Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Check out our little monster!
Sorry for not posting sooner. Guilty as charged. Nice to be back with you.
Well, we're 5/6ths of the way through our 2 week trial with daycare, and it's been a bit of a roller coaster.
Day 1 saw the biggest wound to date appear on Bella's left knee and upper shin. Really, it started on her thigh, went across the entire knee and down the shin. Worse than the bathing incident with the left foot if you remember that one. the upshot is that it is so bad that we now have to treat the left leg in three parts: 1) thigh, knee, foot. The good news is that because the wounds are so big on the knee and foot, they now require their own wrapping and bandaging. Before, we would use one roll of gauze for the entire leg, which meant the whole thing was exposed at once. This made for difficult handling because there was literally no where to hold the leg that wasn't injured. Now, I treat the foot first and wrap it separately. Then, the knee. In this fashion, we can hold on to the shin safely over the previously wrapped part. I hope that made sense. More wounds and stress, but easier to actually treat.
Day 2 saw a big blister in the crook of the neck/left shoulder. Like a collar.
Day 3 was uneventful. YAY!
DAy 4 saw Bella attack her face with her hands and do some serious damage. Poor Joan just couldn't figure out how to stop her from clawing. Bella is now leaving her eyes alone, but is raking her cheeks and ears with her fingertips, causing some nasty open wounds on both sides.
Day 5 (today) we did a half day to minimize the collateral damage. The good news was that we put on Bella's silk mittens over her ABC wrapped hands and this helped minimize further damage. I also taught Joan how to Taquito-wrap Bella (like a swaddle without the feet part) to basically keep her arms and hands immobilized. I showed her how to feed her with the G-Tube and change her this way so if she's sleeping she can remain that way. When I picked her up, things seemed under control.
Day 6 is Friday, then we all collectively decide if we want to go forward. Joan admitted it is very stressful, and that she is glad it is only M-W-F so she has a day off in between each to recover! She said that she thinks she'll get used to it, though. It's really just a non-stop puzzle. Bella presents us with a new problem it seems almost every week or two and we have to solve it as quickly as possible to avoid too much damage.
The gals enjoying some sweets at "The Cupcakery"
I have to admit that this puzzle is really tiring. My brain hurts from being "On guard" 24/7. Right now, I am covering the midnight and 6 am feeds since Ang is back working FT again, and so my brain really never shuts off. Ang and I split up the tween hours; if Bella cries before 2:30, Ang checks on her...after 2:30, I check on her. That's not set in stone, but a guidline to try to give each of us a couple of hours to turn off the internal baby alarm.
Every parent reading this understands the internal baby alarm. What is different between Bella's alarm and, say, Ali's, was that when Ali would cry in the middle of the night, it was usually 2 of the main 3: (hungry, tired, or wet). With Bella, the stakes are raised because if she has busted loose from her swaddle and is flailing while she is crying, she is most likely inflicting a wound on herself. That wound carries the potential of being a portal for infection, and infections can kill EB kids and often does. We've already ended up in the ER and hospital for 5 days last month for a Staph infection. NONE of her wounds at the time showed any signs of infection, so we had no idea, nor did any of the Docs, why or how she got so sick. That left us with a little PTSD because now we are afraid of pretty much every new wound. That sucks. I just didn't realize just how easy it was for her to get an infection, and as I was telling Ang, for better or for worse, I just don't know if I could ever forgive myself if she happened to get an infection and have it be fatal.
Okay. Now, that was all a lot darker than my usual posts, I know. BUT, what I am dealing with now is the reality of this condition. Until now, I have been mostly unafraid of Bella's wounds (That's a lie...I was freaked out during the first couple of weeks doing wound care at home). Right now, I am afraid of her wounds again.
What this is all really pointing to is my need to try to wrestle control of her disease back from God. God being as nice as she is, gave it back to me. Notice how FREAKED OUT I am now that I am thinking her safety and ultimately her life is in MY hands?
This disease is so much bigger than me...there's NO WAY I CAN CONTROL THIS. If I had a chalk board, I'd make myself write that for detention.
THERE'S NO WAY I CAN CONTROL THIS
THERE'S NO WAY I CAN CONTROL THIS
THERE'S NO WAY I CAN CONTROL THIS
THERE'S NO WAY I CAN CONTROL THIS...
Typing this blog is like looking into a mirror. I highly recommend it for everybody and anybody, regardless if anyone else ever reads it. It makes for a good platform to process what's going on inside....some people might even call it "journaling" but since it's online and potentially public, it's called blogging. Whatever. It works!
Check out my son Julian...JUST KIDDING!
PROVIDENCE story of the Day:
Look for God in the whispers and winks of nature, not the shouts and the glares.
What I mean by that is just this...
Today, after a meeting, I walked out of the building and down the steps. At the bottom of the steps ran a brook/water feature; clearly built to create white noise and some serenity. I stopped, and sat down next to it. For the next ten minutes, I did nothing but just be. I allowed the sound of the running water to wash away my pain, exhaustion, stress, worry, and fatigue. It was better than sleep. it reminded me of a quote from one of my favorite characters from The Matrix Trilogy, The Merovigian.
He said, "Who has time? Who has time? But then if we never *take* time, how can we have time?"
Today, I *took* time to be refreshed. How many times a day do YOU *take* time to refresh your Self?
Later, when leaving Joan's with Bella, I opened the minivan to notice a wave of HEAT coming pouring out. I parked in the sun and forgot to crack the windows. Heat and humidity exacerbate EB, so we always try to park in the shade, cover the windshield, and crack all the windows. Well, I forgot to do all of it. I apologized to Bella, left her door open and walked around to the other side of the minivan and opened my door and the driver side sliding door also to get some cross breeze goin'. Problem was, there was NO wind; it was as still as it could be. Oh well. But in the next moment, a gentle, almost imperceptible breeze began to coax its way in over my shoulder. Like a whisper, it snuck into my ear and caressed me with the softest touch of a cool breeze. As I noticed it, I smiled, immediately thinking that God was behind this whisper. As I held that thought, the breeze gently increased, but ever so slightly, like to say, "yes, it's me." but, again, only in a whisper. After enjoying the whisper and feeling it pass through the cabin of the minivan, it drifted away, along with it the heated air trapped within. I looked up at the sky, and whispered back.
"Thank you. That was perfect."
Just some trickling water and the faintest of breeze can nourish the most tired of us, inside and out.
God bless the little things.
God bless you.