Sunday, July 27, 2008

Grace's Recovery...

Yesterday was a much easier day for Gracie. We switched her to plain Tylenol, and suddenly we had compliance with the meds. It was such a relief.

She is moving around a lot more, and I think I told her at least 100 times to stop running or jumping or lifting things. It warms my heart to see her getting better. We took her to my niece, Molly's, birthday party, too. She did pretty well there, but after 3 hours was asking to take a nap. She spent the majority of time playing dress up or Barbies with Chloe, Molly, and Meghan. I caught her running up the slide in the backyard once, and she wasn't happy with me telling her she had to come down out of the club house.

After a bit of a battle regarding some paper tape on her neck, we removed the gauze bandage yesterday, and now I've gotten a chance to look at the incision. It is nearly three inches long, and quite raised. I forgot how surgical incisions look until they recede back into the skin. She has steri-strips holding it together right now, and two regular stitches on each end. She'll have the external stitches out as well as the steri-strips removed this Wednesday.

She also had her first shower since the surgery. It took quite a while to coax her into the shower. I think she may have been scared that the water would hurt her. Once she got in though, she was very happy. She played with various cups, pouring water throughout. Afterward, I could tell she had used up most of her energy reserves so I put in the Barbie Mermaidia DVD so she'd lay low.

Overall, Grace is healing physically, but now we're noticing that her sensory issues are much heightened. She also is trying to control all of the experiences she goes through, and has achieved a new level of defiance. We're giving her a wide birth for a few more days.

I came into her room to check on her the other day, and she said, "Mommy, I think I'd like it if you would knock first before coming in." This surprised me a bit since she is always so happy to see me, but this is the Grace that just had a scary surgery. She has even hung blankets on her bunk bed to make her own space within her room. This may just be a six-year old thing to do, but I have a feeling it is all related to the surgery.

Finally, Meghan had a bit of a breakdown last night. She was getting ready for bed, and suddenly burst into tears. I asked her what was wrong, and she said, "How come no one is paying attention to me? Gracie got a lot of special things like an elephant, Barbie, coloring book, markers, dalmatian puppy, and new pajamas. How come I didn't get new silky pajamas with kitties? Why?"

I replied, "You are very special Meghan."
She whined, "I'm not special."

"Oh honey, yes, you are. I know how you feel. I remember how I felt when my sister Kristen had her appendix out when we were little. I wanted to be special like her and get special gifts, too. I remember she got a new stuffed animal called Honcho the Hippo, and I wanted it so much. But I didn't know that surgeries are not fun and that they hurt. I only knew that I wanted to get special attention so I want you to tell me when you need attention Meghan. I'd be happy to give you extra hugs and love because you ARE special." Then, I handed her a new Barbie film camera as her very own special reward.

We all need to adjust, and I hope Grace's surgical experience fades quickly into the fabric of a fun rest of summer.


Tante said...

Maybe the blanket around her bed was introduced with the curtain you had to pull around while she was in the hospital, since her roomate had like 30 visitors at once. It was only two days of being closed in like that, but maybe she found some comfort in it? Maybe that or maybe she is already starting to be a teenager :)

Donetta said...

Hi Sweet Lady, I think perhaps your darling is just trying to find a seance of control, her life has been in everyone elses hands now for a while. give her two choices within your perammiter. This will help keep a check so you do not have to undo later. but yet help her feel a little more in control. Like potty training they can own their excrement and out go. Now she need to have a bed that no nurse or any one else intrudes in. Knock it is not about you. She is establishing boundaries now that she can.
The blanket thing helps her also have less space to defend. Closet play might come in for a few weeks to. It is normal:)

Childlife said...

I'm so glad to hear that Grace is doing better, Jen! And poor Meghan :(

I think you handled her worries beautifully, Jen. Your love for your girls is just beautiful!

(P.S. Something for you at my place...)