Sunday, March 27, 2011

Gym Class, A Broken Arm & Surgery, Oh My! Part TWO

To read Part ONE of Gym Class, A Broken Arm & Surgery, Oh My! click here.

After the Lass had a steady dose of morphine in her system she was able to semi-recline on the bed and watch some TV while I attempted to read a book in between her requests to put the bed up, down, up again, scratch her forehead, wipe her nose, cover her feet, etc.  I didn't mind though, it was so much better to be able to help her with mundane requests than it was to watch her in constant pain.

She was not allowed to eat or drink so they started giving her fluids through her IV.  But this didn't help the hunger.  She had a scrambled egg for breakfast around 7AM.  Nothing else.  She was getting hungry.  Yet in spite of this, the only thing she wanted to watch on TV were cooking shows:  Buddy, Rachael, Ina, Paula and few others I had never seen.  But she knew them all.  She was salivating over salmon that Barefoot Contessa had baked.  She doesn't even like salmon!  I pointed this out to her and she said she was so hungry that she'd eat it if she could.  I wanted to switch the channel but she was sure she wanted to keep watching cooking shows.  For hours, literally.

On my way out the door that morning (after the nurse called, when I figured I'd be in for a few hours at the hospital) I grabbed the books that were on the top of her reading pile and on the top of mine.  Her book was Soul Surfer, a book about the 13 year old surfer whose arm got bitten off by a shark.  (Movie coming to a theater near you in April.)  I thought this was a great read and perfect considering the girl in the book also had surgery on her arm, although of a different sort.  I tried to reading to the Lass but she wasn't able to concentrate on what I was saying.  So she went back to her TV and I started reading my book, One Thousand Gifts.  It's a book about living life fully, with grace, thanksgiving and joy, regardless of the circumstance.  It was an excellent book to take to the ER and really helped me to count my blessings in spite of the chaos of the situation.

Finally around 4PM they took us upstairs for surgery.  The surgeon explained that she had broken both bones in her forearm and that surgery was required to put the bones back together.  Not because she needed plates or pins but because it would be too difficult and too painful to do unless she was sedated.  He explained that she would need to wear a hand-to-shoulder cast for 7-8 weeks.  After that, they would replace it with a smaller hand-to-elbow cast for another 3-4 weeks.  He said she could not go back to school until Monday (this was Wednesday) and said no PE class "indefinitely".

They wheeled her off to surgery and I went to the Family Lounge.  I had planned to sit and read but there was a delightful family there waiting for their loved one who was in surgery and they kept me entertained with constant chatter, jokes, family stories.  They had me talking and laughing and I started wondering if they did stand-up in their spare time.  Such a breath of fresh air in a stuffy hospital waiting room!

Surgery lasted about 20 minutes and they let me go to recovery to be with the Lass since she's a minor.  (Normally recovery is for patients only.)  Immediately following the surgery she looked so much better than she had all day.  The color was returning to her face and she looked more relaxed.  (I'm sure anesthesia had something to with that!)  Prior to the surgery she had requested a pink or green cast.  The surgeon explained that they only had white casts in the OR and that we could come to his office the following day to get a color added to the cast.  Sure enough, she had a white cast on post-surgery.  But just a few minutes later, the Physicians Assistant arrived with pink tape for the cast!  He made a special trip to the office to get the pink tape and returned to add it to her cast just after the surgery.  So nice!  Once they were sure her vitals were stable, they sent us upstairs to fully recover in the pediatric unit.

Up in the peds unit, they gave her ginger ale and crackers to eat and finally, around 7PM, said we could go home.

The end of a long day but just the beginning of a New Normal for our Lass.

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