Saturday, October 6, 2012

2 Days Post-Op

Everyone has a blanket and we are cozied up together on the big sectional in the family room, watching Looney Tunes. Such a fun and "normal" thing to do...the perfect scene you would expect for a Friday Family Night at home! But wait...we aren't at home...we are still in Madison, Wisconsin...thank goodness we are here, at the Ronald McDonald House! Really gives us a chance for some kind of normalcy when things aren't normal at all! Tonight, I saw the first hint of a smile on Hank's face, as he sat next to his Dad, watching Bugs Bunny. Of course he can't give a full smile since half of his face can't move yet...and he is still terribly swollen and unhappy...but right now...he is just being a kid and hopefully getting a little respite from the trauma of the last few days.

This morning, we took the short commute to the "Transformations" clinic in nearby Middleton. We met with Dr. Siebert's P.A. (physician's assistant) Luann, for the removal of the hated sutures on Hank's eye. We have all been dying for him to get them removed...they make it so hard to put drops in the eye...and with the swelling, they were pressing into Hank's upper eyelid. Not comfortable at all!  Luann is so nice...and with three kids of her own...I think she had some insight into how Hank's been feeling. Since there was tape on Hank's forehead, she applied a solution to loosen it...while we were waiting I asked for a favor.. "I was just wondering if you could help Lucy while we are here?" I asked.  "What do you need?" she replied. "Well...Lucy had her ears pierced 6 weeks ago...and she would really like to wear different earrings now...but she won't let me remove them. Since you are a professional..."  Luann smiled and asked Hank and Lucy to switch spots. Very carefully Luann removed the earrings and replaced them with the new ones. Quick and easy! Which is great because when I tried to do it last week, there was a lot of screaming and crying! 

Hank's turn was next and Luann made quick work of the removal of the tape and then the sutures. She was done before Hank had time to complain...and when she told him she was done, I saw the hint of a smile appear! I'll admit that it was a smile of relief and not happiness...but we will take what we can get! With our next appointment set for Monday, and Luann's lunch suggestion of  "Quaker Steak & Lube", we headed out. Hank did not want to go anywhere. "Let's go back to the Ronald McDonald House," he said. "Aw...c'mon Hank...let's go get some lunch!" said his Dad. "No...I just want to go back!" Hank was upset by the mere prospect of being out in public. But after telling him how they are used to seeing people who have had facial surgery in that area and he could wear his hood...he finally relented.

Hank kept his head ducked and his hood on as we entered the restaurant. He burrowed his head into my side and I threw my arm around his shoulders and tucked him in close to block him from the other patrons. When we got to the table, I notice he chose the seat against the wall, so that anyone walking would by would just see his "good" side. Clearly, he thought this out. I could tell he was uncomfortable at first...not wanting to look at the waiter. But as we ate lunch, Jeff told the kids stories of his daredevil youth and had them all cracking up. I could see Hank's guard was down and he forgot where he was for a few moments and giggled and guffawed with the rest of us. As it turns out, it was short-lived...the moment we stood to leave, the hood was up and he retreated back into his cave. He didn't want to play pinball or any of the video games...he just wanted to GO! (for him to pass up a video game...unheard of)  I see that this will take some time.

Back at the Ronald McDonald House, we cleaned Hank's eye up and he headed down to check out some video games with Charlie. Jeff affixed an ice pack to his cheek, so he could play and ice at the same time...and he seemed at ease...comfortable in this cocoon of healing that the RMH provides!
I left to do a little's COLD here and guess who is wearing flip flops and forgot her jacket? Yep...I made sure everyone else was packed up and then forgot some essentials for myself. I mean, really....who forgets a coat when they are going to Wisconsin in the fall? Uh...that would be me!

I fired up the rental minivan and headed over to Costco in nearby Middleton. (yep...driving a minivan and can't believe I love it!)  So I finally ended up at Target...which has it's own parking garage and escalators to get to the front of the store. I love I was in heaven! While I was shopping, Jeff and Lucy were watching the baseball game and the boys continued with video games. At dinnertime, they made their way to the dining area and Hank actually sat at the table and ate dinner. Maybe realizing everyone is here because of a medical issue? I don't know...just glad he was a little more comfortable.

Armed with winter hats and gloves for our group, and a jacket for each kid and myself...apparently everyone grew since last winter...I made my way back and ate dinner while everyone else played. Eventually, the kids picked movies, which brings to where I started this whole thing...chilling in the family room of the Ronald McDonald House! I am  putting this to bed and will add the photos in the exhausted as I am coming down with a cold. Sore throat, runny nose...figures!

It's Saturday's already noon... and our little band of warriors is falling one by one. Lucy had a hard night ...woke up at 2 am with a sore throat. Jeff medicated her and she ended up sleeping in the bed with me (put the two sickies together?) and Jeff took the roll-away bed...which can't be that comfortable. Hank did a lot of talking in his sleep. At 4 am, Charlie was up, changing his clothes...uh oh...his bed was no longer suitable to sleep in and I told him to get in my bed and I would sleep on the floor. "No mom! I will sleep on the floor! I don't mind!" Charlie whispered. I spread his blanket on the floor as he grabbed his pillow. I put another blanket over him and laid down next to him as we curled up against each other. He is just so sweet! After he fell asleep, I went back to bed, only to find that Lucy had cocooned herself in the blankets and decided to sleep lengthwise across the bed! I skooched in next to her...on the very edge of the bed...oh sure...I could have rearranged her and disentangled the bed clothes...but really....I would rather balance on the edge of the bed with no blankets than risk waking her! (that is how desperate for sleep I was!)

We were woken by what sounded like a car chase outside our window. Sirens of different vehicles...sounded like about 20 of them! No idea what was going on...just knew it woke us up! So here we are....I'm still in my pajamas, laying in bed. Lucy has gone back to sleep...Jeff and Charlie are doing laundry, Hank has enjoyed his first shower since surgery...and now both boys are heading down to the family room to sit and play video games. I think this family needs to recharge it's batteries today...the trauma of everything has caught up with us. Tomorrow, we will bundle up against the cold...but for today, we will circle the wagons around Hank and stay put! Hope we get to see that elusive smile from Hank today...

Before stitches removal...
With Luann after stitches removal!

The elusive smile...!

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