Thursday, September 13, 2012

Quick Update

Oh, starting this post so late.  So, I will try to be quick.  Just wanted to let you know that Harlie had her first day at school today!!  She continues to get better and stronger each day.  Either Sunday or Monday was the first day she didn't need any supplemental oxygen.  And tonight marks the third night she hasn't needed it.  Woohoo!

She clearly felt better and stronger, and so I thought it was time to send her to school.  We started her on a Wednesday so she wouldn't have the whole week to get through.  And I picked her up at 11am today.  She will have another short day tomorrow (easing her into it) and then a full day on Friday.  I just didn't want to push her too much, too quick.  She's only really walked in the house - so I didn't want her to have to walk all over the school and cause her to go back a step or two in her recovery.

We went to the DC zoo on Saturday.  Every year the Children's National Heart Institute (in DC) throws a social function at the zoo for their heart patients and families.  We haven't been able to go in years.  But, I really wanted to make it happen this year.  The event is from 10am to 2pm.  The last time we went, we didn't get there until after noon.  I remember thinking that I wanted to plan better next time.

So, this year, I packed everything (okay, mostly everything) the night before.  My goal was to leave the house by 8am.  I guess it's been just long enough since my last trip into DC that I forgot just how bad traffic can be on a Saturday.  Ugh.  Although it didn't help that we didn't leave until closer to 9:30!!!  Unfortunately, we suffered a hiccup when I went to get Harlie up.  I realized that her cast had gotten soaking wet from her bath the night before.  She woke up crying and tugging at the cast signing "off" over and over again.  I didn't want to, but we were forced to cut it off.  There was no way we could let her leg stay in a wet cast - especially with a really long, fresh incision that needs to heal.  Luckily, the hospital had pre-cut the cast for us (but left all the padding and lining intact) so we could remove it after two weeks or when we thought she was ready.

The cutting of the padding took a lot longer than I thought it would.  It didn't help that she was NOT cooperative.  She just doesn't trust.  Period.  There's just no calming her.  So, when you have scissors next to a moving leg, you have to be careful.

After the cast came off, she wouldn't put any weight on it at all.  She went from being independently mobile, to immobile.  Right before the zoo.  UGH!  And her leg was no longer protected.

We went anyway.  I am determined to do normal family things!  Sometimes I don't make the best decisions.  Traffic was awful and it took us well over three hours to get there.  So, we arrived after noon.  Again.  Sigh.

It was good to see the friends, nurses and doctors that I saw, though.  That hospital knows us the best.  And I feel comfortable around them.  And for some reason, I don't want them to forget us.

After the zoo, we went to Potomac Mills.  Tom had a brilliant idea to stop at the Lego store there on the way home.  It was a fabulous plan, because even though the zoo wasn't the best (a lot of exhibits were closed, and we weren't there that long) they were thrilled with the trip to the Lego store.  They each picked out one Lego toy and then we headed home.  Despite the hiccups of the day, it was a good trip overall.

Back to her leg - so what to do about the cast?  At the time, I was thinking she needed another cast.  But, the next day she walked a little in her walker.  I e-mailed her doctor in Boston and he said we could try an airboot first.  That would be a lot less traumatic.  But, by the time I could've done that, she was walking even better.  So, we never did.  It looks like she just didn't need it.  She's now walking without the walker and doing well.

I was very nervous to send her to school with no protection - but she really seems fine.  Although, it still wasn't easy to send her on the bus this morning.  Oh, sometimes she seems so SMALL!!!

But the bus situation is awesome this year (so far, anyway).  Right now, she is the only one on the bus!  So, that means that she gets picked up here and goes straight to school.  This morning she got on the bus at 6:57am and was at school at 7:14am.  But, no one can be there before 7:20am.  So, the bus driver is going to come later tomorrow.  I would have never thought that she could take the bus in the mornings, too!  I am thrilled!

I know that might sound weird.  Especially to all the parents who chose to drive their kids to school instead of letting them take the bus.  But, for one, Harlie has Terri to look out for her, so I know she's okay.  And two, those early years kids love to ride the bus.  After that, not so much.  So, I say take advantage of the time that they love it.  It is so short!  Plus, when the bus isn't an option and your kid is going to a school outside their district/zone/whatever, it kinda changes your perspective a little.

Okay, it is way too late.  Tomorrow I am going to post all the details about the We Heart Harlie and Team Adrenaline 5k and 1/2 mile kids' run!  So exciting!!

Much love,
Christy

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