The last three days have been full- full of packing, preparations, surgery, and recovery. I spent a fair portion of Monday fretting, and sensing this strange feeling that wasn’t quite worry, and contained an element of grief. I don’t like taking my baby to be operated on, and to have her beautiful face cosmetically altered became difficult there in the end. Knowing I will never see that big smile I’ve come to love is sad to me, and put me on the verge of tears more than once. But I asked for prayer, and friends and family prayed for peace which became the pervading sensation. I felt peace as we loaded up the car at 5 AM Tuesday, I felt peace as we registered Glory at the hospital at 6:30 AM, and still as we waited in the pre-op room with her for the next 2.5 hours, and then as she was taken from us, I think she, too, was at peace because though she cried out once, the nurse reported that she did great, took the mask, and drifted off with no problem. We felt peace and complete absence of anxiety (which on this occasion seemed noteworthy and not merely logical) as we waited during her 3 hour procedure to be completed. Over and over I was reminded of Jesus’ words recorded in Matthew 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
When Glory had been moved to recovery and we were taken to see her, she was resting quietly in the nurses arms. Upon seeing us, she began to cry my name, twisting up her swollen, slightly bruised face that now has a dark line of tiny stitches from the base of her nose all the way down through her lip. It broke my heart, and again relief and grief mixed as I cried with her.
Glory is a great patient. She may get mad, she may scream, but she doesn’t fight and make it difficult to do what needs to be done. As she was transported to her room for observation for the night, she cried and aggravated the fresh incisions, causing them to seep (which, by the way, is nurse for ‘bleed!’). She had to be cleaned up, and kept telling us she was all done. In fact, each time a nurse came into the room, she told them, “No, all done. Bye bye.” But she was compliant, and amazingly helpful when she wanted to be. When we were finally alone in her room, she said, “Home,” so we told her she would have to drink water first. So the little girl, with a sore, bloody lip, promptly downed 6 oz of water and then repeated, “Home.” She was not happy about being told that she would still have to stay the night, and retaliated by rejecting fluids for the next 20 hours.
Her afternoon was spent snoozing on either Mommy’s or Daddy’s lap, crying only when we moved her or put her in the bed for any reason. We were blessed by a visit from our former youth group girls, Mary and Dani, who are IUPUI nursing students. The girls picked up dinner and some snacks for us, and filled us in on what God is doing in their lives. Truly I could ask nothing more than for God to work in my children as He has done in these girls. How they cause me to rejoice!
Around 10 PM, Glory finally consented to sleeping in the bed, so Jesse and I were able to crash for a few hours, waking every so often to see Glory’s nurse giving her pain medication or providing some other care. At 4:30 this morning, Glory decided she had had enough of the bed and wanted to be held. Not long after 6 AM we were visited by Glory’s surgeon, Dr. Flores, and shortly there after, by other members of the Plastics team. Dr. Flores said the only thing keeping us in the hospital was Glory’s fluid intake, so we earnestly encouraged her to drink!
We began to see Glory act like herself around 8 AM. She colored with Daddy, looked at books, played with stuffed animals, and would close her eyes and ask, “Mommy, (where) are you?” then open them and act surprised to find me there changing her diaper. She started talking about anything and everything, repeating words and talking about home and her siblings. Jesse said he thought she was really enjoying being the only child for a day 🙂
By about 10 AM, Glory drank her required 4 oz of juice, and we were free to go as soon as the prescription for her pain med arrived, and the doctor signed the orders. At 11, we were on our way out the door! We arrived home in time for lunch, and greeted by “Welcome Home Glory” in chalk on the driveway. The boys came out, eager to see what Glory’s lip looks like, and Saige pretended not to care at all that we were home, the little stink! My mom is in town this week to help out, and so Emet, Jamin and Saige stayed home with her while we were away. It sounds like they had fun! Chalk, dress up, going to the park- good times! Grandma is super tired, though, and barely made it through the boys’ bedtime story tonight.
From here, we keep Glory’s incision clean and free of clots. She is wearing restraints that prevent her from moving her elbows so she can’t touch her face. She is to eat soft foods for at least the next week, and may only drink from an open cup, so no sippys. Next Tuesday I will take her back to Riley to have the stitches removed, which will take place under anesthesia. She is taking pain medication every 4 hours, and will hopefully sleep well tonight so we can! She will wear her arm restraints for the next 3 weeks, and have a follow up appointment at that time. All the children, and even the dog, have been given strict instructions not to touch Glory’s face. I may have to put her in a bubble for the next few weeks!
Thanks for your continued prayers. Recovery will take some time and effort, and is always challenging when there are 3 other active children in the house. We know that God is with us, and will protect and heal Glory even as normal life is bumping and crashing around her. “Peace… Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” Peace.