Friday, February 20, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday #4

1. Update on the kids--yesterday was a hard day with trying to get MC's pain med refilled and SJ was fussing ALL night and day. He is cutting some molars along with his double ear infection, and the antibiotics were eating him up...poor guy. We've tried some probiotics which seem to be helping. We took off the dressings on MC's knee last night and wow, they did some work. I was expecting a few little slits, but it looked pretty yucky. But all the meds must've kicked in because last night was the first time we all slept all night in a long while, praise God! Today has been a calm morning, Mary Clare has been napping a few hours, and we're all much happier...only Mommy now has a head cold :-/

2. Ellie has been a bit feisty the past week or two. I think she's wanting for the attention her needy siblings are getting. She hid in the blanket compartment of the co-sleeper the other night for about 15 minutes and we could NOT find her! And she's been doing things like this...

3. Steven Joseph hasn't had much of an appetite. I realized yesterday that he'd rather be fed jarred food or applesauce right now. The other day I gave him a small bowl with cut up grapes. After a few minutes I noticed him doing this:

The floor was littered with grapes :) But he still has a hard time turning down chocolate, even when he's feeling crummy...

4. Speaking of food, no one is much into big meals right now, but we've gotten lots of deliveries of various snacks, treats, and cards. I'm not being particular about what they eat, hence Ellie having Teddy Grahams for breakfast today, and this picture shows them after they were eating fruit snacks before bed! They are loving the portable DVD player NeNe brought over.

5. Nothing makes you smile like some fresh flowers :)

6. Here are some of my other hanging projects from this week, in our master bedroom. Finally got some frames on the right side of the dresser, and some shelving above Steven's dresser. Also added a twin bed for MC to be close to us while she's recovering (and to work on keeping both girls out of our bed!). I'm not 100% happy with how these turned out but they're better than a blank wall! Maybe I just need to paint the dressers? Now I'm still trying to figure out what to put above our bed...

7. And lastly little reflection on the children's hospital, since I probably won't get around to a lengthy one....(just kidding, it ended up being long as usual!)

The children's hospital is a place I've never wanted to go. I had enough experience of it, listening to the stories of our friends Hans, Khloe', Luke, Cooper, and I'm sure there are others I'm forgetting. Steven took Mary Clare there for her MRI last month, since Steven Joseph was sick. But this time Steven and I left Ellie and SJ with their Grampatti and ventured in the early dark hours to that cheerfully decorated, but not-negatingly depressing building of the children's hospital.

We were there early and spent a few minutes in the regular waiting room, then transferred to the OR waiting area where there was a play area and movie which MC wanted nothing to do with. She was so nervous, poor baby! They made her put on a little pajama set with shorts to wear for her procedure. We were trying not to use the word "surgery" because of all the negative connotations, but it was hard to deny as we were being visited by the anesthesiologists, surgeon, and nurse. Finally they carried her down to the OR where they would put her to sleep with the gas before starting the IV and the procedure. What a horrible goodbye that was!

We went back to the regular surgery waiting room where happy little children were playing and talking. Steven and I both commented on what a harsh contrast it was; knowing those kids were about to be put under for surgery. There was one mom there with her nursing baby who kept reminding me of my own nursing toddler and making me miss him. There was the other mom whose teenage daughter has a very serious condition and she was talking about how they had almost lost her last fall and they got to take a Make a Wish trip as a family. There was also a young family whose toddler went into surgery right before MC for something that must've been related to cancer since the little girl had lost her hair. And several families there for broken bones and tonsillectomy-type things. All of us parents looked so nervous and sad.

I got to talk on the phone to my friend Sarah who pretty much lives at that hospital, but her son was too sick for us to see each other. I walked down to the chapel (how bare it seemed without the Tabernacle) and paced the gift store for close to an hour, trying to find the perfect prizes for each of my kids. Mary Clare got a stuffed Valentine Bear, Ellie a little ballerina necklace and bracelet, and Steven Joseph got his first rubber dinosaur!

I was glad that when I got back to the waiting room it had already been 1.5 hours. Any minute, I thought, we'd be able to go and see her! But the minutes went on and on and on. At about 3 hours, I called Veronica to talk through those last few minutes while waiting for an update. Finally around 3 hrs 15 minutes after she first went in, we were called back to the recovery room where she was peacefully sleeping.

The recovery area was not what I had expected. The stretchers were put together in groups of 4 (like a plus sign) with no curtains pulled, so we saw all the other patients coming from surgery, waking up, etc. I guess they kept it like that so the nurses could keep track of everyone. We were next to a family whose little girl had her tonsils out and ear tubes put in, as well as the poor teen with the liver problem whose skin was so yellow.

A few minutes later Mary Clare woke up wide-eyed and confused. She complained of a bit of pain, so some morphine was given through her IV. She drank some apple juice and fell back asleep for a long while. We were going to have to wait there for a bit of time so she could have crutches training from a physical therapist before going home. The surgeon visited us and shared about all the damage she had and how the cartilage on the back of her knee was torn and irrepairable, so that could limit her future in high-impact sports. We talked about the coming weeks of recovery, and were faced with the fact that this whole thing was a lot more serious than I had imagined. After that, I realized it was about 1pm and I'd only eaten an apple, so I rushed down to the food court for a bit of Chick-fil-a. My appetite wasn't all there but it at least gave me some energy.

After continuing to wait in the recovery area, we were finally greeted by the PT Emily, and we all spent a few minutes trying to encourage the drowsy MC to try the crutches so we could leave. We even brought out her American Girl doll, also "Emily", who had her own set of crutches that Steven got while he was on his business trip to Chicago. She mastered the crutches and off we went to go pick up the little ones (who did great!) and head home.

What a day! Well, I guess I needed to get that down in writing...Not a very pleasant memory but of course a defining event for a little 6 year-old girl. She'll have some battle scars and lots of work to do in the coming weeks. But she is a tough little cookie, and I know this whole experience will make her (and all of us) a lot stronger in the end. Thanks be to God we aren't dealing with a more serious condition, and our prayers are with all of you moms and dads who are. May Jesus comfort all the little children who suffer.

Have a great weekend, everyone!


The Masked Mommy said...

Haha! I'd never find my daughter if she were in the under part of the co-sleeper! We'd have to call the police! My daughter goes through phases like that, too. Hers are usually more mess oriented.

Catherine said...

Hey Blair, I'm praying for you all! Do you have access to a health food store in your area? There's a homeopathic remedy, Arnica Montana 30c that can really help assist in surgery recovery (verified by real studies and used by many athletes and dancers). I've used it after births and dental work with good results. It won't interfere with any of her other meds either.

Michelle said...

I'm glad that you are getting some sleep!

I can't believe that you couldn't stay with her while they gave her the gas. Every time one of my kids has gone "under", we've been able to stay with them until they were loopy. And all recovery areas were semi-private, too. This is both military and civilian care (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia ROCKS!).

Kimberly said...

Blair, hang in there...tomorrow is always better that today and the day before!

Lillian said...

MC has been in my prayers. SO have you guys!! I'm so sorry to hear that she had mroe damage than you thought. Will her PT be very intensive? Please give her a hug from us!

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