to her that not ALL nurses give boo-boo's...some give prizes!!! Chrissie accepted the gifts, but not very lovingly! Chrissie's nurse worked hard to get her discharged, but we explained to Chrissie that if she wanted to go home (which she continually declared to every floor of Methodist Children's Hospital), she would need to stop crying and get in control. After she heard that and processed it, she calmed herself down and forcefully proclaimed that she would now be going home. The nurse didn't even offer her apple juice or a popsicle, she just removed both IV's and sent us on our merry way. :-)
And once Chrissie got into the car and saw the hospital going in the opposite direction as our car, she was back to her delightful, charming self, just like that! She wanted to eat and sing and hold Mommy's hand. She also wanted to make sure she would get to attend her big brother's baseball game that evening. We made it home just in time to get Sawyer to his game, and Chrissie lovingly cheered him on from the backstop. "Go Bucky, Go! Get it, Bucky! Way to go, Buck! I love you, Sawyer!"
Now, that's our precious angel!
Thank you, God, for saving her life and giving Chrissie that fighting spirit.
We are forever grateful and forever blessed.