So yesterday, true to their word, we were set free!
Leaving the PICU is always strange and sometimes anticlimactic. After all the snafu of the past week and half, you would think that there would be a fanfare, or at least a parade with kazoos as we triumphantly march Leo through the doors, instead of the quiet nod and wave from the nurses at the nursing station. But I get it, because it's a place where not everyone gets a lucky getaway. Walking across the unit to the WC, it was impossible not to peek into the other rooms and wonder about the stories of suffering of Leo's little neighbors (though there were some teens in the unit too).
Discharging took forever, as usual, and by the time we were ready to go it was already the afternoon. When we told Leo it was time to go home, he started crying he was so worried we were pulling his leg. He couldn't seem to believe that his tribulation was over until we actually got him into the car. And then he couldn't stop giggling, smiling and chanting the words, "home, car, and honk honk!"
At home it was a process of triage and priority; leaving messy house and laundry issues till today, we fed the starving Lion, who after this whole not eating thing for three weeks, is trying to make up the time in sheer volume, we then tackled the issue of the head. The Neurosurgeon tried to explain his reasoning of the 3/4 head shave to me, but all I could get from his explanation is that he started shaving the hair around the previous incision scars and ended up following his cranio-reconstructive scar up and over his head until he realized that it went from ear to ear. Ummm. Oops.
Anyway we couldn't really let Leo go into public sporting his 3/4 head so we tried to finish the job at home. However the downside to him being, shall we say AWAKE, as opposed to asleep under general anesthesia, it ended up being a hack job too. SIGH! I told the doc in so uncertain terms that no parent would prefer 3/4 head to a nice and neat 100%. Honestly!!
Anyway, once we got that sorted out, things started looking up.
|Grandma didn't seem to mind that she had a skinhead for a grandson. Times sure are a'changing!|
Though Leo is still wicked sore, and really weak from malnutrition and muscle loss he spent the evening rediscovering his favorite things.
He saw the Christmas tree we still had up for the first time, even though he was lying on the couch when we put it up, but didn't notice through the blinding pain of his hydro headache. He got to play with his new toys which were still hibernating under the tree from Christmas, and he got to eat. Again. Then he was almost giddy with joy to fall asleep in his own little bed.
Today he's eaten the breakfast and lunch of champions and is focusing on recharging his batteries.
We all are.
It's been a wild ride and we aren't sure yet what the fall out will be like, but right now is it great to be home.
Once we get things unpacked and the house put back together again, I will sit down to write out EXACTLY what happened, so that I won't ever forget it, because though it was a hellish experience, it also was a very valuable one.
We can't thank you all enough for your encouragement and support; you words and prayers of love and hope for Leo, which made this PICU exit a happy one!
Happy New Years friends!