What do you say to a confused child who is screaming in pain "Mommy, why?". I am relieved to say that today for the first day since Vanessa's surgery she did not scream out in pain. It has been a long and hard week and I have stayed by her side every step of the way. I need her to know that she can trust me to be there through the good times and the bad. This is not to say that I could not use a break at this point, or that I have not at times reached my own breaking point. We were expecting to have a 3-4 day hospital stay and I am spending night six at the hospital with Vanessa tonight. We tried to switch over night duty to my husband but she freaked out. It totally has nothing to do with him but really the fact that she just does not see men as caregivers. I have been trying to step outside of the room when I can. A few visitors have sat with her while I left the room to walk, cry, and call people for support. A friend was hear yesterday evening during a very bad pain spell and it meant the world to me. We have also had visits from new friends at the hospital who either met Vanessa for her pre-surgery evaluations or who actually met Vanessa in Haiti on medical mission trips. She also has animals and balloons in the room which has made it much more comforting. I am grateful that we ended up with a large corner room with a awesome view of Denver and the mountains (which makes me so sad to leave CO!). And so I am truly VERY relieved to say that today Vanessa's pain was under control thanks to a new pain management medication. This medication was the last resort, and fairly controversial, but it is working and that is a miracle because her response to the pain was getting worse, not better throughout the week. She did so well that we were able to get her out of bed and into her wheelchair and to spend some time outside. She was so happy when the rest of the family showed up for a visit and she even got some time at the end of the day with a small therapy dog. For the first time this week she was smiling, laughing, and joking with her nurses. I believe that little Vanessa has turned out to be a bit of a puzzle for the medical staff. But after all she is no ordinary kid, the degree of deformity in her legs was basically unseen in a child of her age in the US. Then add to the fact that she has a history of trauma, as well as a strong willed personality, and no wonder she has struggled so much with her pain tolerance and post surgery adjustment this week. Please keep her in your thoughts, that she will be able to go home early next week and that she will continue to heal both physically as well as emotionally.
Pics from today, FINALLY returning to her spunky self: