Sunday, October 31, 2010

Settling in at Home Again

So here we are, three days after Angelee's surgery to put her bone flap back in.  I'm having a hard time believing that we were ever really up at the hospital.  It went so fast.

We had to be at the hospital at 6 am (makes for a really early morning and a long, dark drive) for her surgery which got underway at 7:30.  The neurosurgeon (who was the best I've ever worked with, and I've had a few) was out visiting with us after the surgery by 11.  Angelee was through the recovery room (groggy and grouchy) and settled into her room a bit later.  The early afternoon went quickly and routinely, and I left at 4 to get out of the city before rush hour got going.  Besides, I had to finish the Halloween costumes so the boys could dress up for school on Friday.

She wasn't happy about being in the hospital again.  I wondered if it would be worse for her this time because 1) she remembered the unpleasantries from the last hospitalization, or 2) she would be more coherent and aware of things she didn't like.  She didn't seem to have any bad memories, but she was more colorful about telling us her opinion this time.  I think this was part of the reason she had such a rough night.  She didn't want to go to sleep unless Daddy was holding her, and would wake up and cry if he put her down.  They walked the halls, watched movies, rocked - anything to get her to sleep.  She finally conked out at 2 am(!), only to be rousted in a couple of hours.  They had to take her vitals at 4.  They had to draw blood at 6.  Doctors visit at 7, and vitals again at 8.  By the time I came in at 9, I thought Trent, looking haggard with dark circles under his eyes, was just getting into the Halloween spirit by being a zombie.

Angelee, however, was quite perky when she woke up at 10.  She was playing in her crib, singing songs, picking at the IV, and happy to get a good morning milk.  She ate enough snacks that she wasn't very interested in her breakfast.

The neurosurgeon, when he came in, said she looked too well to be able to stay in the hospital.  (The other kids might get jealous.)  She had to have a CT scan, get her drain (draining fluid out from between the skull and the scalp) removed, get the two IV lines out, and then she could go home.

We were home by 4 - extremely fast by hospital time, which usually drags on its own schedule.  We had a celebratory dinner of lasagna and the season's first eggnog - love eggnog season!  Angelee ate three bowls of the pasta, and we had a great time watching her do it.  It was good to be home.

We watched with interest as the side of her head and her face swelled up again, until her left eye was completely swollen shut.  Only the tips of her long lashes were visible.  They told us to expect swelling and possibly a mild fever.  Check, and check.  The boys think it is cool, in a gross, Halloween-y way, that her head has swelled up enough to make her ear tip out at an odd angle.

By Saturday morning, her eye was starting to open just a bit, and the puffy area was reddish, like it had been 4 days post-surgery last time.

We did let her dress up for Halloween, in a borrowed outfit (thanks, Robyn!) and a new crocheted cap to match.  We had lots of suggestions for costumes for her: football player (with the helmet), car accident survivor (needs more stitches), Strawberry Shortcake (with a big, poofy hat), and Frankenstein's daughter (she's a natural!).  She made an adorable fairy, and her little brothers were sweet peas in a pod.  We could tell she lives in a house full of boys, though.  The pink, ribbon-festooned thing in her hand is not a "wand," but a "stick."

Today her right eye is also swollen, but her left eye is looking better.  They are almost the same now.  She's still very demanding, grouchy, and temperamental at times, showing us that everything just doesn't feel right to her yet.

Her head is still very tender, but the plated and screwed bone is strong enough that she doesn't need to wear the helmet anymore.  We want her to wear a little hat instead (Mom's getting crafty with the yarn), just to keep her fingers from picking at the stitches.  They will dissolve in a couple of weeks.  If I'm careful, I can kiss her head gently.  I've missed that.  Kissing the top of a cold plastic helmet is just not the same.  And it's so nice to feel, instead of a soft squishiness, a nice, hard head.  I love my little girl's wonderfully safe skull!


  1. She made a pretty cute fairy. I was afraid that withthe surgery she wouldn't be ableto wear it. I am so glad everthing is put back together.

  2. We did have to be really careful about getting the costume over her head. She loved being dressed up - and what a tantrum she threw when it was time to take her pretty fairy dress off! Thanks again!