Tuesday, September 14, 2010

...And the wait is over

"Bravery Award"

That was the first thing I saw when I went into the recovery room with MIB.  It was taped to the front of her gurney and it had a big star on it with her name underneath the start.  The nurses told me that she was very brave during her surgery and didn't cry one time.  I definitely need to get a picture frame.

She looked so tired when I saw her.  She was surrounded by all of her stuffed animals and still had her tiara on.  But she looked like she had a really long morning.  MIB was glad to see me and tried to smile and reach out to me but the morphine just had too big of a hold on her and her movements. 

They told me they were going to take her to her new room and got the rest of my family from the pre-op waiting room.  We headed to the 10th floor of the west tower of Children's Hospital and once we stepped off of the elevator I REALLY REALLY knew that she was in the right place.

In order to get into the doors onto the floor you had to be buzzed in by the receptionist.  There was a large nurses station at the front, another one in the middle, and then every two rooms had a small nurses station in between them with windows that they could look through if the parent had to step out for a minute.

My baby's room was lovely.  It was extremely big with a TV for her, a TV and a full sized pull out bed for me, and a huge bathroom.  She had three separate teams that included a nurse and an assistant and they only had one other patient to tend to (MIB's neighbor).  They were very attentive, patient, and ridiculously helpful.

MIB was still pretty groggy once she got in her room and tried to sleep and sit up with me for a while.  My aunt, BFF, and her boyfriend were there with me (my mom was at home sick) and they stayed with me until my mom came back out to the hospital.  MIB slept off and on but really wanted me to pick her up.  It was so hard and hurtful to tell her no because I knew that she needed to be with me and that I needed to console her; but since she has just had the surgery I was really scared to pick her up, fearing that I would jar her leg or put unwanted pressure on her incision. 

She didn't eat very much Monday at all; she was very picky about what she would eat and even didn't want her favorites.  She had a few apple slices and a couple of sips of apple juice but mostly ate ice chips.  Later in the evening towards dinner time she did eat half of a grilled cheese sandwich and I was really happy because I was getting worried about her not eating enough considering the medicine she had taken and was taking (morphine for the surgery and Roxicet and Valium for the pain and muscle spasms). 

Giving MIB her medicine was the worst experience as a parent I could ever go through.  Her IV medicine was ok (despite her 'owie' in her hand) but the oral medicine was a fight to give to her.  It was nasty and she knew it.  So it took a couple of us to hold her hands down to keep her from thrashing and knocking it onto the floor and another to hold her face so that she could swallow the medicine.  Most of it ended up on my hands or on her hospital gown.  But when she finally swallowed the medicine, she was down for the count...at least I thought she was. 

She was very restless despite the powerful drugs that she had and didn't sleep very much during the day.  She's used to me rocking her to sleep and since I couldn't it was hard for her to get to sleep.  Most of the day in her room when the nurses weren't taking her vitals and giving her medicine (another reason why it was difficult for her to sleep) was spent trying to calm her down so that she could sleep.  Singing, holding her hand, talking to her, playing with her favorite animals...none of it really worked.  Eventually, at about 3:30 in the morning, the nurses said that it was ok for me to hold her.  I got in the reclining chair, carefully positioned the pillows around me so that her had and backside would be supported, and they put her in my arms and we went to sleep, covered by a Princess and the Frog throw. 

The worst part of the night was having to change her diaper and watching her have muscle spasms.  Her hot pink Spica cast comes up to the middle of her chest, all the way down her right leg (the one that was operated on), and halfway down her left.  In the middle there is a cut out where her vagina and butt are exposed so that she could have a diaper on, urinate/defecate, and be cleaned.  In order to put the diaper on we had to turn her on her side left side, take the smaller diaper out (a size 3), stuff the new diaper in the back underneath the cast, put the 5T size pull-up on the bottom, turn her on her back again, stuff the 3 diaper in the front on the inside of the Spica cast, and close up the pull-up (adding additional tape for security).  She would wail when we had to change her and that hurt my heart so much.  Tears were unfortunately a constant with her on that first day.

And so were the muscle spasms.  MIB would have a leg or arm twitch or she would wince in pain (when we couldn't clearly see a spasm).  And she would cry...man she would cry (I'm getting slightly emotional thinking about it right now).  Then she would be even more upset because she had to get another dose of Valium and we had to basically fight her to get it down.  MIB's twitches made her look like she had Tourette's and then she would hit her leg and it would.be.over.

On Tuesday they told us we could take her home and she was in much better spirits.  She ate a little bit more (some apples, grapes, a few bites of oatmeal, and some juice) and watched PBS Kids, laughing and singing along with them that morning.  She was still sensitive about her medicine and diaper changes but she was more used to it now.  I talked to so many people before I left the hospital: the nurse, nurses assistant, nursing student, doctors, medical students, social worker, medical equipment workers...it was never ending and just as exhausting as waiting for her to come out of surgery.

During our stay at Children's Hospital, I stayed in her father's ass.  As in: I continuously called and texted him letting him know her status, hounding him about when he was going to come out to see her, and so on.  He and i had come to an understanding a few weeks ago about his role in her life and w hat he and I need to do in order to make a working and cordial relationship happen in order to give the best to our child.  He told me a few days before she had her surgery that the was going to see her before Monday.  No show.  He said that he was going to be there late Monday night to see her and give me a hand.  No show.  Tuesday I stayed on the phone trying to contact him.  Finally I got him and he claimed he was downstairs trying to find a park.  I told him where to go and he said that he was going to park somewhere else.  So of course I didn't believe him.

And I'll be damned if I was wrong.  About 20 minutes later he came knocking on the door and talking to MIB while I was talking to the nurses about her after care and what to do in case of whatever.  He talked to her, tried to calm her down and play with her, and seemed as if he was halfway paying attention to what the nurse was saying.  Once we had gotten everything packed, papers filed, MIB's car seat and wheelchair; I initially called the nurse for a cart to take everything down.  But I forgot that her dad was there and I was like ok let's do this and started delegating.  My mom took my laptop and some smaller bags with her, I pushed MIB in her wheelchair and took the leather duffel bag, and her father took that insanely heavy car seat and the other attachments from her wheelchair that were useless to her. 

Once we got downstairs and got the car from valet parking, he helped me load up the car and put in the car seat.  While I was putting MIB in her seat, he was folding up her wheelchair and putting it in the trunk for me.  Then he followed us to the house before he had to go to work (insert shocker smiley here) and looked at a problem that I had on my car. 

When we finally got settled in the house, I.was.exhausted.in.real.life.  I mean there is no way for me to explain how tired I really was.  But, before I could even sit down, I had to get dinner ready for the family, pick up something at my friend's house, take MIB for a walk around the block, try to straighten up (because NOTHING was done while I was at the hospital), get her medicine in, change her diaper, wash her up, and put her to sleep.  I got to bed early for a change (about 10 pm) but had to get up early because of family that is staying at the house. 

Now that I know what I am going to be getting into, I am damn glad that I took the rest of the year off to telecommute for work. 

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