Today marks (almost) two weeks since the cast came off and 6 weeks since the surgery. Abi has left the house twice since then: both for doctor’s appointments. The car seat is not an option right now unfortunately, and so healing at home is where we are. Thankfully, home is a healing place. We love our chickens, our garden, the sunlight in the morning, and the sunset on the porch at night. However, I sure would love for Abi to be able to sit in her wheelchair soon and take a stroll outside.
As of today, her body is still much more tender than I had hoped. However, when I remind myself she had a leg shortened, bones put in places they weren’t before, bolts and screws inserted, an unexpected switch to a very painful cast (that allowed painful pressure and movement for 4 weeks), and a reaction to pain meds that caused so many issues that we were one lab report away from being rushed to the ER for a possible GI infection… I remember recovery is not a planned science and Abi’s journey will be her own.
That being said- when I think back to where we were even a week ago- I DO see progress. I’m so in the thick of it, (having left the property 5 times since surgery) that I’m one coffee away from the last hour and 2 Price is Rights away from the next dose of meds.
I will say- Abi’s teachers came yesterday and they saw a much different gal than the teachers who had visited prior. She was smiling and laughing, attentive and engaged.
She sat up independently after they left- which is a major milestone in my book.
Today I’m working on stretching her sweet legs and trying to remember when you’ve had your leg up to your hip for 4 months- stretching will be hard.
In fact, I had a dream the other night where I FELT Abi’s pain. Something was stretching my body and I was SHOCKED at how painful it was. SHOCKED. I FELT it. And yet I knew- that’s all it was – a stretch from a cramped position. I remember thinking, “This is how Abi is feeling.” And from that point on I’ve had a bigger peace- feeling like I have a little more insight on how this journey is going.
Right now I have her in a pillow that is not exactly comfortable- and I can hear her grunting from her bed, trying so hard not to lose it. If you wonder why I’m not in there, let me say that A) I just spent the last 20 minutes, leaning my torso onto hers- holding her arms as tight as possible and counting in her ear until she calmed down; and B) Sometimes she finds the remainder of her balance if I give her some space. I want her in that pillow for another 2 minutes and if I take a breather – she may be able to get through those 120 seconds faster.
As all parents know, but especially those with special needs- our situations are universally different. There’s no path that’s exactly the same. The way my child reacts to a med, may be entirely different than yours, and vice versa.
The things that have worked amazingly well for us have occasionally proven to be a nightmare for others- and for some, being at home, crying from hard stretches, and calming down with a good Golden Girls episode feels like a dream compared to the sterile hospital they’re reading this from.
All that to say- I’m holding onto the progress I see like a lifeline. My knuckles are white from holding on so long to each little piece of the puzzle- but when I look back- the hardest days of this adventure are further away- and I hope, I HOPE, I’m seeing the shore.