Friday, February 20, 2009

An Anniversary of Sorts

One year ago today we started our Wednesday morning in a tiny room.
Waiting, waiting, waiting.
Grandpa and Auntie Em came and went.
And we kept waiting.
She didn't really know what was coming. How could she? We knew, as much as we could know, we knew. She played with a Little People princess set.
The night before we had bathed her with the special soap they gave us. When we got up in the morning, I carefully put her hair into pigtails. I used the special, grippy barrettes I had bought for just this occasion. I tried to get all her hair pulled up away from her neck. In vain it seems, since they shaved the bottom few inches of her hair anyway. Kenai and I had taken a tour of the pre-op areas about a week prior and they told me that we would be with her until she fell asleep. But this morning, they didn't have a room open for that and would have to wheel her in to the operating room wide awake and without us. It was hard to leave her there but the nurses were so great and she seemed okay saying goodbye to us.
Then we waited some more.
Waited and waited and waited.
Great friends came when we weren't expecting them and it was all I could do to hold it together. Two guys Jt works with came and prayed with us. As it got closer to the time she was supposed to be done two girlfriends came. One had a big envelope full of stickers for the girls. They're still using those stickers.
Then they came out and said she was done, she was headed to ICU and everything had gone well. When we finally saw her she had tubes coming from everywhere. We had to tell a doctor to stop bumping her bed. She was in so much pain.
Today, Kenai still holds her head a little to the right. Every now and then she says she can "feel it in there" while holding the front of her neck. She's been in physical therapy and has come a long way. She does exercises when we remember every night that strengthen the trapezius muscles so that the muscles in her neck can relax. She wears her collar each night that we remember (we're not bad parents!) which helps her neck remember where it belongs...I think. Okay, I made that up.
Anyway, we're one year out and light years away from February 20th, 2008. For newer readers, this is what they did to our baby, barely three years old:

Before


After

4 comments:

  1. It made me cry to think about it all again. She looks so little and its hard to believe its only been a year. She has come so far and is such an amazing little girl. I'm proud to be her Auntie Em.

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  2. That's 365 Days of Grace right there. What a difference a year makes!

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  3. Wow! It's crazy to look back. She's come so far, and I'm so glad she's doing so much better! We love you Kenai! (And Ellie and Ziva!) Big hugs and kisses!

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