30 May 2016

Trading metal for metal

Early Monday morning Everett and I went to his well-child visit with Dr Shaw. He guessed his weight at 64 pounds and his height as 41. He was pretty close considering! I think he was 44 inches tall and 45 pounds. He showed off all his skills like balancing on one leg, hopping on one leg, reciting his numbers and letters, etc. Of course getting his kindergarten shots were not so fun. He limped all day and went from happy to cranky pants extreme. Miekka and I took the kids swimming at the Sterling Pool. We enjoyed lunch at Santiago's then off to swim. The swimming helped Everett's leg feel much better.

The next morning the Lance's left for home around the same time we left for a day trip to Scottsbluff. Amelia was due to have her braces and appliance removed! We picked up Ella on our drive up for some friend time. Amelia's teeth look pretty amazing! She was very excited to get them off and loved the smooth feeling of her teeth. She developed a silly open mouth grin since the braces came off. After teeth pics her mouth was measured for a retainer. While the retainer was made we all went to McD for lunch since it had a playplace. Everett was very healthy and ate a chicken salad with branches. We stopped by Target to get new swimsuits for the 4 younger kids. After getting her new retainer fit and adjusted we left for home. Ella had a softball game at 4:30 so we were running against the clock. As soon as we got home crazy time erupted. I had to finish the laundry, pack clothes and supplies to survive 4-5 days down in Denver for everyone. I arranged to have the carpets cleaned while we were gone so Justin and I cleared off all the carpets. This time I had the basement couches cleaned as well. I am sure the last time the couches were clean was when Justin purchased them 11+ years ago (well, besides spot cleaning). I collapsed into bed after 1 am only to get up at 7 and finish getting ready.

We left around 9:30, which is a miracle considering. We spent a fun afternoon playing at the Denver Children's Museum. A last hurrah of sorts for Amelia and to celebrate Everett's birthday. Alyson and John Yoder hosted us during our stay in Denver for Amelia's operation. Alyson made a delicious taco soup for dinner. The boys and Evelyn had lots of fun jumping on the trampoline with Ben and Dan. Amelia went with Madeline to Activity Day Girls. I hear they swam in a hot tub and ate yummy treats. We went to bed early-ish.

Justin's alarm went off at 4:45 am. We rushed to get ready and have Amelia at the hospital by 5:30 am. I am not much of an early morning person. That wake up and stay up was quite hard on us all. We earned a sneaky medal for getting out of the house without waking up Evelyn. Alyson watched the 3 middle kids all day. I hear she let them watch a movie since Evelyn woke up at 6 am. They played at several splash pads before the rain came. Alyson let Everett choose a toy (the game Sorry) at Target for his birthday. She even made him a chocolate-chocolate-chocolate cake!

Josie was not allowed into the surgery prep area or recovery. I had to stay in the waiting room for 4-5 hours. Justin played "Hips Don't Lie" while we waited for Amelia to go to surgery prep. Justin went in with her to help her dress, make sure the correct leg was operated on, and wait until she was ready to go to the surgery arena. Josie and I chilled in the waiting room. I ended up falling over onto the couch with Josie and snoring for an hour. I woke up when Justin brought a breakfast sandwich from the cafeteria. Justin got several calls while we waited as the nurse updated us of her status. A TV screen showed her status as she went back, went into surgery, and taken to recovery. Dr G came and showed us what went on and Amelia's new impressive hardware. Justin stayed with a napping Josie while I went into recovery with Amelia. She was knocked out with Valium because she was thrashing from pain when brought out of anesthesia. While she was unconscious from the Valium the anesthesiologist adjusted her epidural medication. She was white as a sheet when I finally saw her. Poor kiddo was shivering and her eyes opening irregularly. After her nurse finished charting he took her up to the 6th floor, room 609. That room became our home for 3 days and nights.

Amelia had a hard time with nausea. She had a patch behind her ear, Phenergan, and Zofran. Poor kid still threw up and could not keep anything down until Saturday. Consequently, her heart rate was irregular, she ran a temperature, and got dehydrated inspite of the IV. The nurse put her on 66 cc of IV fluid and she was peeing out 80-90 cc's for a day. Once the epidural came out the Zofran seemed to work. Her pain medication, Oxycodene also cause nausea and vomiting. Luckily, I had some liquid and pill Phenergan leftover from pregnancy and Phillip's tonsillectomy.

Justin stayed with Amelia during the nights, I went to Alyson's to spend time with the kids and sleep with them. Evelyn was quite off set from the experience. She did really well for Alyson on Thursday until I got to the house. By then she was done being good and tired from playing. We sang Everett Happy Birthday and ate cake and ice cream. Everett said he had a really good day. We got to Skype with Amelia before bed. Evelyn lasted only 2 hours on her own bed before she was in my bed. Then she was up for the day at 5:30 am, as soon as the sun rose. Friday the kids and I went to see Amelia for a couple hours. I brought Legos to entertain the boys. Everett was entertained with free jello, juice, and crackers. That was awesome. Amelia seemed to be a bit more like herself. She was pretty lethargic from the epidural medications and catheter. Justin took a break from hospital life by taking the middles to Del Taco for lunch. He was dismayed over Everett's constant whining and Evelyn's crankiness. I got to deal with the cranky monster and whine-n-cheese boys for the rest of the day. Evelyn fell asleep on the drive to and from the hospital. I stayed in the van while the girls slept. After dinner we took the kids swimming at a local recreation center. It was so nice to have so many amenities close by: parks, pools, schools, nature trails, ponds, and shopping. Evelyn threw a 2 hour tantrum after waking up from her nap. I am grateful Alyson and her kids were gone for swim practise and food shopping. They got ready for a Memorial Day camping trip!

Saturday after the "pain team" took Amelia off her epidural medication they were unsure of when she could be discharged. Justin was not sure so we left to visit her without packing up our belongings, prepared to stay another night. Alyson left me the garage code so we could use their home while they went camping. We arrived just after her catheter was removed and the nurses were coaxing her into a wheel chair. Her right hip was on fire with pain after so many days of sitting on it. Some more Valium took the pain away while her right leg adjusted back to normal. She was not fond of the adhesive removal covering the epidural tubes, etc. We all took a trip downstairs for lunch in the cafeteria. Right as we sat down she had to use the bathroom. She and I soon learned that process is quite involved and takes a lot of time. When we got back up to her room Amelia was quite dizzy from the elevator ride. The nurse then talked about getting her discharge papers printed. I was confused since all morning it seemed she would stay another day. After the epidural was removed she met all the criteria to go home: pee and poo on her "own", pain reasonably managed, and nausea controlled. Her heart showed irregular beats so she had an ECG, a quick test, before we left. The Hornbargers, Evelyn and Julie, were in town so they stopped by for a quick visit. I got to visit with Jenna and Jade Yost from Sidney. Jenna's daughter was born with a cleft palate and Pierre sequence (small jaw). She was on her 38th day of hospital life. I cannot even imagine! Getting Amelia into the van was quite a feat. Fitting her wheelchair, potty chair, and shower chair along with all our junk was nothing short of a miracle. We drove down to the Yoder's home and quickly pack up our stuff, jammed it around everything and everyone in the van and made headway for home. Amelia was quite uncomfortable until we stopped for dinner. I removed her booster seat so she could reach the car floor with her feet. The booster was cutting against her incision site. After that small change she finally felt comfortable. We arrived home around 9:30 pm. It took an hour just to get her inside, pottied, and ready for bed on the couch. Everyone was pooped.

We stayed home from church due to exhaustion. The kids spent the morning playing with play dough. Amelia was feeling pretty good even after dealing with nausea all day. I finally found the Phenergan which helped her keep down food and water. I coaxed her to try getting outside for a while. She used crutches to get to the door. I carefully carried her to her wheelchair and then slowly wheeled her to the side yard. Our neighbors made us a jerry-rigged ramp using wood pieces and the back of their utility trailer as a ramp. The ramp made it much easier to get her back inside without her having to use crutches. Gina Hill and Jeremee Jones brought us dinner Sunday and Monday! Such a relief!

Today I finally hit the proverbial wall, feeling overwhelmed with the amount of care/attention Amelia needed. The house was a hurricane with stuff everywhere after coming home and unpacking. Hey, at least the carpets are clean. It feels like I am near to drowning in responsibilities and duties. It will all get better...just need to keep my calendar cleared and simple for the next month or two. I am so grateful for Justin, he was a trooper this past week. I was not envious of the bed he had to sleep on. I think concrete slab is a more appropriate description. He got the slab and I got the 4 ornery kids.  

*She traded mouth metal for femur metal. I think the braces were much easier to deal with.

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