It started with a frozen yogurt. A stupid frozen yogurt I brought home for her because she couldn’t go with me and her big brother. And to my fault, she ate it unsupervised so we didn’t realize she spilled some of the frozen yogurt on her dressing which meant we would need to change it.
G always happened to be the one present during the dressing changes at the hospital. And he sat through most of the training class after I was called away.
So here we are. Faced with changing the dressing in our as-best-and-as-close-to-the-hospital-sterile-room-as-possible, trying to remember each and every careful step, and praying we get it right to avoid any infection — infection that could further delay treatment by months.
G gathered all the supplies. I tried talking to Samar and relaxing her in hopes of easing her into the process. This is THE ONE thing she hates and cannot, no matter what, get used to. But we were going to try. We had to. Perhaps being at home vs. being in the hospital would make things slightly better.
Well, we tried. With only the two of us tending to her (normally a task for 3 to 4 in the hospital), my job was to calm her, hold her arms and her shoulders down while G would change the dressing.
Fussing quickly escalated to squirming, crying, and screaming.
We tried powering through it. Never mind that my 2-year-old daughter is pinned down on the bed screaming and kicking and wanting it to stop, and it’s me who’s doing it to her. My husband is literally sweating bullets trying to excruciatingly execute as best as possible. Meanwhile, her big brother, who we asked to stay outside of the room, keeps trying to poke his head in and ask if everything is alright.
I held my breath through it all just trying to focus on the task at hand. And praise the Lord we managed. G put the finishing touches and we were done.
Is that a hair I see under the dressing?? A hair that wasn’t there before? A fiber from the patch used in her dressing perhaps? No. It looks like a hair. A friggin hair that could wreak havoc of an infection if we didn’t go back and redo the dressing.
Again?? Yes, AGAIN. All that, AGAIN.
That’s exactly how I felt. I held my breath for 15 mins but it felt like an hour. And here, we’ve got to do this again.
I had to take a moment. G had to take a moment.
We decided the best thing to do was to call the hospital and have them take a look at the dressing and deem whether or not it warranted another change. Best case scenario, they would tell us no and we would be on our way. Worst case scenario, it would require another stressful dressing change, but offer the piece of mind that it was done properly.
Samar and I headed back to the ER. Second time in less than a week. We spent nearly four hours there. Busy night in the pedia ER.
With the addition of some medication to slightly sedate her, a team of two nurses and I proceeded with another dressing change. Samar was much calmer this time. They finished it up quicker than G and I managed. But as I got up from the gurney and was discussing the dressing with one of the nurses, my eyes suddenly widened at the thought of what I saw.
ANOTHER FRICKEN HAIR.
At this point, what could I do?? So, I’m really hoping third times a charm here. And thankfully it was. The same nurse repeated the dressing change on a now very loopy Samar.
She had grown extremely tired and with the side effects of the drug they gave to help calm her, I had a “drunk” 2 year old on my hands. I wish I could say it was a quiet ride home, but it wasn’t. By the time we pulled up to the house, “drunk” had already morphed into cranky and G was met with an overtired toddler who wouldn’t soon fall asleep.
It took the both of us a couple turns and a couple hours at trying to get her to bed, and eventually she did.
What an evening. With the small wins, come the small battles that test us on this journey. And we definitely felt some of the agony of defeat tonight. But as our friend so encouragingly relayed, “Chin up!”
So, ultimately, we take the good with the bad and just do our best to keep it moving.