Ava’s requirements for discharge were made known to us on Thursday
1.) 50 steps walking
2.) eating and drinking
3.) pain controlled
Part of me thinks Ava’s mind began to process what this meant for her and she decided that it was time.
Friday morning, the physical therapist was in the hallway on the way to visit Ava as we were headed to the toy room with her for the first time. He decided it would be great to evaluate Ava there. Upon entering the room, she began to play and move around with such frightening speed that Joe and I were racing to keep up with her as we also juggled Violet.
In some ways, I think all of that movement helped bring back her appetite and get her mind on something other than her pain. We took her in a stroller for lunch at a cafeteria in the hospital and then went back to the room to rest. At about 2:30, our main doctor walked in and announced we were free to go home. We honestly couldn’t quite process it.
Ava was not at all fond of this doctor and all of the checks he had done with her in the past days, and her mood soured at that point. We really questioned if she was going to be able to handle the transition. We had a few visitors arrive just after that, one of them a great family friend and the other was Ava’s music therapist, who provides us with essentially fun speech therapy on a weekly basis.
Joe was somehow able to convince Ava to quit sobbing and our music therapist began to show her skills at working in challenging situations. So they we were, 6 of us sitting on the hospital floor singing along to a guitar and playing with egg shakers, a tambourine and a rain stick for 30 minutes. Violet brought some levity to the situation as we laughingly scolded her for eating instruments and crawling away from our music session.
After our visitors left, Joe and I wrestled with the decision to go home. Ava’s mood was still on a rollercoaster but it was getting increasingly harder to keep her safe at the hospital, as strange as that sounds.
We decided it was time to go.
What ensued was the most chaotic packing I have ever done. There was even still a load of laundry to bring back to the room! The nurse removed Ava’s IV and I signed a few papers. It was kind of terrifying.
Resting at home while recovering from a major accident would seem logical but instead we have been absolutely on our toes as we rush to protect her. She is scrambling up and down stairs and running with scissors and so on. It is ASTOUNDING how quickly she has adapted. Joe’s Aunt Sue, who has always been a favorite playmate of Ava’s, helped us out tremendously yesterday.
I would never wish the circumstances that we have endured in the past week on anyone. However, it is my prayer that all of you would someday experience the incredible support and love that we have felt every day since this incident. Reading everyone’s commitment to praying for us has been humbling to say the least. We have been the recipients of so many people acting as the hands and feet of Jesus. It has brought tears to my eyes time and again, and been an incredible source of strength for all of us.
Vince reminded me yesterday that it is our turn to greet at the main doors of church this morning.
God’s timing. Keep praying for us, I’ll keep buying Kleenexes.