15 February 2017

Day 7 - We've been Discharged!

We received the sweetest Valentine's surprise yesterday: 

We were discharged!

Yesterday morning, we woke up at 5:45am with several visits from the Pulmonology and Surgical teams (we usually have 3-5 different people rolling in the mornings - the resident, the fellow, the attending, etc).  Then, around 6am, Bennett was given bloodwork.  Sweet guy was very brave. 

Unfortunately, they didn't get what they needed so they had to come back again a few hours later and redo his bloodwork.  I started to refuse a second around of blood work (since Bennett had had such a rough time with 2 ostomy changes the day before and an early morning blood work attempt that didn't work).  But, the doctor convinced me that if it looked good, they would discharge us.  So, we complied, found he had good results and we were released!

I wanted to share a picture of some of the sweet cards and balloons Bennett received while he was in the hospital. Most of the cards were from his class at school.  There's nothing better than sweet words from tiny people.

Avonlea and Oliver were very excited for us to come home.  It feels good to be together as a family again.  We are very thankful for my parents who came in to town to be with them for the last week.

At one point last night, while I was unpacking from the hospital, Avonlea found this little doll and infant-sized ostomy bag that the Child Life sent home with Bennett.  When she found it, I sat down on the floor and talked to her about the doll.  

I explained that the "little boy" doll had had to go to surgery and the doctor had to fix his body.  But to fix his body, the doctor made his poop come out of his tummy (totally not true but the best way to explain to a 3 year old).  I showed her how to take the sticker off of the ostomy bag, how to place the ostomy bag on the "little boy" doll and how the poop gets in the bag.  Then I showed her how to open the ostomy bag to get the poop out.  

Avonlea really loved playing with it. It was a bit like pretend-playing "put a diaper on the baby doll," except this was with an ostomy bag.  I wanted to help her feel as comfortable as possible with the concept so that when she sees Bennett's ostomy bag, she won't be scared.  She played with the doll by herself for a while, repeating the steps I had taught her.  Then, she explained to my dad what she was doing. Considering how naturally nurturing she is, I will not be surprised if she doesn't turn out to be a nurse one day.

Last night, the first night in my bed in a week, I slept 13 hours straight.  Did I dream about fairies and sugar plums while all snug in my bed?

No, I dreamt about snakes.

Snakes everywhere.  And I was very freaked out about them.  I had my children with me in my dream. I was worried about my children getting across without being bit by a snake.  At one point, I tried to tell others in my dream about the snakes, who seemed moderately concerned.  But I remember having to tell myself to calm down.  I knew the snakes had never bitten anyone and would likely wouldn't lash out and hurt me.  But I was very freaked out.

Eventually in my dream, I noticed that, however the snakes had arrived, they had each come with nice tiny paper box full of snake food.  In my dream, I knew that if I could get rid of the snake food boxes, I might have some chance of the snakes moving on to somewhere else.  But I didn't know how to do that, since they were each showing up with their own food.

This morning when I woke up, I thought more about my dream.  They say dreaming is how we process the previous day's events.  While I'm no dream interpreter, I think those snakes represent my worries.  My worries feel like they are everywhere - threats everywhere.  I know in the back of my head that things are going to be ok.  Each worry may not necessarily be dangerous itself.  But my worries are scaring me.  And I feel like, if I could just get rid of the "food source" of my worries, then maybe my worries will go away.

It's tempting to think that now we are out of the hospital, things are better.  They are, on some level - home is certainly more comfortable and we are SO glad to be home.  But coming home from the hospital with a new medical condition is also the beginning of something new.  Now we must focus on establishing a new colostomy routine, ordering new colostomy medical supplies, deciding how and when to do g-tube feedings with a colostomy, what kind of cover Bennett's bed needs at night in case his colostomy bag breaks/leaks, figuring out how to do chest percussion therapy with colostomy, whether or not Bennett is going to school with his colostomy, if he doesn't go to school how am I going to get anything done, what clothes are going to fit around his colostomy bag, whether or not having a babysitter to watch the kids is an option, what traveling looks like, etc.

In addition, the time after a hospitalization is typically a time for recovery - recovery for catching up on sleep, recovery of reconnecting to the children, recovery of working through the emotional baggage that came from this surgery and an unexpected colostomy.  It may take us another week, or two or three to adjust to a new normal and to get back to where we were.  But we will do it.  (Ironically just in time to prepare for another surgery.  At least this one will be to hopefully take down the colostomy and put our boy's body back together.)

Thank you again to all of the many many people who have contacted us, who have been praying for us and who continue to follow Bennett's story.  I cannot communicate just how much we appreciate all of the support, in big ways and in small ways.

Thank you for loving us,

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