Monday, May 4, 2009

Six Months Ago

It was exactly six months ago when Dylan had open heart surgery. He was 4 months old.

This was the surgery that was meant to repair his complete AV canal defect. However, once the surgery began, an additional, and extremely rare defect called an AP window, was discovered.

The actual surgery took about 8 hours. We were told that because Dylan had been on the heart/lung bypass machine, as well as being put on cardiac arrest for so long, that his recovery was going to be quite difficult. We were told that Dylan's lungs did not "look good" and he was in "very very critical condition".

We were scared. This didn't sound optimistic. But as the days passed, more and more tubes and wires were removed. Dylan was taken off of the ventilator. He was recovering! And recovering quite well, I might add!

On day 6 we were surprised yet again. This time it was an omentum hernia that required surgical repair. Eh, a minor set-back in the big scheme of things, I'd say. Once that was taken care of, he was on the road to recovery once again. And this time, it was the fast-track.

Dylan was in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit for a total of 9 days. He came home with some Tylenol, Lasix, and instructions on how to pick him up properly. We were told that it would take up to 6 weeks for his ribcage to fuse back together. We were careful with him and he seemed comfortable.

I remember being home with him then and thinking, "He's here. He's fine! And we are fine, too. We did it. I can't believe we did it!".

The day of Dylan's surgery was not an easy time, to be sure. Probably the most difficult day of my life, actually. But you know what? We got through it. And we came out of the experience even stronger. And with even more love than before...we learned just how fragile life can be.

It's funny...part of me feels like this all just happened yesterday, but yet another part of me feels like this was a lifetime ago. I think I am different now. I feel like I have changed, somehow. Like I am all the better for it. And stronger, too. All because of Dylan.


Amanda said...

Wow, I can't believe that was six months ago! And so, so glad it's over.

Derek, Kenzee and Gage said...

I remember this so clearly. I remember constantly checking to see if you had updated on how he was doing and I was so happy to see progress as well. Look how far you have come big boy!! You are so tough!

Tim and Kelli said...

Kids teach us so many great lessons in life. WTG, Dylan you are a strong little guys.

Cathy said...

Like Kenzee, I too spent that day (and several days after) checking your blog...and praying.

I knew that you would get through it and be stronger for it. I know that I told you that prior to surgery, but you can't really understand that until you've been through it yourself.

Dylan is an amazing little boy who has a great family.

Kimberly said...

Wow, I can't believe it was 6 months ago.
I will never forget that day. I wanted nothing more than to hear he was out of surgery and doing well. Even thoes days after the surgery was scary. I am so thankful that he is doing so well.

Mara said...

And you became a wonderful example for the rest of us : ) thanks

Anne and Whitney: Up, Down and All Around said...

6 months already???!!! I know what you mean about it feeling like yesterday and also a lifetime ago... Dylan is so strong and you guys are AWESOME for everything you have done as his parents to get him where he is today!

Angela said...

I totally let Benjamin's six month heart surgery anniversary (that's a mouthful) slip by unnoticed. Crud! (He had his exactly one month and one day before Dylan did, on October 3.)

Wow, nine days in the PICU? That's intense. We were there for three, and then in a regular room for four more. B was on a pacemaker for a day or so afterwards b/c he had a complete heart block. Then that fixed itself. Then he got a plueral effusion and needed a chest tube for a couple of days. Then there was something else but I can't remember.

I totally agree that it seems like yesterday. Yet it also seems like years ago. Time is funny that way.

Aren't our boys so strong? I love it!


Kim Rees said...

I know what you mean about surgery seeming so far off yet it seems like only yesterday. No one knows what it is like to go through open-heart surgery with your child unless they have experienced it too! I know you are a stronger person and a more loving person because it happened to me too with Liliana. God takes care of us and carries us when we are going through the storms in our lives so that we can come out on the other side stronger people. Thanks for taking the time to reflect back on your experience because it helps remind me of all that I have been through with Lily and all I have to be thankful for too.

Lis said...

I totally remember those days, constantly checking my phone for an update! Has it really been 6 months? Time flies!

Jocelyn said...

Yah! Can't believe it's been six months already. Our little guys are growing up!

Amy said...

Dylan is a rock star.