Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Pug Loving - Desperately Needed

I warned you about the Pippa Middleton overload  

and I wasn't kidding.

After a long week of surgery preparations, surgery and surgery recovery, we all needed a little pug luvin.

Luckily for us, Pippa Middleton was in the mood to kiss and snuggle.

This was a long, long week.  I had known it would be, but that still didn't mean that I was prepared for the emotional toll that comes from worrying about your child.  I don't think the whole thing really hit me until the nurse wheeled Georgia away from us and Gordy and I went to sit in the waiting room.  That's when my heart began pumping at a mile a minute, the tears began and the nausea hit.  The surgery was over in an hour, but my anxiety and tension haven't really left yet.  Consenting to surgery for your child isn't fun.  Since it was the third time we've lived through this with Georgia, you'd think that it would be old hat by now.

Kissing Pippa Middleton's soft, velvety head is fun, though.  And the girls and I took advantage of our 45 minute visit on Sunday with our new baby.

It seemed relaxing and wonderful at the time, but I must need more pug time.  

Yesterday, I drove Georgia to middle school, carefully folding her, her leg immobilizer, her crutches and her 60 pound backpack into the backseat of the car.  I was more than a little worried about how she was going to navigate the halls while struggling to walk though the crowds with all that gear.

Our middle school did little to ease my worries.  When I called the school pre-surgery to discuss the crutches/injury protocol, I had been told to report to the nurse with Georgia on her first day back to school.  But the nurse immediately passed us onto the guidance counselor, who merely showed Georgia where the elevator was and told her to arrange for friends to carry her books for her.  

The Guidance Counselor didn't make these arrangements, she told 11 year old Georgia to do it herself.  

Did I mention that our school has a No Backpack Policy?  So here's the scenario:  Welcome Back Georgia!  School starts in ten minutes.  We see that you are wearing a full-length knee immobilizer and are using crutches.  You also seem to have a very heavy backpack filled with things that you will need during the day.  Tough luck for you!  Go ahead and hobble to your locker (two floors below), balance yourself on your one good leg while you unpack, search for a friend to take your books along with her own to your first class and then arrange for similar assistance between each of your other seven periods.  Your backpack would be a huge help, but sad for you!  We don't use backpacks in this school - no exceptions!

You can imagine my annoyance.  Before the Guidance Counselor directed Georgia away from me and  towards the elevator, I reminded her (in my loudest voice) that she has my permission to take her time between classes, to wear her backpack if it makes her life easier and to ask for help (I may have said demand help) if she needed it.  I meant demand help from said Guidance Counselor, who I thought was not taking the entire thing as seriously as she should.  

This is not my first time at this rodeo.  And if there's one thing I've learned from getting one child through middle school, it's that no one - NO ONE PEOPLE - cares about your child the way that you care about your child.  It's up to parents to advocate for their child every step of the way and when that child gets to middle school, it gets a whole lot harder to do so.  Middle schools are notorious for wanting parents to be hands-off, which is fine if the school picks up the slack.  The problem is that this school very rarely does pick up the slack.  It's not realistic to expect an 11 year old sixth grader to speak for him or herself.  An eighth grader might speak up but a sixth grader will not.  How many eleven year olds want to constantly ask others for help?  And what happens when Georgia finds herself between classes and there's no one she knows who can help?  

And now I've gone off on a tangent and I don't even remember what the purpose of this rant was.  

Pippa Middleton needs to come live with us soon.  I need pug therapy 24 / 7.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Last Few Days

So how did it all go?  Well!  Thank you.  Georgia is three days post surgery and she is walking around -- slowly and awkwardly, but walking nonetheless.  

We left for the hospital around 8 o'clock on Thursday morning.  

And after a series of x-rays and a stack of paperwork, Georgia was given a bed in the pre-op.

At this point, all was still fun and games.  Georgia was in good spirits and she enjoyed exercising full-mobility for a few extra minutes by pretending to kick her father.

One of the doctors noticed that Georgia's birthday is coming up and gave her the world's largest balloon, which was tied to her gurney and followed her down the hall to the operating room.

Georgia decided to get an IV put in while still awake - a decision that she regretted when said IV was being put into her hand.  She further regretted that decision when the anesthesia was administered through the IV and the pressure she felt made her panic.

Our usual sunny child was not present when Georgia woke up in the recovery room.  Just like the last time when she had surgery, Georgia woke from surgery scared, anxious and in considerable pain.  And like last time, pain medicine (morphine and Valium) took awhile to ease her symptoms.

Things didn't improve once we got to her room.  The anesthesia made Georgia vomit multiple times and eventually the doctors had to add an anti-nausea medicine to the mix.  We expected it to be a long night, but Georgia managed to sleep fairly well.  The same could not really be said of Gordy who had to fold himself onto the pull-out couch.  At least they had a private room!

The next morning, Georgia and her giant balloon were released from the hospital.  We brought her home where she collapsed onto the couch.

And posed for photos with my parents:

It's been a roller coaster since then.  The highs included the arrival of some balloons and presents from friends, the lows included severe stomach cramps, exhaustion and one sleepless night (for patient and parents).

Things had improved considerably by Sunday.  Georgia was allowed to put weight on her leg right away.  She's wearing a knee immobilizer at night and will probably wear it to school tomorrow just for protection.  The crutches were abandoned pretty quickly but will also probably make an appearance at middle school since Georgia moves a whole lot faster with some help and she only has four minutes between classes to get where she needs to go.

We are all so glad to have this last surgery behind us.  Thank you so much for all your well-wishes.  

I'll leave you with a photo I took when Josie got home from school on Friday to find that Gordy had returned from the hospital.  

Sweet, no?

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