Li-Li goes bilateral!

Li-Li goes bilateral!

Yesterday at 8am, in Children’s Hospital Boston, Dr. Roberson made the first incision in a successful 5 hour surgery to provide Li-Li with her second cochlear implant. We came home from the hospital today, with the implant fully inserted, all electrodes firing! Li-Li is happy, healthy, and ready for stereo: activation is in less than 3 weeks.

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Anna-Li prepping for surgery

Just before we rolled in, I tried really hard to braid the hair on her left side — the new implant side — as tightly as possible, hoping they wouldn’t shave the huge swath they took out last time. We chose the decadent bubble gum-scented anesthesia for her mask instead of strawberry or watermelon — who thought up scented anesthesia?

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5 hours later: Anna-Li in Recovery

A complication occurred in surgery when the drill bit accidentally broke through the wall of her ear canal. The team was able to graft bone dust and fibrous tissue from the incision point to close the 3mm hole, which we’ll watch very carefully. Well, I won’t, as it’s inside her head, but THEY will be monitoring how well this heals. I don’t know how … but we’ll follow up later this week. Compared to last time around, so little swelling! No sad, tearful wake up this time: they used a local nerve block injected in her neck to stop any pain during those few hours after surgery, and she did so well!

She ate far too much frozen juice, and vomited it all up, which was so unpleasant for her, but they did a great job of managing her pain, and the discomfort of staying overnight: we had a private room this time and could watch Monsters Inc, Curious George, and Ice Age again and again and again … an all night slumber party with very little slumber until the 2am oxycodone kicked in! I might have liked a bit of that stuff to get me through my 66th viewing of Monsters Inc., but those nurses are so stingy with the drugs.

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Anna-Li exploring Medicine

She’s gotten very good at checking vitals and putting bacitracin on her furry friends: both the stuffed ones and — poor sticky Grendel and Gryphon — the real live ones.

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The incision

Gruesome, yet beautiful, healthy incision, although the dissolvable packing in the ear canal to manage the grafted area is resulting in a steady trickle of drainage that’s just nasty, but expected.

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Less than 24 hours after surgery: Anna-Li is back at home!

A little bit of whining, managed by lots of love and hugs and Tylenol and antibiotic, but otherwise, back to normal!

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Even without the good drugs, she's flying!