Becky is back in surgery now.
The procedure should take approximately 1.5 hours.
Saying goodbye is always the hard part. Through tears, I bless her, tracing the Cross on that precious forehead. And I recite a version of the Prayer of Aaron: “May the Lord bless and keep you. May His light shine upon you. May you grow in wisdom, age, and grace.” Just like my parents used to bless me before bed. I ask for the intercession of her namesakes, Sts. Rafqa and Lucy. And send her off with a kiss.
So now, Dr. Sherman is repairing Becky’s laryngeal cleft, which is “an abnormal opening between the larynx and the esophagus through which food and liquid can pass through the larynx into the lungs.” Becky has a Grade 1 cleft, the least serious grade. This gap is located above the vocal cords, between the larynx and the esophagus. This causes eating and breathing problems and frequent respiratory infections. Hopefully, after this operation, Becky will begin to safely swallow liquids.
During the surgery, Dr. Sherman uses a CO2 laser to peel back a layer of tissue. He then puts in several stitches. After the procedure scar tissue will build up the cleft and the stitches will eventually dissolve. He told me it is a tricky but not a particularly dangerous procedure. The biggest challenge is getting the sedation correct. Together with the anestehologist they use a shared airway to make the repair.
Becky will recover in the PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit). They will observe her and manage her pain. Dr. Sherman told me that she will be royally miffed after the surgery, in pain and hungry. Thankfully, we can feed Becky immediately through her G-tube. Complications are infrequent with this procedure. There is always a risk of infection. In some cases, if the stitches are too tight, the airway is compromised. It is unlikely, but there is a chance she would need to return to the OR to correct the tension in the sutures.
There’s not much for me to do but wait. So I took the opportunity to check into the Ronald McDonald House, my home away from home.
I’ve stayed in this room twice before. It feels like my room.
As always, there is a little bear and bag on the bed.
I am forever grateful for the house that burgers built.