Thursday – Day 2 – None of us got much sleep because the medical staff was in and out all night checking, poking, prodding, you know, doing all the things they do. We’ve tried to really take the time to get to know each of them and a bit of their story. They’ve all been so remarkable. Shayne slept in the recliner and thought he was dimming the lights, but was actually turning the thermostat down, so it was frigid to say the least! Ha.
Elijah awoke in pretty good spirits and asked right away to see his siblings. They were thrilled that he asked for them. Shortly after he was up his physical and occupational therapists arrived to have him walk for the first time. I was a nervous wreck. As always, he was up for the challenge. It was a slowwww process helping him out of bed, onto his walker, and then the floor. Once he sat up the vomiting began…over and over again. He took his time, regrouped and then walked 3 steps using his walker. We were VERY proud of him and so were his therapists. His pain has been almost zero because they have him on what they call a “big boy” epidural. NOT looking forward to that little sucker coming out of his system.
His stomach started feeling a bit better around lunch time and his big sister Savana got to feed him. Most people can’t stand hospital meatloaf, but not my boy. HE LOVES IT! (Pic below) It’s been special to see how our kids interact with each other on this new journey. Precious seeing them so tender, gentle, and concerned with one another. My heart swells with more and more love for them each day.
In the afternoon the physical therapist came in to show us what will be months and months of exercises. I’m use to having push-up battles with Elijah at home, which is probably why this was particularly emotional to me. Instead of sweating it out side by side I was now delicately bending and flexing his ankles, knees, and legs because he can’t walk. It hurt my heart, but I was reminded that this is part of the process.
By the evening Elijah was eating pretty good, cracking a few of those beautiful smiles I love, and dropping a couple of funny 1 liners (which I wish I could share), which let me know my boy was still in there….just dampened a bit by the medicine. Judah and Shayne stayed with him through the night and had a Rocky movies marathon. So fun introducing and enjoying movies to them that we loved so much as kids, especially ones that inspire, entertain, and make you cry! Yooo, Adrian!!! After watching them Elijah asked us to look up boxing clubs back in Cincy. He is relentless. Day 2 was in the books.
Friday – Day 3 – We all awoke early as Elijah’s PT and OT therapists would be in early. Today they wanted him to walk 6 steps. As suspected, once he crept off the bed and began the moving and walking process the nausea and vomiting kicked in full force and an added bonus……he got faint and fell into the therapist’s arms. This is the first time he broke down since surgery. He cried, “I just want to go home.” That was brutal. Just wanted to pack him up and take away the pain. Once he worked out all the vomit he conjured up enough strength and determination to not only walk 6 steps, but 12! That’s our Tiger! He was wiped out after that and took a siesta.
Around lunch we were all invited to a July 4th freedom party in the children’s wing playroom. We were greeted with tables full of goodies, an assortment of arts and crafts, and activities galore. The room was filled with families laughing, creating, and for a while forgetting about why we were all here. Elijah met a 9 year old named Gabe who was also here to have a major operation. They hung out, played video games, and talked a bunch of smack to each other! Gotta love boys! It was reassuring to see Elijah’s competitive and playful spirit in full throttle. Seeing all these kids face such grueling surgeries is just incredible. They are beasts!
The evening was fairly uneventful as we tried to all take it easy for Elijah’s sake. We were told that tomorrow he would come off his epidural and his catheter would come out. We knew what that meant….he was going to experience major pain for the first time since surgery. We’d also been warned that the hardest days were yet ahead. #yikes.
Thank you for your continued love, texts, phone calls, emails, everything. We feel the love. Most importantly, Elijah does.