Ella's surgery for her kidney reflux has been changed to next Wednesday, July 29th (rather than August 5th). She had her pre-op this morning and passed with flying colors, and I talked with the admit person at Children's Hospital this afternoon to get some final information -- so we're all set.
We have to be at the hospital at 11:15am and surgery will start at 12:45. This means only clear liquids for breakfast and nothing after 9am. Not looking forward to that part, but we're going to have a 'Silly Party' for breakfast, so hopefully the novelty of having popsicles and apple juice will help : ) I think we're even going to try and make ballet class as another distraction, but we'll see.
If everything goes as planned the surgery itself should take about an hour, and once Ella starts to wake up (in recovery) Tom and I will be with her. After that they'll move her to her room, and if everything continues to go well she'll be discharged around dinnertime.
Last week I started talking a little about all of this, with both Ella and Zoe. I briefly mentioned Ella's kidneys (which we've discussed many times before) and told her she was going to go to the hospital and have an operation, and that Dr. H was going to fix her kidneys so they work the way they're supposed to. Her response? 'But mama, I am not sick!'. I reassured her the surgery was to help make sure she does not get sick and that afterwards she wouldn't have to take her medicine each night, which made sense to her, but she still questions it time to time.
Zoe's response to hearing that she would stay home with Grama Dianne while Tom, Ella and I are at the hospital? 'Oh no, I want to go with so I can hold Ella's hand!'. Awwwww. They are truly so protective of each other : ) But now Zoe is excited because Grampa Lindy will be coming too, and she knows the three of them are going to do special things together, and that once Ella gets home she'll be able to cuddle with her then.
Zoe did get a chance to hold Ella's hand though. At her pre-op Ella had to have blood drawn and Zoe assigned herself as Ella's protector and the nurses assistant. Ella told me she wanted to sit in the chair by herself, so she did. And Zoe stood right next to her, said 'it's okay Ella', and then held her hand during the whole blood draw. Ella made quite the face when the needle was put in, and said 'That HURT', but didn't cry. Whew. Both girls were fascinated by the blood going in the tube, and were also thrilled that they got bandaides afterwards (Zoe too). I was thrilled I didn't faint (I am so not good with that kind of stuff), but was really glad it was a positive experience for both girls.
Children's Hospital also sent a DVD for us to watch, which has been really helpful. It's only a little over 4 minutes long but the girls have asked to watch it over and over again. It gives a matter-of-fact description of what will happen during different parts of a hospital stay, in an almost fun and playful way, and the 'host' of the show is a little pig puppet. Total hit.
So, like I said, I think we're as set as we can be. I purchased a few little gifts for each girl to give to them before and after surgery. I'm also going to make a little photo album for each of them, with pictures of each other (thanks for the idea, mom). But I do think we have a little case of 'Madeline' going on over here. Remember the part in the story where Madeline gets her appendix out and the other little girls see her scar from surgery? And how that night they all wake up saying they need their appendix out also? Zoe has told me a few times now that her kidneys need help too, and that she needs to have surgery just like Ella. And that she might be a little scared but that she won't cry. And that she wants watermelon chapstick on her gas mask, just like the pig chose in the hospital video. Ella said she wants the watermelon chapstick too, so I hope they have that one in stock on the 29th.
In the meantime, Ella and Zoe are busy playing in the sand,