Home again, but not without incident.
Another endoscopy and round of sclerotherapy on Friday, where the doctors discovered that her four huge varices are still four huge varices. In other words, the sclerotherapy is not really having much success at shrinking them. Bummer.
However, we are now officially on the surgery schedule for Nov. 30 for the Rex shunt. Anni will be admitted on Nov. 29 and then our surgeon, Dr. Superina, has scheduled the entire day for her. He also made sure that his calendar didn't have him leaving town anytime soon after performing the surgery, so that makes me feel better, even though that date leaves us smack in the middle of holiday scheduling.
Annika told Jörg that she didn't like missing him and Frankie while she was in the hospital, so Jörg took Friday off from the university and we all traveled together. Just like a family vacation! Except with needles and microscopic cameras and noxious chemicals injected into the throats of small children!
Truly Annika enjoyed having everyone around, and by "everyone" I mean especially Frankie.
Frankie crawled into bed with her, stroked her head when she was crying, and murmured "It's OK, Nonny, it's OK," when things got tough. She took her position as companion and comforter quite seriously.
Everything went relatively smoothly - I.V. in on the first try, and pretty close to where Annika requested that it be placed, blood draws well done ("Please be careful with that needle! I like it slow so you don't miss!" she explained to the phlebotomist each time), no gas mask, and the anesthesiologist even switched sedation when she spotted the white syringe and told him that she didn't want the white medicine (or did he just color it? I don't know. Anyway, Jörg tells me that it was pink instead.) But then she woke up all friendly and ready to eat. And promptly threw everything back up. Again and again. So they gave her the usually miraculous anti-emetic, Zofran. To no avail.
Because we really
wanted to go, they went ahead and released us on Friday night, even though Annika had yet to keep anything down beyond water. We got home close to midnight, which was when we discovered that Anni had a fever, 102.5 That's not terribly high for Annika, but I was going to give her some Tylenol, anyway. Especially since I thought her throat might be hurting. But she curled up in a ball and moaned, "No more medicine! Pleeeeeeeeeease
!" So I let it go.
At 2 a.m. she was burning up. The thermometer registered 105.2 Now that's more like it! So I stripped her down and turned on the ceiling fan when she refused to take a bath. And, of course, she got the Tylenol. A few hours later she was back down to 102, and by the time we got to the pediatrician's office she was, of course, down to 99.8.
With no sign of any infection, we headed back home. Annika managed to keep down one yogurt and 4 crackers, so we counted the day as improvement. The night brought another fever, but nothing very spectacular.
So I think I'm going to count this trip as falling on the mainly "fun" side for Annika. This was due not only to the excitement of having Frankie and Jörg with her this time, but also in no small part to the newest addition to Annika's animatronic army, Furby
. Oh, oops. Furby is actually an "emoto-tronic" friend. Excuse me. Our friends, the Ketters (you may remember their daughter, Natalie
, with the trademarked Huge Laugh from one of Annika's September hospital stays
) sent this little guy/girl/thing (?) Annika's way. Annika and Frankie are both in love with him/her/it. Here's Anni opening the package just before we left for the hospital:
The most exciting feature? By far? He/she/it tells knock-knock jokes! Both girls have been giving original knock-knock jokes their best shot lately. (A typical Annika example: "knock-knock" "who's there?" "banana" "banana who?" "Banana, you peeled your pants!" followed by much uproarious laughter. A typical Frankie example: "knock-knock" "who's there?" "banana" "banana who?" "ummmmmmm, BANANA!" followed by a confused, but slyly proud smile.) Furby provided much happy distraction during this stay, so thank you Becca and family.
As usual, though, the best thing about going to the hospital is coming back home again.
Especially when you're almost 5. Birthday pictures coming soon.