Saturday, May 18, 2013

Catching my breath

Okay, I might be a little overtired, overstressed and  cranky so fair warning to the loud, obnoxious jerk in the room next to mine...
Turn off your stupid speaker phone and shut your idiotic pie hole before I come in and shut it for you! If you interrupt my sleep tonight I am going to bring a rain of crap on you the likes of which you have only witnessed in psychotic horror movies.
In the words of Bobby, "The bear as awoken from it's slumber." Be afraid. Be very afraid. 

I wrote that last night as I was laying in my hotel bed trying to get some desperately needed sleep. I was going to post it as my Facebook status but then decided that I might come off sounding a little, well, crazy.

So I deleted it and wrote it here instead so that everyone has the joy of reading an overwrought woman's rantings.

You are welcome.

Tess finally had her bilateral hip surgery and tendon lengthening on Tuesday morning. 

                   After being moved out of ICU to a regular room

I finally had my breakdown yesterday. And that was before I wrote the above rant. And the anxiety?  Can I just tell you I have experience with anxiety in my life so it's not like I'm unfamiliar with it, but the level that it has reached this week has been scary. I feel like I'm in a body I can't control. My heart will literally lurch in my chest, my breathing quickens, I start to sweat and feel all shaky, and then I feel like I'm walking on the deck of a boat that is in choppy waters.  To top it all off, I have been exhausted from the stress and lack of sleep so it was like the perfect storm for a creating a breakdown. You can only imagine how completely DONE I was. 

It wasn't pretty but it was necessary and I felt much better after sobbing over the telephone to my best girlfriend for about thirty minutes. A good night's sleep didn't hurt either.

Thank you, Kellie, for listening and my noisy neighbor for shutting up.

Right now, everything is moving along as it should be. Tess is FINALLY starting to come around. For the first three days post-op she had an unexplained tachycardic heart rate (about 160-170 beats per minute), a low grade fever, needed suctioning because she was having a hard time managing her own phlegm, kept dropping her oxygen stats at night which required putting her on O2 to help her, and was so zoned out on drugs she couldn't even begin to focus her eyes. 

Then on the second night she had a seizure. 

I would ask every team of specialists who came in, from her surgeon to the pain management team, to the complex care team to the epilepsy team, "Are you sure this is all normal? Why is her heart rate so high? What is causing the elevated temperature? Why can't she seem to focus her eyes? Is it normal to be so unresponsive? Are you sure she isn't developing an infection?"

"She looks good."

"Kids will look like this after such a major surgery. Imagine how you would look and feel if we had just rebuilt both of your hips and then lengthened your tendons. You wouldn't look good."

"Kids like Tess take a little longer to recover because she has so many other medical issues that come into play."

"We do need to watch her very closely but we think she just needs time."


I like black and white answers and not the vague ones that basically mean, "Watch and wait and respond accordingly".

But of course, all these docs have been right and I have been a stressed out train wreck over what basically amounts to an overactive imagination that focused on all the bad that could potentially happen.

How have these other mom's done this and seemed to keep it all together? I have been so scared! 

But today Tess has turned the corner. She has smiled some. She can focus her eyes (we have backed off the pain meds some) on me and respond and she has been excited (not her normal level of excitement but getting there) to watch her favorite movie.

                  Small smile there while watching her movie

In other words, per usual, my Toodle Bug is handling all this far better than her mother.

And now, with these improvements, I finally feel like I can take a minute to catch my breath.


All this week there was a quote from Elizabeth Stone that kept popping up in my head...

“Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”

Truer words were never spoken.
                         Seeing Tess for the first time after surgery