|Nena's new broom stick cast|
Long before the sun was to peek over the snow covered mountains bringing in a new day, we found ourselves packing the car and loading an extremely sleepy child into the back seat, preparing for the drive to the hospital to complete our first cast change after a long six weeks. Preparations for the cast change mimicked the same pattern as your first surgery. Vitals were checked, pages of questions answered, line after line had signatures scribbled on them by anxious parents, x-rays taken, followed by a dose of "Happy Juice" to calm a much wiser two year old who now knows the routine of the nurses far to well. Finally, the waiting for the medicine to kick in, preparing a child to go under anesthesia for a cast removal, examination of the progress of the hip following the surgeries to reposition it correctly in the socket, then replacing the old cast with a new smaller cast providing more movement of a healing hip began.
Only an hour passed after you left our protective arms for the surgeon's operating room when Kristin, your surgeon, rounded the corner of the hospital corridor to inform us that the hip was healing perfectly, the cast had been changed, and you were now in recovery sleeping off the affects of the early morning compounded with the anesthesia drugs now retreating from your system. True to your previous recovery, an hour an a half slipped away in the recovery room before you were brought to your room laying calmly in your hospital crib. Your Anesthesiologist remarked, "They always keep the cutest kids the longest. They never want to let them go."
Once in your room the nurse educated us to the fact that as you become more aware of your surroundings, you would most likely be very sore, stiff, and show low levels of pain as you adjust to your now free to move hip. In no time, you were rolling over in the crib, climbing the rails, and calling out to mom or dad to, "Get me out."
Sharing the hospital room was a mother and her tender small child of two, diagnosed with brittle bones disease. Making eye contact with you, this sweet little girl immediately offered you a container of play dough in hopes of cheering you up. Sliding on her bottom across the floor using her crippled undersized legs to propel her forward bouncing up and down with each forward motion. This little girl, with hair snow blonde and an inviting smile greeted us with, "Do you want some play dough?" As the day progressed the two of you shared toys, exchanged greetings in a language I only half understood, becoming immediately dear friends. Our new little friend pleaded with her mother to be placed in your crib. With time, we discovered her heart longed to have your stuffed Mickey Mouse that was presented to you as you checked in. Since we had brought the last Mickey Mouse from your surgery we kindly offered the mouse to your new found friend. She graciously thanked you, followed by jumping in excitement in her bed as she danced and played with her new mouse.
After removal of your IV followed by friendly goodbyes, we were released from the hospital with a cast removal date in five weeks in addition to a surgery date for your next hip to follow three weeks after your cast is removed. Your mother, after pulling out her calendar to verify the dates, turned to me to confirm if I understood that your cast would be removed one day before her C-section, followed by a surgery on your hip two weeks after that. She expressed her concern that I would be unable to care for her, a new born and a new cast ridden child recovery from surgery in the same month. Smiling at her, I responded, "We will figure it out."