Today, there have only been improvements! Thank you, God! Lucas did so good with his exercises today. He even "ran" a few steps toward the elevator. He bent over to pick up a toy a few times. He made a few baskets with a basketball. This is all very good and very vital stuff as far as future mobility of his arm is concerned. Very good stuff. He really worked hard today and is now completely exhausted. As long as his pain meds are working, he's great. Once they start to wear off, the little guy is suffering. But there's not a very long window between when they wear off and when he can have more.
The infection looks a lot better today, so the antibiotics are doing their job. Also, his arm where there was still some question as to whether it would need a skin graft is much better today now that the infection is healing. The spots on his shoulder and back where he definitely needs a skin graft look more clear today too.
Lucas continues to crack up all of the staff here. He really doesn't understand why everybody laughs at him all the time and he's starting to get annoyed with me. In fact, before he fell asleep a few minutes ago, he scowled at me and told me that I'm not allowed to laugh in his room anymore because I'm not a sick person. I'm just his guest! Of course, this made me laugh yet again, which made him even more mad at me! And just then the oxycodone kicked in and he fell asleep! :)
These are a few of the reasons why I can't stop laughing at him:
Yesterday, his nurse, Derek, had to do a strep culture with one of those long cotton swabs. As Derek pulled the swab out of the package, Lucas started to cry. I asked him what was wrong. His reply...and I quote...."I'm just really worried!" I asked, "Why are you worried?" His response was, "I'm really worried that Derek is going to use that and touch my epiglottis. And if you touch your epiglottis, you'll DIE!" Okay. Who could possibly contain their laughter over a five-year-old even saying the word "epiglottis", much less actually knowing what region of the body the epiglottis can be found in?!
His very strict rule about his room is that the only person who is allowed to sit on, lay on, look at, or breathe near his hospital bed is Mommy. He makes an exception for the doctors and nurses.
The word for yesterday was "placebo." I say this because he decided that by blowing on the capped end of his IV tube in his arm that it could instantly relieve his pain! He would desperately cry out, "Mommy! Quick! Blow on my IV!" I would blow and he would instantly find relief from his pain! If I stopped, the pain immediately returned. I totally cracked up when I looked over at him and saw him blowing on his own IV! He's soooo cute! :)
This morning as we walked down the hall for his bath (probably the most painful part of his day), he asked for juice as we passed the "Juice Room" as he calls it. I told him he could have some after his bath, not wanting the added distraction. As we got to the door to the bath room, he looked at me very seriously and said, "Mom, let's make a deal. You give me juice and I'll take a nice bath. Okay?" His tone and expression were so serious that I couldn't refuse the kid his juice!
The other three kids came to the hospital today. I spent most of my time with Kaitlyn in a private waiting room watching TV with her. I miss them all so much and am trying to give each of them some quality one-on-one time when I do get to see them. It was very nice to just sit quietly with her while she had a snack without the pressure and distraction of being with everybody else. Kaitlyn is such a calming person. She has a very quiet, calming presence about her and this unique ability to sit quietly and just "be." Gosh, that sounds strange! It's hard to describe, but it's a very good quality. She's the kind of person who is therapeutic just to be around when you're alone with her. Mind you, she can completely change personalities at any moment, especially when other people are around. But today, she was very calm and I just enjoyed a little bit of togetherness with her. I've been so worried about her.
Unfortunately, I didn't get to spend much time with the other two. I carried Mihret around the halls for a few minutes and hugged her. She has a high need for lots of hugs, so I tried to give her that in the little bit of time I had with her. Her braids are getting messy, but I asked my friend Ababa to take Mihret to her house today and wash her hair and re-braid it. So, I'm hoping she was able to do that.
I'm very worried about Yosef. When he first came home, he was very attached to Avery, but I had to work at it. I really looked for ways to meet him in his own world as far as bonding is concerned. I had some friends praying specifically for this. And after a couple of weeks, he started to really come around with me. He became very affectionate with me and we started to bond on an emotional level. It was very good. But we've definitely taken a few steps back. I've seen him twice since the accident and he won't look at me, talk to me, or touch me. He's most sad because he misses Avery so very much. His dad became his hero last July when Avery visited him. And now his little world just got turned upside down. I think that he's so upset about being separated from Avery that he just can't even think about Mom right now. And I'm okay with that. I can't imagine this poor little kid's frame of mind right now. Right now, he just really needs his Dad. If you're reading this, please pray for Yosef especially.
But, despite all of the upheaval, the three kids are doing good. They're back at their own house now. Albeit, they are being cared for by strangers. But just a few weeks ago, we were strangers too. At least they have the stability of home right now. Avery's mom and brother are with them. Tomorrow, Avery's mom has to leave, but his brother is staying until the end of May. My parents will be at the house all next week to help out. Shane, Avery's brother, is such a God-send right now. I am so thankful that my kids will have the stability of one person during this time. Many, many people have stepped up to the plate with offers to take care of the kids. And I will definitely be calling on some of them to give Shane a break from time to time. But it's so good to know that Shane will be their constant right now. He's very good with kids, so I know they'll be alright. And Yosef will have a man around, which is really important to him.
Alright. I need to make some phone calls. Thanks for all of your prayers and support.