The Daughter Chronicles

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Off come the bandages! (And the limbs underneath were still visible, so that's a plus!)

On Wednesday (11 February) Mia went to the orthopedic surgeon for her follow-up appointment. I was hoping that she would get her bandages changed, at least, because they were getting a bit nasty. He put her on the table and we both tore them off, which was oddly fun. She, of course, hated every second of it, because we're pulling tape off of her skin, after all, but I was just happy to get them off of her. He said there was no reason to replace them, which was very cool. I thought he might X-ray her, but he didn't seem to think it was necessary, so he just checked her incisions and stitches and sent us on our way! He said she could now sit up, which is nice, as I think part of her problems with eating and drinking stemmed from lying down all the time. He also gave us permission to bathe her, another nice thing, as it had been over two weeks since she had gotten on. I was also happy because we could put pants on her. She still needs to wear the big foam thing between her legs, but we're allowed to take it off her occasionally, like when she needs to sit at the table with us in her dinner chair. She needs to wear it for three more weeks, but he said we can gradually start letting her go more often without it until she's only wearing it at night. So it was a good visit all around.

We're still very concerned about her eating and drinking. Last weekend she decided she was going to stop eating altogether, and then her drinking tailed off. Strangely enough, during this time (Sunday through Wednesday) she was pooping a LOT. We couldn't quite figure out what she was pooping out, because nothing was going in! If we got her to drink a few sips of Instant Breakfast, we were happy. We stopped giving her medication because we didn't want to upset her stomach. Luckily, it seemed like the pain had largely passed, so she didn't need meds too often. I brought it up to the doctor, and he told me to keep trying - if she doesn't eat or drink, she'll have to go on an IV, which is no fun.

She's done better since then, and I think being able to sit up is part of that. She still is eating practically nothing - yesterday she ate 6 Goldfish crackers, and we had a celebration - but she's drinking Instant Breakfast pretty regularly, and she seems fine. The pooping has stopped, too, which is nice. We keep giving her food to eat, and she just doesn't seem interested. She's had this problem since her accident, of course, but when she's turning up her nose at Froot Loops, you know something's wrong. It's something we'll have to keep an eye on, of course.

I brought her home on Wednesday (she took the day off from school) and her post-bandage recovery period began. The doctor said she didn't need the braces that kept her legs straight anymore, so that was nice too. Unfortunately, the fact that her legs had been straight for two weeks meant that her muscles were uncomfortable, so whenever her knees bent or we tried to move her, it seemed like it hurt more than the previous week, mostly because her legs were moving in ways they hadn't for two weeks. She's getting more used to it now, but it still bothers her. Sitting up makes her much happier, of course, and it means she can get back to rocking back and forth while sitting, one of her favorite activities. Her legs look very freaky - the muscles have atrophied a bit, so they look skinnier than usual, and her hips remain swollen, so they balloon outward. With her extremely skinny torso going straight down and then her hips arching outward, it looks very weird. Plus, her incisions are just ugly, and she has bruises around them, which doesn't look all that great either. But I think she's happier than she was a week ago!

After her disastrous first day back to school, she's been fine. I picked her up early on Thursday because they said she was looking really worn out, but I probably won't do that again even if she is tired - she has to get used to going all day again. As she is sitting up, she's able to wear her glasses again, so I think that helps, too - I think she was probably bending over and resting her head on the arm of her wheelchair, and that's uncomfortable when you're wearing glasses. She seems very happy to be back in school, and we're happy she's not so bored anymore. On Tuesday they have their annual fishing trip, and although she didn't do any fishing last year, it's a chance to get out in the nice weather (although it's been chilly here recently) and have a good time. I'm sure she'll love it.

Her next appointment with the doctor is in April, and she won't get the plates out until August. I just hope that when we go see him in April, he'll give the green light for physical therapy to restart. That would be nice!


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