Thursday, January 01, 2009
On December 15th we began what we pray is the last phase of Laura's clubfoot treatment. At our Thanksgiving visit Dr. Dobbs determined that a posterior tendon transfer was worth a shot for Laura, and a last ditch effort to cure her stubborn heel varus before an osteotomy would be required. Surgery for Laura hasn't always been an easy thing. She doesn't 'do' surgery well, but then most people don't. So it wasn't as if I was looking forward to it. Well, I might have been. On the inside. Waaaaay on the inside. After all, in my heart I knew this was what we needed to do. But in my head I was not looking forward to letting her go as she headed to OR, or watching her struggle with the pain of recovery immediately after surgery and beyond.
As I packed to go to St. Louis I made sure we had plenty of tylenol, some extra tylenol with codeine, some valium for muscle spasms, plenty of syringes and lots of apple juice to help keep her stomach calm. I planned for the possibility of her nissen letting go should she have an extremely upset stomach, and I packed comfy clothes for both of us as I anticipated spending a lot of time holding and rocking her through her pain, and climbing over seats in the car to get to her when necessary on the way home. I'd been through it before. I thought I knew what to expect.
When we arrived at Shriner's Monday morning, they immediately went to work making her comfortable and catering to her every whim. Lots of stuffed animals, a large playroom well stocked with everything her little heart desired, and pbs kids helped make her feel special. She fussed a bit as the medication began to help her relax as I'm sure she felt a bit funny. But when we released her to the nurses care outside the OR, she was doing just fine. After all, she was almost asleep!
Mom and I headed to get something to eat since we didn't know when we'd have time to do so later that day, and then settled down in a very nice OR waiting room. Soon the call came that she was out and in recovery, calling for me. My stomach sank. The difficult recovery time was upon us. I said yet another silent prayer as I headed to gather her in my arms.
As soon as she was settled in with me on a rocking chair, she drifted off to sleep. No fussing, no frustrations. Just rest. As we moved from the recovery room to her hospital room, she seemed to perk up even more. No extreme pain, no anxiety. Just a smile now and then, a hug for a stuffed animal or two, and a request for some crackers and apple juice.
I knew there were many people at home and across the country praying for her and soon realized the Lord was answering our prayers. My anxiety left as we prepared to take her home to Nana's for a nights sleep before driving home the next day. I'd planned to sleep with her in the living room, but even that wasn't needed. I put her down next to Jonathan, left them watching Noggin for a little while, and headed to bed myself. Mom and I woke up the next morning and marveled at the fact that we hadn't heard from her all night. But mentally I began plotting how to get some of the nasty pain meds in her before we left for home.
It seems I plotted without reason. As I listened to weather forecasts in the bedroom, Mom sat at the kitchen table to read her Bible and pray for a bit. Soon she was greeted with "Good morning, Honey" as Laura crawled down the hall. No crying. Not a whimper of pain. Just a smile to greet us. The Lord had really blessed her. And Mom and I as well. As you can see by the pictures, she was still doing just fine an hour later. We made it home that evening with just a few doses of tylenol needed. And I'm not sure they were for pain as much as they might have been because she was whining due to boredom. But I'm happy that was all. The Lord truly is good.
The troops as we pack to head home:
Nana and Jonathan: