Things continue to stay just about the same in the step-down lounge. Still battling effusions. Still some decreased function in the right lung. Still waiting for Mac's chest tube drainage to complete its evolution from river, to stream, to brook, to trickle, to drip, drop, gone.
We are encouraged. McKay took a few shaky, but unassisted steps today and for the first time in a week seemed motivated to get to something, somewhere. He lunged for a sparkly pipe cleaner a woman was using to decorate the windows today and made off like a bandit. He was frantic to get to the train track in the playroom where standing to drive the engines proved a bit too much and, frustrated, he started throwing the trains and crying. Bad behavior, but passion nonetheless. And passion is what I like to see in my fighter.
The battle to keep Mac's original chest tube rages on. For the last two days they have secured the bloody mess of a site with gauze and tegaderm trying to stabilize the tube and give McKay time to be done with it. Replacing the tube, which would require another surgery, is to be avoided at all costs. Assisting the doctors and nurses in changing that dressing twice a day is about more than a mother can take, however. I pray the fluid will subside and we can be done with the entire chest tube fiasco soon.
As we approach 10 days in the hospital, almost 14 since we left home, I thought I might share with you some of what it takes for a 22-month old to mend his broken heart.
(The pictures that follow may be a bit graphic for some--I've tried to choose wisely--but know that you've been warned.)
How to Mend a Broken Heart (or Just About Anything)
Show up. That's half the battle in life anyway. Show up with your Superman shirt on and people take notice.
Allow what needs to happen to happen. It's scary and painful and not at all what you'd prefer to be doing, but sometimes you must simply embrace the necessary.
Employ experts to be at your side. Recovery is complicated. Trust in those who have gone before to help get you through.
Involve your team. There is no substitute for genuine love in life's toughest moments.
Nourish your soul with fervor.
Be willing to look deeper. Sometimes revealing the change to yourself and others can be the hardest part.
Take time to enjoy little moments. Soak your feet. Make a splash. Do the things that put a smile on your face no matter how serious the situation.
Despite how well you think things have gone, be willing to take a deeper look. Follow-up is the most important part of assuring the changes you've made will last.
Stay clean. Stay pure.
Rest when and where you need it.
And keep smiling no matter what. Even when the world tells you that you've every right to complain. Avoid it. An optimistic spirit heals.