Phase 2 Preparation
Lydia has responded wonderfully to the first portion of the procedure. It is astounding to see the progression of the daily xrays that show the growth of her lower esophagus toward the button (literally, a button) on her shoulder where the sutures come together. Dr. Jennings is very pleased, and believes that her lower esophagus section has reached the maximum length they’ll be able to get from it.
“Not stretched,” he says, “it grew.”
Tomorrow, phase 2 is scheduled first thing in the morning. Dr. Jennings will open the same site as 2 weeks ago, clean out the fluid buildup in the chest cavity, and have a look at the growth, width, and thickness of his (and Lydia’s) handiwork.
He’ll then remove her spit fistula (where her upper esophagus exits her neck and drains her saliva) and move it lower onto her chest as a means to stretch it southward. He anticipates moving the spit fistula 2-3 times to get the right length. These procedures will take place every 5-10 days until there’s enough of an overlap to have a complete, lifetime joining of the two ends.
In the meantime, she remains mostly unconscious, on a steady diet of morphine and versed, to which she will have built up quite a tolerance when all is said and done. Every 4 hours, she’s given a dose of paralytics so they can suction out her breathing tube and trachea of saliva and secretions, as well as look her over and rotate her.
As the paralytics wear off, occasionally she’ll open her eyes briefly and squeeze dad’s finger. I’m thankful that she’ll never remember these days.
On the homefront, Wyatt now weighs in at a whopping 15 pounds, Ava is 12 pounds, 8 ounces, and is rolling over from her stomach to her back. It’s her anger that gives her strength.
Yesterday was Wyatt, Ava, and Lydia’s six month anniversary on planet earth. The world is richer with them here.
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