And we're all home

Evidently late at night is my new blog posting time... at least for the time being.

H. had a good night last night, though I'm sure how much sleep J. actually got between the frequent vitals taking and the glow from the light that wouldn't turn off. I, on the other hand, slept better than I had in a week. It makes me realize I was probably much more stressed about everything than I realized because if it's one thing I excel at, it's sleeping.

By late morning, H. was cleared to leave the hospital and I drove up and brought everyone back home. She was quite ready to leave the hospital. I had prepared all of her brothers and sisters for her appearance and while they were curious (especially about the two drainage tubes), they handled it all just fine. Even some of the younger ones commented that both sides of her face look the same now. Which is pretty darn observant of them to be able to see past all the sutures, but also says a lot about the scope of what was accomplished.

People have all been wondering about her pain level. So far, it doesn't seem too bad. She is uncomfortable definitely. She can't open her (good) eye, so her sight is rather impaired for the time being and she doesn't feel comfortable moving her mouth very much. There have been a couple of times that she has said it hurts, but after a dose of the pain reliever it seems manageable again. Because of her experience in institutions, we are taking even the slightest complaint about pain very seriously. Often institutionalization teaches a child to never complain or show they are hurt, and H. very rarely complains about injuries or not feeling well until it is at such a proportion that she can't ignore it. So, we figure if she is complaining about it hurting, then it must be REALLY hurting. She is more likely to talk if she is feeling comfortable (she is a bit of a chatter-box), so we are using that as an indication of comfort as well.

TM and ran to the store today to stock up on supplies I didn't know I needed, such as soft foods, especially pudding and applesauce. This is what she want to eat right now, though she also ate a scrambled egg and some spaghetti cut up very small. I'm hoping that tomorrow I can convince her to go back to swallowing her pills because it can't taste very good to eat them crushed in pudding. (Though I'm mighty enamored of the pill crusher we came home from the hospital with.) Tomorrow I need to run out to the thrift store and find some button down shirts for H. There is no way to put anything over your head when your face is covered with sutures and your head is wrapped in bandages to hold the drains in place. The clothing implications just never occurred to me.

And H. is starting to realize how things are different. This afternoon, she was realizing that her lips are a significantly different size. "My lips are small," is what she has repeated over and over. Sutures aside, watching her, it seems a little like a baby trying out body parts; as though she needs to figure out these lip-things all over again. And depending on what the nerves are doing, it may very well be that this is what she needs to do.

I'm glad tomorrow is Saturday and everyone will be home. Some members of the family were feeling just a little unbalanced with the coming and going and the unknowns of surgery and it will be good to have a day where we all just relax. Well, relax and change drainage tubes and give much medication and apply antibiotic ointment. For the record, nursing and doctoring never made it to my top 10 professions that I ever imagined myself doing. We just never know what paths our children are going to lead us down.


Anonymous said…
Thanks for keeping us posted. I am so glad to hear about all that they were able to do during H's surgery. Praise God for the wonderful skill He gives to doctor's hands.
Even though this is a difficult road to walk down, it will be a blessing for H to learn that her mommy and daddy love her and are there to care for her during this somewhat painful time.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you,
Kim Crawford

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