Angelee started out today (Saturday) by being the healthiest girl in the Pediatric ICU. The staff noticed this, so they kicked her out. She is was moved to a rehabilitation unit this afternoon! Yay! I'm also happy because the babies can be in the room with us - as long as they are quiet (they usually are). I've been stuck in the waiting room with them this whole time in PICU unless someone else came to spell me off. Fortunately there have been grandmas and grandpas, aunts and uncles coming up to help us. Thank you! It will be nice to not have to keep running our of Angelee's room to see if a baby needs to be fed or diapered, though.
When we have asked the doctors about long-term effects, or about a prognosis, they would almost always say, "It depends..." I know. It depends of fifty-two thousand possibilities. But can you give be an idea? A ballpark range of what could happen? The best and the worst-case scenarios? An inkling of what usually occurs in these types of situations? One doctor finally told us that we are in "phase one" where they are trying to asses everything vital and just keep her alive. The next phase would be rehabilitation. I guess we are in "phase two" now.
Angelee had her arterial line taken out of her right hand today. Now they will measure her blood pressure intermittently with a regular blood pressure cuff. With that line out, and her IV moved to her left hand, we wondered if she would move her right arm more. Her right arm and hand are quite swollen, and she hasn't moved them much unless she had to. Looking at her red, puffy arm, someone asked if her arm could be broken. If it was, that would explain the lack of movement - and would be better than neurological damage. Trent, shaking his head, said, "I never thought I would be glad if one of my children has a broken arm!" She went down for an x-ray, and we'll see.
The speech pathologist came in today. She was evaluating Angelee's swallow to give her the green light to start eating. She explained that thick, soft foods were the easiest to swallow, and asked if Angelee would eat yogurt, pudding, or applesauce. Would she?! Those are some of her favorite foods! The pathologist began with yogurt, since it was cold and would give more sensation to Angelee's mouth. She held up a peach Yoplait, and while she struggled to open the cup, Angelee started to salivate. Her one good eye (the other is swollen shut), was wide and locked on the yogurt while she slowly smacked her lips. Angelee opened up willingly for the first bite, and mulled it around in her mouth for quite a while. Just when I started wondeing if she really could still swallow, Angelee's jaw stopped working and she looked expectantly at the cup. The second bite went down much faster, and then she was eating as fast as the yogurt could be spooned into her willing little mouth. Between bites, her pink tongue licked every last bit off her lips. We stopped after just an ounce so as not to overwhelm her stomach, but it still left a little girl very happy.
I took all the kids up to see our girl again today. I have decided it wears me out to have everyone at the hospital, but what else can I do? I can't stay away from Angelee, so I can't stay home with the boys. But they want to see their sister, so I have to take them. Maybe we will figure out some sort of way to work it out. But by the time we have been at the hospital for a few hours, I am exhausted. I just wanted to sit and cry - but I can't because I had to drive home. It's probably a good thing to have to keep going.
Trent called this evening to give us an update. There was a miscommunication about Angelee's pain medication, and she spent a few miserable hours in increasing pain. After a quick dose of Lortab, she settled down again - and was sucking her thumb! Angelee has always been a thumbsucker. Her favorite "I'm tired or not happy" pose is with both fisted hands in front of her face. Her left thumb is in her mouth, her right hand holding and stroking her cheeks with her blankie.
And to top off the day, how about a high school dance? Our oldest went to homecoming tonight. Guess where their group of four couples ate? Our house! And guess who chauffered them to and from the dance? Me! Yes, I know, I'm crazy. But it was fun to see the kids enjoying themselves, and satisfying to watch my boys grow up. I rather like my teenagers!