Monday, November 15, 2010

My Little Patient

Bridget was diagnosed with strep for the first time the week after Alina came home.  Since then, she's had it six times, and her tonsils were staying huge. 
Waiting, watching Little Bear

Each time she began to get sick with strep, her tonsils would become even more swollen and she'd have trouble breathing at night because of it :(.  So, we did some research, had a consult with her ENT and made the decision to have them removed.  

Last Tuesday morning, Bridget and I packed our bags and drove to Nationwide Children's Hospital.  We valet parked (thank goodness for that option, since I packed like we were going on the Amazing Race) and went straight to the surgical floor for check- in.  

Pre-op, Ready to Go
Before long, we were called into pre-op, where Bridget was given a quick check-up and where we met with each member of her operating room team.  Well, I met with the doctors and specialists while Bridget watched Little Bear ;).

A nurse brought Bridget two handmade dolls (one for her, and one for Alina) and a play doctor's kit.  Another nurse brought the mask they planned to use to put her to sleep, and it was strawberry scented, which Bridget thought was "Yummy!".  She kept sniffing it and placing it on her doll's nose :). 

She was then given Versed, a medication to make her sleepy and to ease the anxiety of separating from me and being in the operating room with a bunch of strangers.  I wish they had given me some, too.  Watching her being rolled away in a hospital bed was hard for mommy :(.

But the surgery only took about 20 minutes and went very well.  

After Surgery, Little Bear again :)
While Bridget was in the recovery area, I went to get my parent badge and a keycard to access her unit (she stayed overnight in the hospital, as is typically recommended for kids with Down syndrome or other health issues).

I took our bags to her room and ate a quick lunch before they brought her in.  She was awake and alert.  She even eeked out a hoarse, Hi, Mommy :).

Bridget was such a little trooper in the hospital.  She was very polite, saying a sweet little thank you to anyone who brought her a popsicle or ice, and shouting a hearty NO THANK YOU when she didn't want something (like pain medicine by mouth, or having her blood pressure taken).

After surgery, Enjoying a Popsicle
Overall, she seemed to be in very little pain that first day and night (she was stuffy, a little warm and a little restless, though).  

She kept wanting to get up and walk around the floor, and so we did.  Lots and lots of times.  We played in the play room on her floor, checked out the vending machines in the waiting room and visited each of the four nurse's stations (several times each).

She ate a full dinner and drank so much that she peed the bed in which we were both sleeping.  

Bridget caught on to me using the nurse's call button and began leaning over randomly, speaking into it saying, Um, red.  Okay.  Thank you. (I'd like a red popsicle) and, Juice.  Ice.  Thank youOkay, bye!

She also was quite fond of having her blankets straightened and having her pillow fluffed :).  She kept climbing out of bed trying to do it herself.

All of this (walking, requesting popsicles, straightening the bed) went on through the night.  The nurses kept telling me that Bridget would be "sleep off" the anesthesia.  But she didn't.  When she finally fell asleep, the shift changed and her new nurse came in to check her vital signs. Then she fell back to sleep and a fire alarm went off (a false alarm, but still...seriously?).  Between all of those things, beeping monitors and sharing a bed, the two of us rolled around, walked around and watched Little Bear through the night.

There's a reason they say that you don't get any sleep in the hospital...because you don't! 

Bridget's doctor showed up at 6:25 a.m. to check on her (I was awake and dressed) and cleared us to leave.  It's a good thing...we were both ready!
From her Preschool Classmates
I have a few other notes, details and tips from Bridget's surgery and recovery experience that I will post here soon.  Check back for those if you are interested.  And if other parents of kids with Ds have questions, please ask! 

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Monday, November 08, 2010

Something on the Road, Changed My World

Sara Groves ~ I Saw What I Saw

I saw what I saw and I can't forget it
I heard what I heard and I can't go back
I know what I know and I can't deny it

Something on the road, cut me to the soul

Your pain has changed me
your dream inspires
your face a memory
your hope a fire
your courage asks me what I'm afraid of
(what I am made of)
and what I know of love

we've done what we've done and we can't erase it
we are what we are and it's more than enough
we have what we have but it's no substitution

Something on the road, touched my very soul

I say what I say with no hesitation
I have what I have and I'm giving it up
I do what I do with deep conviction

Something on the road, changed my world

November is National Adoption Month.  There is great need here in the U.S. and all over the world.  Take some time to learn about the Orphan Crisis--143 million children without homes.  Be changed.  Even if you are not in a position to adopt, everyone can do something.  How will you help?

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Living in the Light, Explained

When we merged Bridget's Light and Loving Alina, there was little question whether our new blog title would include the word light.  Our whole story revolves around it.

We couldn't have predicted how Bridget's arrival would change us, would enrich us.  Or how Bridget's light would lead us to Alina--and how Alina herself would further enrich us.  But it did, and they did.  Bridget and Alina have brought a special warmth and clarity to our family that we didn't know we were missing.  

With open eyes and open hearts, we now live a new truth.  We are keenly aware that all people are the same within.  Though none of us is "perfect", we are all perfectly made

We all have challenges...and gifts.  And each one of us adds to the whole.  Our youngest girls add in so many ways.  Above all, they've multiplied the goodness in our spades.

We've gained perspective--we see Life through a new lens.  We waste little time worrying about the superficial, and our home is filled with laughter and warmth.  Our two littlest girls are a huge part of that--they shine.

Things aren't always easy, or sparkly, at our house.  We're not exceptionally virtuous, though we try our best to live right and to be grateful for each day.  We're living an ordinary life, but we're aware, joyful and appreciative.  

We are Living in the Light.
These two little girls have blessed us beyond belief.  They're vibrant, beautiful people who are so very loved and enjoyed.

Please join us as our family story continues to unfold.  Day or night, you are welcome to come visit here.  Come laugh with us and learn with us, and be empowered.

There's a whole lot of darkness out there.  Let the light in...

Love, Lisa

*Alina was named by her birth parents...her name means light.