Frank is the nickname of Ava’s paralyzed flaccid right arm. Somehow, Ava’s left arm (the one that was working perfectly before surgery) has been nicknamed George. Today, we are celebrating an answer to prayer — George’s abilities are much restored after a pretty scary spell yesterday when she had no function from EITHER arm. Let the play time begin!
She still can’t walk because of this IV in her ankle area. So, there is a ton of swelling that she hasn’t been able to work out. Our time in the play room was fun and a great way to distract her from uncomfortableness. It is really strange to continuously bring your child toys instead of having them pull everything out in a millisecond.
Before we leave, we are waiting for the nurse that specializes in brachial plexus surgeries to give us a few pointers on things we can do to help specific muscles/functions in her good arm to recover as fast as possible. Her good arm will more than likely never be 100%, but with these nerve injuries one must ‘rob Peter to pay Paul’.
We have been treated very well here. We laugh to think we chose a location for brachial plexus surgery 12 hours from home, because we think they are doing cutting edge things in neuroscience here — yet the rooms are equipped with telephones that haven’t been available in stores for decades. Violet thinks it is fantastic!
I can’t begin to list the number of ways that this period of trial has helped me to grow. Some of the growth has been as a mom to a child in pain and in need of some sophisticated medical care, and sifting through those needs and options. Some has come from being the beneficiary of love and concern from so many people; I feel like I now know better how to minister to others. Then, there is the grounding of spending a lot of time at a Children’s Hospital. Toddlers on chemo. A long line of personalized wheelchairs in the surgical waiting area ready to be of use again. The burn victim who had clearly been there for months, on a first-name basis with the security cards and treating his traveling IV stand as simply an extension of his body.
Everybody has a story, and so many of them are very life-threatening, life-consuming compared to Ava’s. Whatever load I bear on any given day, I can look in the eyes of dozens of other parents and see their heavier burden.
I wouldn’t wish this journey on anyone, and it is a tricky thing to put into words but I guess the best way of saying it, is that I just plain see things differently today then I did 4 months ago. The lens through which I look at a situation, and the compassion I feel for hurting people has somehow changed. That, too, is something to be thankful for. I thank God and I thank Ava.