I'll describe a "typical" fill first...so that it won't be a foreign language when I talk about them.
First, I get out the Emla cream. This is a numbing cream that is put on Brooklyn's ports. This stays on for an hour in order to numb the area so that she doesn't feel the needle go in her skin. Once I gob on the cream I put a piece of saran wrap over it to keep it in place. Then the same dressing-type stuff (that she had over her head after surgery) goes on, around her head, to keep things in place.
While we're waiting for the hour to go by I get the supplies ready. There is a 30 mL syringe (with no needle), a swab to cleanse the area, the needle (which is very small), and the bag of saline. I fill the syringe with 30 mL's of saline & attach the needle...twice, get the air out of each syringe, & get 2 gauze pads.
Once the hour has gone by Dustin will hold Brooklyn & keep her attention. I take the saran wrap off, clean off the cream, & wipe both the ports with an alcohol swab. I decide which expander I want to fill first, then I take the antiseptic swab & clean off the port very well. Then I insert the needle in the center of the port until it hits the back of the port. I can now let go of the port & leave the needle in, but this is where Dustin needs to make sure that she doesn't move all that much. We have a little bit of tubing we can work with, but if she moves too much it'll jerk the needle right out of the port.
Once the needle is in I slowly inject the saline. While injecting the saline I make sure to keep an eye on the expander & on Brooklyn herself. If Brooklyn is doing ok, I keep going. If the expander doesn't get hard, I keep going. If the blood flow to the skin is good, I keep going. But as soon as one of those 3 criteria aren't met, I stop. Then I take the needle out & Dustin holds a gauze pad on the area to stop any slight bleeding. Then I do it all over again with the other port.
|A day or so before our first home expansion.|
We started a little too late last night....or so we thought. We put the cream on her at 8:15pm. She started getting a little cranky so Dustin sat with her in the rocking chair & gave her a bottle....and she proceeded to fall asleep about 10 mins later. He said to me at about 8:45pm, "I wish we could just do it now while she's asleep." I then said to him that there's no way she'll stay asleep while we're doing it...that she'll wake up as soon as I start.
We still, though, decided at 9:15pm to do the fill in the living room instead of the kitchen where I had everything set up. So I brought all the stuff in the living room & Dustin rolled her over so I could see the ports. Still asleep. I took the saran wrap off & cleaned the ports with the alcohol swab. Still asleep. I decided to do the scalp expander first since it was very easy to see so I cleaned the swab & put the needle in. Still asleep!!! That expander had 40 mL's in it to start off with. I was able to get 15 in...so now there's 55 mL's. Still asleep.
Then we turned her a tiny bit & I did it all over again on the other side. Still asleep. The forehead expander had 38 mL's in & I got 20...so now there's 58 mL's in that one. And yes folks....STILL ASLEEP! I think it's the last time that will happen, but hey...maybe we'll wait till she falls asleep from now on!!!
Here she is afterwards:
|Forehead expander with a total of 58cc's in.|