Anyone who knows my father knows that he has strength and perseverance beyond the normal capacity for human beings. When he has surgery, he gets up and moving as fast as he possibly can, off of pain meds and back to working out. He has overcome obstacles that 99% of people cannot–physically, mentally and emotionally. He exhibits super human strength at all times. In his living room resides a brick he had engraved which states, “Never Quit.” This is a Cirone mantra and one by which I abide. The staff at Prentice remarked at how quickly I recovered from my C-section. I have been told it looks as if I never had one. Cirones never quit.
I say this in connection with my little Olivia who has continued to not give up. Tuesday, I arrived at Prentice to be told that they were downgrading Olivia’s condition to surgical NEC and transferring her to Children’s Memorial Hospital so that an attending surgeon could intervene when necessary. The next three days, Olivia’s various blood tests continued to come back surprisingly well against the color and swell of her tiny belly. This still was true today as her blood pressure went down and her oxygen needs sky rocketed. They made the decision to insert a drain into her intestine.
The past three days have been beyond harrowing. She has at points looked worse and then appeared to rebound. Today, in fact, all remarked she looked well including her surgeon to only have her blood pressure tank literally minutes after the surgeon assessed her. The insertion of the drain was successful as it alleviated a LOT of poop from Olivia’s belly. She is resting peacefully with recovering blood pressure and oxygen level needed from the respirator. Her nurse, who immediately signed up to be one of her primaries on our arrival to Children’s, remarked how well she did throughout the procedure and how well she was doing after the surgery.
The next 48-72 hours are crucial in determining whether or not Olivia will recover. Her bowel could feasibly reseal on its own, she could require a bowel resection two to three weeks from now and of course, there is the possibility that Olivia may not make it through this. Her surgeon was optimistic and stated that insertion of the drain is most often a successful procedure and she was heartened that it alleviated much feces from her bowel. From day one though, Olivia clearly has shown she lives by the Cirone mantra of never quit. She is a Cirone through and through!!!
I keep dreaming of her helping me plant flowers in our garden and watering them daily. I see her giggling as her big brother tickles her and riding CJ as her doggy steed. I cling to this as we continue to ride the rollercoaster of the NICU. One of the charge nurses said today, “it is a long haul” and I told her that I desire the long haul. I want every minute of rollercoaster that we can get because it means we become closer to bringing our Olivia home. I won’t quit on our little girl because Cirone’s never quit. I continue to pump breast milk, sit at her bedside, wash her pretty pink blankets and scent her lovies so she has the comfort of me when I am not there. Never quit.