Thursday, November 15, 2007

Life Happens

Well, we are home - with one little tempermental and difficult patient!

Thanks everyone for your prayers. The past couple of days have been somewhat stressful and exhausting.

Abby climbed onto my swivel chair in the basement Tues. night while I was on the phone. Out of the corner of my eye I see her starting to spin on the chair -on her knees, and the next thing I know I heard her fall and cry. She must have landed hard on the concrete floor.

She was definitely screaming in pain and Jesse was gone for the evening. I called our best friend who is a nurse, and she said to take her to urgent care as they were open another hour. We arrived around 8:20- Kyle was such a big help for me.
Xrays showed her fracture was above the elbow and then curved in towards the inside of the arm. The pediatrician on call had not seen that before, so she consulted an orthopedic surgeon. While we were waiting for the consult, Abby, tearfully says, "Mom, I don't think what I did was such a good idea. I should have known better." Ah yes, wise words from a 5 yr. old, I think she learned something that night. The doc came in with news that the orthopedic doctor had contacted another and they wanted her brought into the university hospital right away for possible surgery.

Of course the word "surgery" pretty much freaked me. Kyle starts crying, Abby is screaming in pain, and I am on the phone trying to reach someone to keep trying our house to reach Jesse, as he was due home from his meeting in about 10 min. (Life without cell phones only stinks at times like these.) Fortunately my in-laws were home and could meet me at the hospital to take Kyle home to bed. During the drive to the hospital I have all these things going through my head about what could go wrong in surgery, i.e. excessive bleeding, aspiration, infection... do all mothers do this to themselves when their child needs surgery? I didn't even think about such things when I've needed it.

ER is packed and we're out there 45 min before they call us in to triage to take her vitals. Then they send us back out. I said an ortho surgeon was waiting for us and the nurse said nothing could be done until a room was available. Jesse arrived around 11 and we didn't get into a room unil near midnight. Abby didn't get a splint for relief until 12:30 -but I will say the 2 residents who worked on her were really good and she was observing and chatting by then. She noticed a triage crib in her room - had feet symbol at one end and head at other. I told her why and she said there was no way a baby's head could go by that symbol and their feet at the other end by the foot symbols - babies are just not that long. She had a point!

They returned at 1 am to say they should have a room ready for her in the hospital by 1:30. I couldn't stay any longer. Abby was in good spirits and I had to get home to relieve Jesse's folks from duty and get Kyle's back pack ready for school. They were hoping to schedule surgery at 7:30 Weds morning. I wasn't worried anymore. When I drove home from the hospital I just gave it up to God. Told Him I knew that Abby was too smart for Him not to have a purpose here to for serve other people. She's been saying for a long time that she is going to be a doctor someday,and maybe she will!

Kyle and I both overslept, but still got Kyle to the bustop early and headed in to the hospital. Jesse had "slept" in a wooden rocker with no padding next to her bed all night. Poor guy! The latest news was surgery at 11 or 2. Then it was 2 or 5. We kept praying all day that Abby would not complain about being hungry. She had an IV for thirst quenching, and praise God - she did not once ask for food. (This, our girl who cannot survive one hour without something to eat.) The nurses adored her and we were blessed with Tina and Kristen, who must have been fabulous baby sitters in their younger days.

It ended up that they did not come for pre-op until 4:30. The man who wheeled her down had adopted a little boy from Siberia, who looked a lot like Abby. As we went from hall to hall, wing to wing - everyone smiled at Abby and she undoubtedly heard the word "cute" a lot. We shared adoption stories with Jim and learned they would like to adopt again someday.

I was able to done the pretty green hat and yellow coat and go into the operating room with Abby while she was anesthetized. An organization called Child Life comes to the surgical area to give the child a toy and walk parents to and from the various rooms in the surgical wing. I thought this was a pretty cool program, and certainly helped us out in a big hospital at an overwhelming time.

When we went into the surgery waiting area there were so many families. Some talking to hospital staff, others sleeping. I had to wonder what they were all there for, undoubtedly for something worse than a broken arm. Cancer? Reconstructive? Had anyone just received bad news? I found myself saying a little prayer as we walked by each group. I felt very fortunate at that moment.

Surgery went well, and fast. Abby was in recovery shortly after 6 pm. The surgeon told us she could actually go home that night around 8 or 9 if we wanted. Why would we want to?! Our daughter's first surgery and what would we do, inexperienced with this, in the middle of the night when things get out of control? The post op nurse had a bedside manner leaving something to be desired. "Well, there is no reason she can't go home tonight. You just handle it like you would any sick child." Yeah, right.

Back in our room at the children's hospital the nurse assured us we could stay over night. We ordered some food and Abby ate a tiny bit of jello and applesauce, and didn't have any problems keeping it down. The morphine in the IV at post op didn't seem to be doing much good for her pain. The nurse got her Tylenol with codeine. The stuff must taste awful. Abby fought as hard as she could not to take that med, and when they got it in her she was so upset that she almost worked herself into throwing it up. We quickly popped the television on for CARS to get her distracted to calm down, and it worked. She got tired and I headed home around 9:30.

I returned this morning to bring our girl home. Abby didn't want to leave the hospital today, and no wonder as nurses cater to her every need. She was actually mad at me for coming to pick her up to take her home. She wanted me to leave the room yesterday as well when she had to go to the bathroom. Just wanted dad and the nurse to help her. I could have let her words stab my heart, but I know she was just out of sorts and not herself.

She screamed and cried all the way to the car this morning, but once in it actually had a nice conversation about things she was seeing along the drive. Abby can be fine and laugh watching a movie, but as soon as she has no distractions, or gets in a mood, she is focused solely on her arm and fusses about it.

Abby doesn't want to be moved (trying to adjust her from a weird angle on the couch), touched...etc. Often we can't do anything to make her happy or do anything right. I gave her Tylenol with codeine and even an hour later she cried and screamed at the top of her lungs. I think a lot of it is fear vs. real pain, as she remembers that it hurt before when she moved it. I really thought she would be a happier kid after surgery. They made it sound like it would really take the pain away. Jesse wonders if the pins in her elbow are bothering her. It is hard to tell when she is in real pain and when she is manipulating us.

If Abby would only realize that she can resume life much as it was before the surgery, just one arm less to help with motor skills, her attitude would turn around. She also seems certain that walking causes her arm to hurt, and we have been having a battle with that. As I type this we just finished a half hour battle to get her to take medicine. Maybe even longer - if only they did not fight it so life could be much more pleasant more quickly. Now she is having a cookie and is all smiles.
I just pray everyone gets a good night's sleep - especially poor Jesse. The cot at the hospital was like a rock, there is no way he could have had a decent night's sleep. With nurses in every 4 hours to check vitals, that wake up would just mean he had to resettle Abby each time.

We could still use prayers - we have a patient with an attitude to boot. (LOL) Hoping tomorrow is an easier day. I feel bad that I have to go to work in the morning and leave Jesse home to deal with her alone again.


Kelly said...

Awww, the poor little thing! It is great news that it wasn't a more serious break, but I can still imagine how scary the whole ordeal must have been for everybody. Big hugs and prayers for a speedy recovery...

Bucket said...

Oh poor thing! I am glad she is all better, but if anyone needs prayers it's you right now. :-) Hopefully she will be all better soon and back to her normal self.