Friday, February 8, 2008

Discharge Day for Diego!

We are very happy to report that Diego has been discharged from the hospital! A full 2 days ahead of schedule! We are so proud of our lil boy!

Before leaving his leg casts were covered with a final soft cast wrap. It was done to provide strength to the primary cast which was split to account for swelling.

Also today a very special package was delivered to Diego's room. With the package was a beautiful card sent from "Diego's friends at Dell GSC and FP". We helped Diego open the gift to find the cutest little story book shaggy dog. It's a combination stuffed dog and story book. We want you to know that Diego loved the gift. Thank you so much!

Now at home we are finding there are new challenges brought on by Diego's casts. He now feels 10 lbs heavier, the casts are so bulky he barely fits in his car seat, and there are only a couple positions where he feels comfortable. He also knows how to wield his arm cast so you have to be on your toes when carrying him or risk losing a tooth.

This evening Diego had a very special guest stop by for a visit. It was Dad's longtime friend, Miguel "Ski" Abreu. Ski and Dad were stationed at Ft. Hood together during the late 80s'. We last saw Ski when Romina was 7 months pregnant. Diego is now 11 months old so this visit was way overdue. We all had a great time playing with Diego and reminiscing about old times.
We plan on remaining in Dallas for 1 more day and expect to be back home on Sunday. It will feel good to finally get our baby boy home :)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Surgery Day 2

Diego is recovering a lot faster than doctors expected, his appetite is slowly returning, and he takes all meds by mouth. If he keeps up the good work he may get discharged on Friday. We are keeping our fingers crossed.

This afternoon he smiled for the first time since he went into surgery. Anyone that has spent time with Diego knows he loves to smile so it was a good indication that he is feeling better. He even allowed Mom and Dad to load him into a wagon and pull him around the 3rd floor. It gave him a chance to get out of bed and see other kids. It was a blast for us. We think Diego had fun too despite having a pissed off look the entire time.This evening the parents of Cayden (one of Diego's buddies) called to say they were stopping by for a visit. Cayden also has Arthrogryposis and is being treated at Scottish Rite. They stopped by at 7 pm with dinner for Mom and Dad :) They watched Diego while we ate together in the break room. Afterwards Cayden joined Diego in his crib for some social time. Diego was so happy to have company. Later, we took a few pictures of the boys together. By this time Diego was ready for bed so he didn't smile much.

We want to send a special thanks to Cayden's parents, Brian and Cara. Thank you so much for dinner and bringing Cayden to brighten Diego's day. We hope to see you again in Austin in a couple weeks.

*special note: There are times we feel especially down about Diego's condition. Being here in the hospital helps put things in perspective. Tonight we saw a young girl alone in a room. We waved at her and asked if Diego could pay a visit. She answered "yes" with a big smile. She told us her name is Leti. She is 15 and lives in Dallas. She has been in the hospital for 7 months and has 2 more to go. We were floored! Leti helped us realize how lucky we really are.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Surgery Day for Diego

O'Dark-Thirty. That's the military term for very early in the morning. That's what time it was when we headed back to the hospital. Once in the room we gave Diego an antibacterial bath and put on his cute little hospital gown.
8:45 AM: We were escorted from his room down to Main Surgery. There we met with his nurse Bridgette and the anesthesiologist. They asked us to write 'YES' on his right arm and both feet to acknowledge the surgical locations. He was then given an oral liquid they called "goofey juice". A sedative to calm him before going into surgery. At 9:15 was the big hand off. Mom handed him over to Bridgette. We both kissed him and watched as she carried him off to surgery. That was a tough moment for us. Tougher than we both expected.

10 AM: Update from surgery - Diego is fully sedated and 10 minutes into his foot surgery. Each foot should take 1 1/2 hrs. Hand surgery has not yet started. They will give us another update in 2 hrs.

12 PM: Surgery to the right leg is complete. Diego's surgeon is please with how it came out. He is now starting on the left leg. Surgery to the hand will begin in the next 30 minutes.

12:47 PM: The left leg is complete. Diego's surgeon ,Dr. Birch, was able to get both feet in a correct position for walking. For now Diego will remain in bent-leg casts for 4 weeks followed by straight-leg casts for another 4 weeks. The hand surgery is about to begin.

3:18 PM: We are happy to say that Diego is finally out of surgery. All went very well and he is resting comfortably. We are hoping he will recover quickly so he can start using those new feet and hand :) For now he will remain in the hospital so check back regularly to see how he is doing. We want to thank everyone for their prayers and well wishes.

Per i familiari e amici in Italia.

Diego e’ entrato in sala operatoria questa mattina alle 9:20 ora locale and e’ uscito verso le 14:00. Circa 4.5 ore minuto piu’ minuto meno.

Durante questo periodo di tempo l’assistente chirurgico ci ha tenuto informati dalla sala operatoria sullo stato delle procedure effettuate dalle due equipe’ di medici che hanno operato Diego. Il Dottor John Birch ha iniziato l’intervento al piede destro e poi si e’ spostato sul sinistro. Nel fratttempo il Dottore delle mani (non ricordo il nome in questo momento) ha effettuato l’operazione al polso destro.

Il povero Diego e’ un po’ frastornato al momento. Come potete immaginare l’anestesia generale e’ tutt’ora in effetto. La capo infermiera ci ha avvisati che nel giro di 3-4 ore l’effetto diminuira’ e il dolore potra’ causare sconforto. A quel punto inizieranno a igniettare medicinali antidolorifici via endovenosa e sedativi se necessario.

Diego ha due bei gessi color blu che coprono gambe e piedi, un modello bianco alta moda al braccio destro con tanto di cuscinetto rosa per tenere il braccio alzato e diminuire la possibilita' di gonfiori…scherzi a parte … il poverino ha tutte le estremita’ ingessate con l’eccezione della mano sinistra dove pero’ hanno fissato l’ago per l’immissione dei medicinali via endovenosa.

Inoltre al momento ha la mascherina per l’ossigeno per aiutare con la respirazione e il tubicino per il cateterino; qualche linea di febbre e battito cardiaco un po’ piu’ rapido del normale sono i sintomi che i medici avevano anticipato.

Ci dicono che probabilmente potremo portarlo a casa entro il fine settimana. Tornate a visitare il sito di Diego nei prossimi giorni per aggiornamenti e nuove foto. Nel frattempo vi salutiamo e ringraziamo tutti di gran cuore per i messaggi di conforto e preghiere.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Admission Day for Diego

Today Diego was technically admitted to the hospital in preparation for tomorrow's 9:30 am surgery. Technically because he has a room at the hospital, #312, but they allowed us to take him home with the promise that he will be back in his room by 6 am.

*Note about Home: We have a condo 5 minutes from the hospital. I didn't want people to think we actually drove back to Austin!

Today was a very long day so we are happy to be home. Diego had x-rays taken, blood drawn, met with surgeons, nurses and finally got a room after 5 pm. We did get some good news. His surgery is expected to take 3hrs and not 5 like they first predicted. He may also be out of the hospital within 4 days, not 5. So if all goes well we will be back in Austin by Sunday :)

Here is the hospital information:

Diego Tonelli-Nova Room #312
Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children
2222 Welborn St
Dallas, TX 75219
(214) 559-5000