Surgery Update

Kelsey had surgery on both hips/legs on Monday.  Her recovery is going quite well.  Here is the update I shared on Facebook.


Day Two Update:
Kelsey slept all night except when vitals were taken (every 4 hours) during which she told the nurse, just like N’Sync did, “Bye. Bye. Bye!” The nurses have been phenomenal…this one just ignored her but I told her she had it much better off than the nurse the night before when Kelsey cried during every visit. Because K slept all night, I did too! Yay! Although my magical mattress pad lost it’s luster on the second night…but still, for hospital sleep, it was darn good. I also discovered that, just like at home, leaving the room helps her to fall asleep better…go figure. So I’m out in the hall looking at what one could argue is likely one of the best views from a hospital window. Chesapeake Bay, Domino plant, sky scrapers. It’s really lovely.
After that good night’s sleep, Kelsey was up at 5:30 and pretty chipper and adorable. Then I failed to order breakfast early enough so by the time it arrived she was quite hangry and after eating well, she’s ready to sleep and be left alone again.
Kelsey’s hemoglobin levels are good and holding strong (12 is normal and hers has stayed at 8.5), so they probably won’t even measure them again…which I take as a positive for not needing a transfusion. They told us that eating and drinking really helps that and I’ve been impressed with her appetite.
Today, I’d like to get her cleaned up a little. Remnants of Monday night’s nausea has lingered and it’s time. Hopefully we can take a walk again and play a little more.
The plan is still to have the epidural removed tomorrow and start transferring to oral pain relief, which I’m told is a tricky balance. So far I haven’t noticed a lot of pain, just irritation at medical professionals, visitors other than parents and grandparents and at the inability to “get down!”
David and I, in addition to sleeping well-enough, have been taking care of ourselves well. Nia and Dad-dad let us go to lunch yesterday on the water in Fells Point, which is just down the street. I may have had an orange crush…gotta take it when you can get it. Thanks to very generous friends, we haven’t paid for a meal yet because of the use of gift cards. Dave has gone home both nights to snuggle Ben (who seems unaffected, from what I hear), and I’ll get the chance to do so tonight while Dave takes a turn at Hotel Hopkins. Mary Carole has been working hard unpacking the new house more, cleaning and doing laundry, and making sure Ben is well taken care of. Our Meal Train starts tonight so we won’t think of meals at home for some time…even though that new kitchen is calling me!
The support YOU have given us is overwhelming. The texts and messages of love, prayers, and concern for us as parents is simply amazing. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We are focusing on Kelsey and hospital life and I apologize if we do not get back to you. I will try to give an update on Facebook as often as there is something to share. I’ll also copy it to my blog in case some aren’t on The Facebook. 😉 Prayers for peace, healing, no pain, and healthy family members are always welcome.

When it rains, it pours

Things tend to happen all at once for our family.  We are a week away from moving into our new house (knock on wood) and eleven days away from Kelsey’s double hip surgery.  If you’re good with word problems, that’s a four day period to move, unpack, settle, and briefly enjoy our dream home before heading to our 5 day stint in the hospital for a surgery that will likely change everything.  It’s all got this organized/everything in it’s place/must put everything in hotel drawers immediately upon arrival-even if it’s for a one night stay-girl a bit frazzled.

This spacing was not our desire or intention at all.  In late November, the surgery was scheduled for 1/22/18.  This seemed reasonable because at that point we thought we’d be moving in by the first of the year and would have a good three weeks to make the transition. Always looking on the bright side, we thought “how lucky for us that we will move into our accessible home in time for the desperate need of a ramp, bedrooms on the main floor and an open concept for Kelsey’s wheelchair that she will come home with.”  Stick with me but this is still something to be so grateful for.

At one point the estimated move in date was Halloween…then it was Christmas…then the first of the year…and here we are still at 4729 Buffalo Road on January 11.  If you’ve built a house before, you know that a move in date is a suggestion more than a fact.  One that has required us to dig through a storage container for packed winter coats, Christmas decorations and humidifiers because we had packed them in anticipation of not needing them until we were settled in our new house.  Note to those packing for an upcoming move:  Never pack all seasonally necessary items until you have the moving company booked.

Anyway, surgery never seems to fall at a good time for us.  Or anyone I’m sure.  There’s never really a good time to cut one’s body open.  Especially one’s child.  After years of staying home with Ben when he was a baby, I went back to teaching when he was four years old.  I wasn’t even finished the first quarter of the school year, and he was all-of-a-sudden going to have major surgery.  Navigating sub plans, parent conferences, a week in the hospital, and a week of recovery with your baby is not desirable.  But, we did it.  My principal was super supportive, Ben healed much faster than we anticipated, and the surgery worked.

Then, it was time to add Kelsey to the mix.  Even though Kelsey was born five weeks early, we had an inkling that I’d need to deliver earlier than planned after finding out she had suffered from a stroke and hydrocephalus during an MRI in my last trimester.  I should note that this was the very next school year…my poor coworkers!  This mom has no business working.

See the beginning of Kelsey’s story to jog your memory.  On 5/10/13 I delivered our adorable pink baby!  So here I was healing from a c-section with Kelsey in the NICU, and-not 24 hours later-Ben broke his leg during a trampoline accident.  Only we didn’t know (b/c urgent care missed it) that it was broken! <<Side note:  It would be four months before Ben was casted (booted after a subsequent stress fracture in his foot) and completely healed.>>

After five weeks of immobility and pain, it was finally determined that Ben’s leg was broken.

So I was healing in a hospital bed, Ben was a lot of pain and immobile at home with his grandparents, and Kelsey was in the NICU awaiting her first brain surgery.  This was one of the most challenging times for me as a mother, but as I’m sharing my side of things, I’m forced to realize that maybe it’s Dave who should be telling this story.  Holy Moly that’s a lot for one dude to handle.  All three of his loves in pain and living apart.  He’s a keeper.

Doing it all with a smile! And a cocktail! 

Now fast forward and here we are.  Moving is stressful for any family at any time but it’s also much more exciting surgery-side-helping than parent conferences or a child with an undiagnosed, broken leg. The part that makes us sad is that we’ve been building this house for over a year.  We broke ground in April but we had been designing it long before that.  And as soon as we move in we will be have to do something we really, really, really don’t want to do–including leaving our beautiful house.

But, this too shall pass.  And hopefully it will all be easier than we are building it up to be.  It will be a long recovery period, and I’m thankful that a good bit of that will include returning to and recovering in our new home.  Continuing my Pollyanna outlook, I’m glad this is all happening in winter.  If there’s a time to be inside healing from surgery it’s when everyone else is stuck inside too.  The NICU/Broken Leg Saga was TOUGH for so many reasons, but also because it was during the summer. We missed out on a lot of fun during that time and it didn’t help our moods.

Sad and broken

As I know you will, please send your mojo, prayers and superstitious rituals our way.  For Kelsey especially, that she comes through the surgery and the recovery with flying colors, little pain and her sweet little spirit still in tact.

All smiles before her last eye surgery in April 2017

For Ben that he doesn’t worry too much about his beloved sister or family, and that the transition of the new house and absent parents don’t do permanent damage.

For Dave who carries all of this plus the financial burden of it all and a career with new and demanding roles. As for me, if all of the above happens and we all stay healthy (PLEASEPLEASEPLEASE) and the weather cooperates and we are in the house this time next week then I might not have a nervous breakdown.  I don’t think that’s too much to ask for, right?!

Sweet siblings on our new front porch

Thanks y’all.