Sunday, August 1, 2010

Complications & new friends

Grandma Martha
Well, for as well as the surgery went we have been plagued by complications. I must admit though none too difficult for my little warrior to get over. He has had chylothorax, a "possible" stroke from a blood clot on the brain, unending diarrhea from the portagen,  and pneumothorax. What a tough little guy to go through the ringer like that and still just want to play and smile at the nurses. He is nearly ready to go home though.  Just need to get this air pocket absorbed and we're out of here. We've meet new friends along the way.  Ones I am sure will touch my heart forever. The first was little Hailey.  Her grandmother Martha was the first to tell us our little monkey was out of surgery and doing well. She didn't know us yet, but she knew he was ours because we were the "newbies" in the waiting room. Funny after being here you know who is "suppose" to be there and who are the current day's surgical family. The grandma, as Vu and I affectionately call her, barely speaks english.  As we later learned, she is from Columbia, South America. We watched her spend tireless hours at her granddaughter's bedside and tried not to listen as she poured our her mother's heart to Hailey's other grandmother in plea for Hailey's mother to be physically closer to the baby during her time of need. Her eloquent choice of words pulling both mine and Vu's heart strings as we sat silently nearby.  I was so overcome with compassion and longing for my own mother to have that dept of feeling for me that I could not help myself but to have to tell her what a wonderful mother and grandmother she was. I doubt I will ever forget her loving devotion.  Then there is little Lawhitney. She's 14 months old. Has already had 2 surgeries and is in heart failure.  I first saw her when we were in our pre-op visit.  During our times in the same day observation unit, I have never seen the nurses do much nursing, just lots of coordination of various drs, & other services, some vitals here and there, but not too much other than that.  Well on this day, I saw a nurse hovering over this child, barely getting more than two feet away from her and watching her every breath. I knew this child was seriously ill. I heard the nurse do the best she could to try to have this sweet baby sent to PCICU and not the step down unit to no avail. During the 8 hours that we were there, never once did a family member appear to sit at her bedside. It was gut wrenching to think of how she needed to be holding her mother's hand at that moment and not see anyone there.  She was eventually sent to PCICU that evening. We were there three days before I saw anyone show up to visit her and by that time I had already decided to reach out to this little heart. I bought her a dress to wear and a crib toy. Not much, can't spare much especially when we have the extra expenses of being in the hospital.  I also made her a little name sign to hang above her bed or on her door. I gave it to the nurse to give to her, but she had been moved to the step down unit again. I later ran into her grandmother and was able to pass along the gifts.  I've learned that Lawhitney's mother is a teenage mom. Barely 15, I'd say.  That is only a bit older than my oldest daughter. They live a distance away from the hospital and in the next two weeks will have to go back home.  Lawhitney's mother will have to go back to school and her grandmother back to work and home to care for her other children.  Meanwhile this precious little girl must sit and wait for a new heart to become available. I had the chance to talk to her mom alone the other day and just reach out to her, share that every day her little girl is with her is a gift from God. We were both nearly in tears and I did want to go on, but Vance started to cry from the pain of his chest tube and I had to get him back to his room to lie down. I know I haven't seen the last of little miss Lawhitney. I'll be up here trying to hold her when her mother can't.