Monday, November 12, 2012

Maddie's Surgery

Short version: 

Maddie is good. Surgery went exactly according to plan, and she is mostly sleeping as she recovers. Tomorrow we should learn all about the tube; no word yet when we might go home.

Longer version:

Long, stressful day… but hopefully this is a turning point for Maddie and it's all growth from here.

We had to get to Wake Med by 5:30am, and Maddie couldn't eat after midnight… we were pretty worried about how she would handle that, since she's still eating every 3-4 hours (yes, even at night) but luckily she was awake and fussy all night Sunday until her 11:30pm feeding, after which she passed out hard… she slept pretty much the whole time until she went into the OR at 7:30am.

Watching them wheel her into the OR was one of those moments you don't forget.

With 2 hours to pass, we went to the cafeteria to get some breakfast. Don't think I really tasted anything I ate... 

About 70 minutes into the surgery they paged me and I was told to pick up a phone… Was not expecting any updates until the end, so alarms were going off in my head -- I'm pretty sure I didn't breathe until I heard the update: the surgeon just wanted us to know that things were going well… asked the nurse to call us from the OR. Whew. 

The surgery was supposed to take ~2 hours. About 2:20 after we left Maddie, we finally saw the surgeon walk out into the waiting room -- incredibly relieved to see that he was smiling broadly as he looked for us. He gave us some pictures from the laparoscopic camera; It seemed like he enjoyed showing off his handiwork. It also added to the feeling of just how amazing these surgeries really are… especially when you remember that this is a tiny tiny baby. Those photos definitely have to make the baby book. ;)

Another 30 minutes or so later, we were taken to the post-anesthesia recovery unit and finally got to see Maddie. Tubes and wires notwithstanding, was sooooo good to hold her again! She noticeable calmed down as soon as she was passed from nurse to Mommy. In this room they were weaning her off the general anesthesia and onto pain medication. She was grumpy and tired with a very hoarse throat; understandable of course. We're not allowed to give her any food or water yet, though… just "eating" off the IV for today. 

Turns out Maddie does not respond well to the narcotic pain meds they tried; it was tricky finding the balance of enough pain suppression but not so much that  her breathing was unaffected. Couple of hours of alternating between oxygen and room air until she got off the narcotic and seemed OK with just tylenol. 

Finally got to our recovery room around 1:30pm, and it's the exact same room we were in for two weeks back in July. (Funny, eh? I'm putting it down as a good sign.)

Since then, Maddie has basically been sleeping… just waking up intermittently to cry out once or twice (usually) especially when her pain meds are low. They tried some morphine around 3pm; but she's had a bad reaction to that as well -- so for the last hour the alarms have been going off every few minutes as she temporarily slows her heart and breathing… but she snaps out of it quickly every time, so the docs are not worried. They'll be avoiding morphine from here on out though. (Alarm just went off again…)

Melissa is finally getting a deserved nap, and to be honest there's very little we can do here -- Maddie has woken up a few times enough to see us and we got a little smile out of her… but primarily we just need to let her sleep and heal. Tomorrow we start the work of g-tube feeding, which will be with us for the next few months at least.

That's about all I know… hope all are well, and thanks for all the support!

Update: Someone pointed out that I never said what the surgery actually was. She had a laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication and G-tube placement.

Basically, we've been struggling with her weight since shortly after birth... she's well below the one-percentile in weight, and after months of trying to get her back up with other methods, it was time to go with something a bit more drastic. So this surgery should keep her from her bad spit-ups, which should generally improve her quality of life, and gives us the ability to push extra calories right into the stomach and also vent her stomach gas (she tends to swallow air and is a bad burper). The venting and the cessation of bad spits could help her learn to eat more and more, as well.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

New chapter - take 1

First road warrior trip back to Colorado. Yippee! 
Of course today brings back all the repressed memories of just how much of a hassle (time-suck, mainly) air travel brings... it’s a system optimized entirely around cost efficiency for the airlines -- not for travelers. 
Getting your checked luggage, for example: a bunch of presumably busy people standing around for 20-30 minutes to self-select bags from a slow belt? There surely must be a better way. 
How about something like this: each bag is scanned and deposited into a locker. You get a text when yours is there, with the locker number. You walk up (from getting a drink, or otherwise being useful) and your ticket unlocks the locker and you leave. Bam -- thousands of wasted traveler hours just got saved. Someone build this, m’kay?
I remember now: typing on a plane -- kinda sucks, even with the MB Air. Someday when I’m a billionaire I’ll ride first class just to avoid that. Oh, and the kids kicking the back of your seat too... worth paying good money to be away from that.
The connection in Atlanta completely borked my day. Lessons:
  • nonstop only (as much as possible)
  • no scheduling meetings within 2 hours of touchdown, just in case
  • the bus is nice and cheap(ish), but adds a time delay... Note to self: check out RTD park-n-ride in Table Mesa?
I’m on the bus now as I type this. (Literally.) It’s a good bus system; we’ll see after a couple of trips how much overall time waste it adds to my work day, and weigh that against the costs of using some kind of parking here at DEN. Turns out that the seats on the bus are just as tight front-to-back as economy class on the plane. Well, when I’m rich enough to fly first class I guess the bus goes away as well... covered remote parking here I come!
In any case, it feels good to be back in Colorado. I’ve missed my startup. 
Ah... we just came around a bend and there is what I’ve been looking for -- that mountain view doesn’t ever get old. Even with the clouds (smoke?) it gives me that warm, happy feeling in my tummy.
I think I can get good at this bi-coastal thing. Only one way to find out...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Raleigh - New House, New Chapter

As of today, I consider us to have fulfilled the first phase of "settling in" to our new (to us) house in Raleigh.

There are still boxes everywhere, the fridge is frighteningly empty, we don't know where most important sellers-of-things are nearby, the TV is on the floor, and Sydney has yet to make it through a night without waking up crying all disoriented... but it's feeling comfortable nonetheless.

Turns out here are the things (in priority order) that are sufficient to make a place feel like home:
* Two corners of the house utterly devoid of boxes and fully livable
* Broadband wireless internet
* Fridge serving clean water and ice
* Knowing the location of some extra socks, underwear, and t-shirts
* Ample supply of a few favorite food and beverage items
* Towels and a hot shower

That's it really. Life is pretty simple when you boil it down to the basics.

And really #2 is the thing that has finally allowed me to relax... having internet (for real; not counting mooching off of neighbors with a spotty signal) is the lynchpin. I don't need to be plugged in 24-7 (no, really!) but I need that ability... I love being able to hop online and catch up on work email, order that pizza, figure out where to go for takeout food... my stress level dropped several notches when I finally saw that little green light up and was able to paint the place with glorious glorious bandwidth.

Data is almost as important as oxygen these days, it seems; without proper internet I was imagining my phone slowly sipping away at my limited data plan... feeling the emails pile up that I just couldn't quite handle effectively on a phone... just like having a fridge dispensing unlimited clean water lets you utterly forget about your need for water; having the wifi working lets you stop worrying about whether you'll be able to handle whatever it is that is about to jump up and demand your attention.

Interesting world we live in.

(Oh, and for those that are confused by the title -- yes, we did just move back to Raleigh, NC. Got a house next to my sister Jenny and pretty soon I'll start commuting out to Boulder to continue building my business. Great to be near family again! Eventually, though, they all clearly need to move out to Colorado with us. Some day.)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Status Update May 2012

More color will eventually return to this blog. For now, nuts and bolts...

As many already know, we're moving back to Raleigh, NC. If all holds to plan, we are leaving Colorado on June 11th (some by plane, some heading out on a cross-country road trip).

Bought a house in Raleigh next door to my sister Jenny, which is merely step one in creating a Reaser Family Commune. (Step 4 is to move the commune to Colorado, btw.)

The company I'm creating here in Boulder is budding. Very very close to launching with real live paying customers, and it looks like we have a solid shot at making some big things happen.

We have an offer in progress on our home in Colorado; assuming that all works out, I clearly will need to spend at least some time out here working on the company -- so I've secured an apartment and will fly out every 2-3 weeks for about 4 days... enough time to make great things happen here and stay engaged with the amazing Boulder startup ecosystem... but balanced with time with immediate and extended family in Raleigh.

So it comes time to launch into a dual life.

Home, family, and more family in NC... and Work, Boulder ecosystem, and occasional bliss-in-the-outdoors in Colorado.

Game on.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Snow fort again

Went out and played on the deck again today... We made a little tunnel in it, and for about 10 minutes it was the most amazing fun thing Sydney had ever seen! Oh the squeals...

Even before it was big enough for her she dove in face-first (and got snow everywhere) and tried to burrow through.

No fear... and loves the outside, that little girl.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Mornings in Colorado

This picture (as always) completely does not do this justice... but the sunrises here in Colorado take my breath away almost every morning.

It actually looks about 10,000x times better than this in person. Breathtaking.

Beethoven's 9th playing in my head... arms raise and spirit lifts... I feel so alive here. Every single sunrise feels like the opportunity to start anew... to create... to breathe... and to be a part of something more vast and more purposeful.

I wish I could get a picture that really captures what this is like.

Pura Vida ... pure life.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


This is why I believe Apple could be developing a TV.

Mess o' cables... Setting thus up? PITA Adding a new device? PITA. Moving, etc? PITA.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Refilled the well

Woo hoo! Finally got out and had some fun in the Colorado mountains!

It's been an unusually non-snowy winter so far; that's been great for easing Melissa into Colorado, but of course not the best for snow-play.

Still, the in-laws are here for a visit, so it was time to get out and give it a go, lack of powder be damned... and it was a friggin' blast!

Bonus: since it was a weekday (nice to have a flexible "job"), and since there was no recent snow (just a decent groomed base) we pretty much had the place to ourselves. No lines at all, and wide open slopes.

The views from the top of the mountain (10,800 feet) were positively stunning. Every time we got up to the top you would hear the "hallelujah" chorus playing in your head and feel a tear coming on... there is just so much beauty here.

Of course I was unbelievably rusty after 5 years off (damn you, Raleigh)... in fact I crashed at least once on every single run except for the last one, so of course today I'm sore all over. Still, by the end of the day it was all coming back to me. I stopped having to think about every little move I was making, it's an awesome feeling when you can feel the mountain through your toes and somehow your thoughts take you whichever way you want to go.

Getting out and doing things like this makes me feel alive again. I always forget how much of a difference adventure makes to my soul. Today I feel like a whole new person -- I can take on the world.

It's not a "new year's resolution" but you better believe I'm gonna be getting outside and climbing/hiking/boarding/snowshoeing/cross-country-skiing a lot more this year. Nothing like a day off my ass to remind me what's important.