Thursday, July 24, 2014

PreOp Appointment

See these two dudes below? (Dr. MacIver left, Dr. St. Louis, right) Pray for them. Pray that they have skilled hands and a relaxing weekend and show up to work Monday morning bright eyed and bushy tailed. They will be working on Miles.  We initially just thought it would be Dr. St. Louis, the more "senior surgeon," but as it turns out, it'll mainly be MacIver, likely along side St. Louis. AND an army of surgical residents and med students I'm sure. (And lots of other people who probably do even more grunt work for the doctors.) Sucks thinking residents will be probably doing some work on him, but as Ryan says, "they have to learn too." (LOTS of doctors in our circle of friends, so they'd totally roll their eyes at me!) But that's what happens at a University Hospital: lots of research, innovation, and practice.  We didn't end up getting to meet any of these guys today, they were busy. (Imagine that!) So we'll meet one of them the morning of.  I wanted to bring them an aroma therapy candle and tell them to not whoop it up this weekend. No keg stands, bar crawls, etc. Steady hands boys, steady hands.

Robroy MacIver, MD, MPH        James St. Louis, MD

Our preop started with the usual height, weight, blood pressure, EKG, and echocardiogram, and chest xrays. Then we met with a nurse practitioner who went over the procedure.  Yikes. Disgusting. Horrifying. Unbelievable that they're going to do ALL that on a 12 pound kid with a heart the size of his little fist.  I stopped creating mental images at "breaking the sternum, bypass complications (stroke?!), potential animal parts to help with repair (weird.),  and using permanent wire to close the sternum area inside back up. (No, he shouldn't set the alarms off at the airport!) She said surgery times can vary obviously, but hopefully would be in ICU by late afternoon. The first part of the surgery that takes awhile is getting all of his body scrubbed and getting tubes in all over. He'll be sedated for that though obviously.

No more gory details, but it's nuts.  Now I know why some people say these surgeons have "God Complexes" because they are doing God's intricate work to say the least.  And save lives. And are good at it. And get paid lots of money.  And probably have hot girlfriends or wives. And drive fancy cars.  (Okay, maybe not the last two, but I'm going to guess at least one of them for sure.)

Miles will be sedated for 24-48 hours post surgery, then the ventilator comes out.  Then we wait and see how he does.  NICU for anywhere from 4-5 days, then regular peds cardiac floor. Best case scenario he goes home at 10 days, or 2 weeks or more depending on complications. We won't talk complications, because there are too many, most are terrible, and I can't even think about that.  (Did I mention we have to re-do infant CPR training before we leave the hospital?..which reminds me, Grandma and Grandpa Winkler are helping with some after care in the following weeks..probably ought to have them watch some you tube videos.)

Then we met with a child life specialist. They're jobs are so amazing, I considered training to become one when I couldn't find my first teaching job.  If you don't know what one is, google it, it's pretty cool.  But for now, she asked us what we had questions about, showed us pictures on an ipad of real post-op cardiac patients, what the OR will look like, machines, tubes, you name it. I'll post some pics of Miles, his room, the hospital, etc. next week. It's a pretty amazing facility.  Nolan will come the second week to visit, he'll love it. The child life specialist will talk to him, show him some things, and he'll play on the playground, playrooms, etc.  

Playground outside only for patients and families. Today I saw an adolescent patient outside, with his IV's, doing therapy stair work.

The outfit was very fitting for our day.  He did great.

Sunday night will be a night of many lasts for awhile.  A good, fully submerged bath (he LOVES his baths), nail cutting, picking up by the arm pits (can't do that for weeks stretching the sternum), and a picture of his tiny little incision/scar free chest.  His bath Sunday night will involve a strong, really drying, antiseptic wash to help prevent infection the next day.  Then he gets into jammies, has his final meal before 3am, and check in at 5:30am. Surgery is at 7am.

Prayer warriors, pray on!


  1. Prayers, prayers and more prayers.

  2. Thanks for sharing this! Absolutely praying!

  3. Dear Lord Jesus,

    We pray that you will pour your blessings over the Winkler family. Wrap your arms around Miles and give him the strength and courage he needs. Give peace to Ryan and Andrea. Ease their worried minds and hearts. We have faith in you, Lord, and we know that you are always with us. We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.