Face of hope

Face of hope
Courtesy: TIffany Kay Photography

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Chiari Decompression: Day 4 - HOME!

Meagan slept really well all night.  Once she awakened in the morning, she didn't immediately start whimpering like the previous day.  She even waved at me, and gave a "gritted teeth" smile. It was almost like she was saying "I don't really want to smile but I will so here ya go!"  It was the cutest thing! Her nurse came in and said since she had done well all night she would ask Dr R if Meagan could possibly go home by the evening.  I was completely fine with that because I noticed a change in Meagan - as long as she wasn't moved, she was content. Of course when moved, she cried out, but, as expected, that will happen for a few weeks.  As long as she had contentment when laying once positioned, I was happy to take her home and let her finish recovering there.

Dr. R called around 10am.  He was busy but wanted to call and make sure he was in touch with me because I had been down the hall getting coffee when he had quickly stopped by Meagan's room.  He said he was also happy with her. Fever was gone. Meagan was eating. She was sleeping back on her usual nap schedule.  And as long as we felt the oral pain medication gave her enough relief, he was fine weaning her off the IV that day and sending her on her way.  I was in agreement.  He apologized for missing me that morning and said he would stop by in the afternoon to make sure we touched base before leaving. Then we hung up.

As the day went on, the nurses were good about staying on top of Meagan's oral meds.  They made sure to stagger medications for her because even one little lapse meant she was uncomfortable.  Because of that Meagan was able to sleep a lot, and when she was awake, she was content giving me waves, blowing raspberries and for the first time in 4 days, making noises.

Ready to get home! Drinking more, off the fluids, and perking up!

I called Brian and told him to head our way from work.  He was excited to come and take Meagan home.  Towards the mid-afternoon, Dr. R ended up stopping in again.  He said hi to Meagan and got a wave back.  He told me he was still fine with letting her go home ... he said to call and make an appointment to come see him in two weeks so he could recheck her incision site and make sure all was ok.

Meagan's nurse came in after Dr. R left.  She said Meagan was due for her take home oral med right then, but also could have another valium in about an hour.  She said what she could do is give her med on schedule but then wait to officially give out discharge papers until after Meagan's next valium dose.  That way she'd be a little more comfortable being shuffled around, put in the stroller, put in the carseat, and be able to tolerate the bumpy ride home much better.  I was completely fine (and very appreciative) of that! So we waited around about an hour for Meagan to get her Valium.  Once it was administered, we gathered up her things.  With the nurses help, we carefully sat Meagan upright so we could work her shirt over her head.  My heart skipped as Meagan cringed in obvious pain, but then leapt for her after the shirt was on and she gave me her "gritty smile."  She is truly one strong and amazing girl!

We got her set up in her stroller and the nurses helped prop her head with pillow cases.  We said goodbye to all the wonderful staff and medical team who had helped us all week.  Meagan gave them one last "gritty smile" and we left!

Meagan decided we should have a movie night for her first night home

The ride home went pretty well. We got to the house and of course all the girls were so excited to see us.  Well, Meagan I should say. :)  The parade of little ones (my older kids and their little cousins who are here to help)  went right past me and straight to give Meagan the biggest hugs and kisses.....as it should be.   There was lots of  "Mom can I see her stitches " .... "Hey mom, she doesn't look any different!?" ... and of course the girls correcting each other with "Let me see her first!" .... "Be careful of her head!"

After I put the big girls to bed, Brian cooked an amazing dinner for our "welcome home."  We were able to hang out, talk, and visit with Brian's sister who is here to help.  The food was definitely needed.. I think my body is about sick of liquids! And the good company was so great after a crazy few weeks.

Brian's yummy homemade salmon dinner (he should have been a chef).....

....and a little celebratory dessert too!

While dinner was being cleaned up, I had to change Meagan's diaper.  As I lifted her legs to put the new diaper underneath, her eyes winced... but then she gave me a smile.  I laid her on her own blanket and put some toys around.  By the time I was back from throwing out the diaper, Meagan had completely passed out asleep. She was exhausted! Recovery will go smoothly I'm sure, and we will slowly work Meagan back up to what she was doing before.  Hopefully, we see her having much more comfort in what she does because of this surgery.  Best of all, though, is knowing she is home.  We feel this is the best place for her to continue to recover and start to thrive again.   It was great to see all my girls together again... and of course watch the big ones fawn over their baby sister.  She is truly the glue in this family ... the last piece of the puzzle God knew we needed to make our picture perfect.  And I'm pretty sure Meagan agrees.

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