Jackman, going into the OR for The Big One...
It may be old news for some of you now, but Jackman had the long awaited surgery Monday evening. He was four months and a day old. He had been asleep for a month. Right now he is recovering, and will be for a few days.
Just to recap, Jackman's esophagus didn't reach his stomach when he was born. There was a 7 cm gap between each end. In the time his esophagus was growing and being stretched to make up that gap, he grew over three inches longer himself. It has taken four months for that much growth to happen. All along we knew it had to grow until the ends were almost touching, and we finally got there.
We got to the hospital early enough to visit with Jackman a little bit. He woke up, but had to be put back to sleep because he was squirming too much. The pre-op call came in about 2:00pm, and he went into surgery around 4:00pm. At about 6:00pm, the nurse in the OR called to give us an update on how the surgery was going. She said he was doing fine, but that they were not able to do the surgery with the scope. Instead, they had to make a larger incision to perform the surgery. They finished up around 7:00pm.
Shortly after, the surgeon came around the corner and simply said "it's attached" with a smile on his face. Me and Lisa could hardly believe it. We didn't even know how to react. Come to think of it, I believe we just sat there with our mouths open.
He went on to explain the surgery a little more, and the stretching procedure as well. He said that the doctor who came up with the theory of stretching the esophagus was a colleague, and that he had spoke with him prior to taking this course of action with Jackman. He also said he was going to watch it a few days, and then call him to share how successful the procedure and surgery were. Our surgeon basically took this controversial technique and personalized it. According to my own research, most experts in the field would have probably not even considered this treatment, but would have immediately opted for relocating his stomach into his chest, or a colon interposition. I'm so thankful God put a surgeon in place who did the research when we didn't know what to do. (By the way, if you click the Wiki link below, the references cited are written by Jackman's surgeon; Carroll Harmon.)
Well, now it's a new kind of tough... the recovery. Jackman is going to be asleep for a few more days while he heals. It's crucial that he doesn't move right now, and tear the stitches loose. He should be awake, off the vent, and starting to feel better in 7 to 10 days if all goes well. They will eventually start weaning him off the drugs he has been on for pain and to keep him sedated. We're not sure when, but feedings will start in the near future. He has to learn to take a bottle. Sounds easy enough, but for four months he has been learning that all he has to do is have it poured through a tube straight into his belly. Now he's going to have to work for it.
Anyway, we are excited. He almost surely will not be home for Christmas, and it really is okay. Me and Lisa are already excited about spending Christmas with our new little family, and the building or town we're in just isn't that big of a deal anymore. We are just looking forward to getting him back. We want to hold him again. We're ready to play again. I'm not only looking forward to seeing his little happy face, but his little mean one too.
I know all of you friends and family are ready to see him in person. Yall hang in there. God will get him home whenever He feels like it, and that will be perfect timing. But for now, for some reason, we're at Children's Hospital... and God knows what He's doing.