Hopeful 20/52

Monday 16th May 2022

Boom!

What else can happen to our family this year that would be total crap? Yep, Covid has hit our family. My hubby was feeling the chills and a sore throat so I asked him to take a RAT and there it was our first positive test. After his test, it was family RAT time where we all took tests to see who else had Covid? My son was positive as well – but not me who had been sick all week? Strange, maybe I did bring it in as a carrier from the little children who cough on me at kindergarten. Though today at my son’s class (I made him stay home as he had a residual cold), 7 kids were there today out of 25 so the likelihood is that it came from his college. We also got a report from his principal today that there were many students and teachers out from school having to self isolate for 7 days.

So this is our week – a week of isolation. We are waiting for our PCR tests in the next day or so to confirm whether I can join the Covid positive team! In the meantime, I will take a RAT every day. H is in her room and taking all precautions not to mingle with any of us. We are all in different areas of the house with my hubby in our room, my son in his room, H in her room and I have the lounge and dining room which will be my bedroom as well for the next week. Just when we thought we could see some light out of the other side of the tunnel – Covid hits our household! It is just crazy!

Lucky this week I ordered some freezer food that I can just heat up for the family. Tonight we had some frozen lasagne that I had stashed away and it came in handy to give to the sick ones as they need to eat well and sleep well. When it was ready I sent them a text that dinner was ready and that I will leave your dinner at the door! It is just a week maybe I can take up running so I can leave the house this week? To leave the house I have to take RAT 5 out of the 7 days and make sure they are negative so I can go out and about. We shall see! I have downloaded a great audiobook to keep me company and have my sewing machine close by so maybe I will get that out and do some creative projects once I have the energy to do so. Till then I will rest and disinfect my house!!

Tuesday 17th May 2022

PCR tests came back – 2 positive and 1 negative just like the RATs, so I am negative.

Like a dodgy looking dragonfruit we continued with our isolation each one of us in our separate spaces in the house. Wearing a mask whenever we are near the covid positive people and socially distancing. There have been no family meals and food is left at the door and taken and eaten alone. I am in the lounge room eating in front of the TV with the cat nearby. The only ones who can see each one of us is the cats who spend time with the sick ones.

I have been the Florence Nightingale (as my uncle called me) of the house preparing the food and delivering it, gathering the plates in a bucket to be put through the hot dishwasher at night, making tea and smoothies (out of dragonfruit) and getting late-night emergency bowls of cereal for the hungry teen. It seems like the covid positive teen is passed his lethargic stage and is back to eating again. My hubby is chatting and just feels like he has the flu. My friend’s recommendation is to hire air scrubbers to suck the germs out of the room and keep the clean air, so so important! I also have them at work, so it is a worthwhile investment for the covid negative people in the house to stay safe.

Wednesday 18th May 2022

One of my gorgeous friends dropped off a lovely care package with some incredible treats including a sauce made from oyster mushrooms and garlic – it is next-level flavour and so good for my cold! Plus many vegan sweet treats to keep us very happy 😀

Today my mission was to book a trip away. I have been wanting to go to the beach and walk along the seashore – yes, it will be winter but I have a beanie, scarf, woollies and a wind jacket. I need to get back to the sea as it has been way too long. It took me a while to contemplate where to go, do we go farmland, bushland or find a place within walking distance to the water! Walking distance to the water was the winner for me that way I can take off and the kids can chill and watch the sea from the balcony. This time we will be close to the rainforest and hiking trails too, so we can have the best of both worlds. We have not been on a family trip since Venus bay in April last year and from all the trauma we have been through this year we need some downtime together. I am looking forward to getting away, as this week being apart to stay safe is proving to be pretty difficult. Three days down and four to go… slowly, slowly we will get there.

Hopeful 19/52

Monday 9th May

H’s first home school day with her friend. They learned about Vikings in history and enjoyed a walk outside and caught up on how everything works. I think that H is enjoying the autonomy of student-led learning as she gets to choose the subjects she wants to do and writes them up on her planner so everyone knows what is going on each day. It is really empowering for H and her friend to share peer learning and move along with their studies. They may not be flying through the curriculum but at least it gives them time to digest it and gain an understanding of what they are learning.

Tuesday 10th May

It was an early morning with the builders coming by to chat to us about the defects, 2 years after we have moved in. Hopefully, they can get them all complete in the next month or so, fingers crossed. The problem is that there are no seals on the doors and windows and coming up to winter we have had to seal them with bubble wrap to keep the cold out.

Today was H’s first appointment with her physiotherapist for some exercises. It was the most amount of movement I have seen her do since the accident in January! She did a lot of baseline testing on her ability to balance, walk, skip, hop and run. Next week she will be walking for a longer time and doing some stretching exercises. It is only 30 minutes and hopefully, this can be a habit she can include in her daily physio treatment. H is supposed to be walking around the block every day, but I think with her friend studying with her at home that will be some encouragement to get out and about.

Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday and Sunday 11th to 15th May

I was supposed to go to a yoga class (mothers day pressie) to mix up my daily schedule but I had to reschedule it as I felt sick with a cold and sore throat which has been pretty consistent for the rest of the week into the weekend! This meant no work on Friday and staying home with my germs over the weekend. Lucky for H she is in her room isolated from me and now her brother who came home feeling pretty bad Wednesday afternoon.

Good thing is I went for a walk one of those mornings and found this beautiful crocheted sign near the train station!

Hopeful 18/52

Monday 2nd and Tuesday 3rd May

Getting my Uni assignment done and dusted it was time to celebrate Tuesday evening with a mothers day film of Everything Everywhere at Once and burgers and chips for dinner. We all love chips so we were very happy by the end of the evening. The film was very cool and it was so good to have the cinema to ourselves for the 4:30pm session!

Wednesday 4th May

Back to the hospital and we were late for our appointment due to not being able to find parking and driving around in circles. Clinic days are so crazy busy and the parking levels lie with the number of available spaces. So we ended up parking in the hospital’s hotel car park and walking to the lifts. Late for our appointment but it was all fine in the end, times like this you just have to breathe to get through.

Finally, going back to the burns clinic for a check-up with our physio and OT and to chat with the surgeon. So the news is that the healing is going really well and that we do not have to come back to the clinic for another 6 weeks. Time with the pressure garments for 23 hours a day is still really important with scar management. Also, moisturising twice a day is key to keeping the skin supple. It is great to have a break from the clinic but from next week we start physio every Tuesday, so we still have to go to the hospital!

Thursday 5th and Friday 6th

Last day for me to get organised with my uni readings and get H on track with her home school before I go to work on Friday for work. Friday is written off as I am at work and pretty done for the rest of the day!

Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th

A lovely relaxing mothers day weekend with no cooking and this delicious forbidden apple gelato from the pizza shop where my son works! Good times and H enjoyed having her friends around on Saturday afternoon to watch a movie and catch up. It was the perfect weather for staying in when the rain came down in the arvo. So good that H gets to see her friends as that is her socialisation with peers, done!

Hopeful 17/52

Monday to Thursday

The usual catch up on Uni work whilst editing my essay for submission. Also appointments with my psychologist and acupuncturist which was so good to have some time out to relax and destress from all the madness of the last 3 months!

Friday

First day back at work with 3-year-olds, thank goodness it was only 6 hours they are quite a busy bunch of children. I was with the sad children who miss their parents, so it was time to read and calm their feelings about separating from their mummy and the book Owl Babies is the best way to share that with them. Once we were out in the yard I was so happy to be with them out there and so were they! We saw kookaburra who came by and said hello and then we sang him a song – Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree… After work, I needed to exercise and reset myself for the weekend.

Saturday

A lovely morning out with the Flavours of Coburg tour – a gift from my family for my birthday. It was wonderful to be out with a bunch of strangers enjoying some secret discoveries in my neighbourhood. Plus the good thing was that I was away and kept from talking about anything bad that has happened in the last 3 months. I came home stuffed as we ate so much food, it was the best!

Sunday

Out with H and her friends going shopping in the city. It was the first time H had ventured out of our neighbourhood since the accident. I am so proud that she was out and about in public with her 3D printed face mask, shopping for some new clothes with her friends. I am so thankful she has some beautiful people in her life to support her through this time and for the incredible ways she is also having fun as she is healing. Being in the city is a bit day out and she had a plan to find certain clothes she has been missing from her drawers at the Spencer St Outlet. I hung around with her friend’s mum having a coffee and chatting while they wandered the shops. I did manage to find a lovely pot for my plants for just $25!

Hopeful 16/52

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday

Just relaxing with friends for a cuppa here and there. Working on my assignment to finish the draft. H was doing work from the homeschool curriculum and it is so good now as she has a list of projects she would like to do when she has done the required work of English, Maths and another subject.

Thursday

My morning of kinesiology, back home for a little bit of study. Later in the evening, I caught up with some work friends for dinner.

Friday, Satuday, Sunday

H had a kinesiology appointment on Friday afternoon and it was an interesting time for her. I enjoyed seeing her being cared for in a different way that takes care of her holistically. Movie night with the family together at long last! As my son is too busy working each night at the pizza joint over the school holidays.

Saturday – CPR course for work in the morning and catching up on Uni work in the arvo.

Sunday – family catchup day with my sister in law who made this amazing pavlova and it was so good to catch up as we had not seen each other property for over 3 months! That was since H had the accident.

Hopeful 15/52

Monday – a day for organising

Another week begins and this time it is the school holidays and we are not going anywhere as H needs to go to the clinic each week. So there’s another wasted opportunity to destress with the family. Instead, we are staying here and H is having her friends over and my son is out and about with his buddies going to see a movie in the city or playing games online as usual. We will be out to see our family (30 mins away) over the Easter break so that is something to look forward to.

I have had to organise all the resources for homeschooling. I have had to get myself in check so I am not running around at the last minute gathering stuff. I have these two weeks away from work but I still have to study as I am behind a week. I am hoping that I can catch up and start my assignment. Now I am at the point in my degree that I just want to get these units done so I can be DONE! Anyway, I have a binder for homeschool so I will see how that keeps me on task with what I need to do, plus my teacher planning diary was empty so that is what I am using for H each week with what she needs to complete. There are always little things to do that take time but it is worth it to make sure everything is organised and accessible for the whole family.

It is a new week and time to get back into the flow of everything again without disturbances!

Tuesday – a study day (image above a collage I made at my work PD representing the Merri Creek)

Did not do much except doing some groceries and kitchen cupboard and food organisation. Plus, I had to catch up on my studies as I knew Wednesday was going to be a right off with going to the hospital.

Wednesday – Burns clinic at 11:50am

This week we got to meet Associate Professor Warwick Teague whose name was written on all of H’s hospital paperwork. That was the highlight of the day as I shared with him that I read the info on his research at the RCH. H was seen by her surgeon fellow, her OT, physio and a nurse who helped with the dressings on her legs. So according to the staff there she is doing very well but she is at a critical stage of her healing where the focus is on stretching the skin on her face and using the pressure garments 23 hours a day to prevent the scars from getting thicker. The other good thing is that we don’t have to go back to the clinic for another 3 weeks! We still have to go to the hospital weekly for physio exercises though by request of her surgeon, so yeah we will still be making weekly visits!!!!

H also had an orthotics appointment with Meleta, who organised her 3D printed face mask. H prefers that one over the balaclava but she still has to wear the balaclava to flatten the scars on her neck. Meleta was pretty happy with how it turned out and I gave her feedback to secure the straps by sewing them in place in future. Unfortunately, the research for the masks is not too good as the comparison with the other mask made with plaster was too ill-fitting so they could not do a proper analysis of both masks. Then we were out of there as soon as we could, these appointments really do zap energy from you!

Thursday – family movie night at the drive-in 6:45 pm – Sonic the hedgehog 2 (not my choice!)

Having spent the morning exercising and going to collect hot cross buns from the cat shelters fundraiser I made it to my myotherapist to sort out the pain in my lower back. In the arvo, I came home and checked in on H and she was cleaning out her room. I was so impressed that she had the energy to get up and about and decorate her room beautifully, our H girl is coming back to us. This was the anniversary of 3 months after the accident! She also said that after speaking to her counsellor she was going to make a stop motion film with her stuffed animals, I was so thrilled! It makes my heart sing to see H interact with us again in positive ways, she is now seeing the benefits of home school and now wants to do a research project as well. This is all on her own (well she has been chatting to her friend about it) but I am so happy to hear that she is keen to learn and can see the value of self-directed learning and not having to learn via the traditional system of school periods of 45 mins to an hour – boo!! As a teacher, this makes me so happy as I am a keen supporter of progressive education.

Friday – Study day

Good Friday and what a good Friday it was! My daughter is back with us and she was talking to me today about what she is planning to do for school and that we need to get a weekly planner. I was up early did my meditation and exercise and got to studying. I have to write an essay so I had to do all my readings and notes so I can start writing about “Why is there confusion in early childhood leadership?” I created my essay plan so I can stay on topic when I am reading but when I am researching that is when I fall through too many rabbit holes. So I stuck my essay plan on the wall to keep me on the right path.

Saturday, Sunday and Monday – writing an essay

Finally, I had the brain space to focus on writing a draft for my assignment due the first week of May. H was having a birthday sleepover with her friend and had a great time out in a new environment. All in all, we did not have a trip away over easter, we caught up on stuff and relaxed.

Hopeful 14/52

Monday – my birthday

I enjoyed some time out with a friend who I haven’t seen in ages and enjoyed brunch at a super cool bakery. As the whole fam likes bread we found this amazing Turkish flatbread to bring home to snack on. Later in the evening, for dinner, we enjoyed some Sri Lankan food that my family bought us as a birthday surprise from my Uncles shop in the east of Melbourne – Curry and Chips. To chill out we watched some crap Aussie romance film on Stan. A very low key birthday but very special in to be with people I love!

Tuesday – out and about with my son for PST conferences

So good to hear that my son is doing so well with his art course at his new school. He has blossomed as a young adult and his artwork is incredible! He is so excited to draw and learn and improve his illustration skills. I really can see that when the education environment fits the student there is no stopping them. For H, we had a conversation about planning for home education and that is the way we will go until the end of the year as she really needs to get her strength back and get back into learning her own way. She said that she is looking forward to learning interesting things at home. We have a maths tutor in place to get her foundational skills happening and build up her confidence again. The rest of the subjects will be an online curriculum called EUKA which speaks to me as a teacher, I love it! Student-led learning is a great way to go but for now, this is a structured curriculum aligning with the Vic curriculum so if we decide to go back she will feel good about it. The good thing about home school is that you don’t even have to align to curriculum and you can follow your child’s interests to hit key learning areas. For now, as she has experienced a lot of trauma she can see what’s out there and who knows interest might grow in something she reads about.

Wednesday – clinic appointment

Today was a busy day in the clinic checking out the healing taking place on all the grafts on the face and arm. Some areas like the upper arm are healing really well and that is what the specialists are aiming for. The massive skin graft on the right arm is slowly getting there with silicone and a pressure garment and the left hand is improving as well. Patience is key for healing the skin. H is doing well with the donor spots on her legs and no infection – thank goodness and the scar from the burn is healing there too. So she has a bandage that can get wet which means that she can have a full shower at home for the first time in 3 weeks! The neck collar still has to be worn due to keeping the neck skin stretched as it heals.

As it turned out we had a second appointment at the hospital this afternoon that we did not find out about until we were at the hospital! It was 3 hours away at the time so we just came home had lunch and I enjoyed a cup of tea to relax and keep myself fully protected from any negative energy. The meditation I did last night with white light really helped me today as there is so much pain and heartache at the hospital. Anyway, the second appointment was for H’s clear facemask which is 3D printed. This is where I see technology shine! The 3D imaging from the first clinic visit was transformed into a mask that flattens the grafts on her face. She is really happy with it. They also had another one that was created in “old school style” of plaster of Paris on the face under general anaesthetic which did not fit so well at all. We agreed to share the research on the differences between the technology of old and new so our appointment ended in a photographic studio with H getting her picture taken so doctors can see how incredible this new technology is! H is pretty excited about this mask as I could hear it in her voice when she said I won’t look like a bank robber anymore!

Well, that is it for me today, I will eat and tonight I will float away. Goodnight!

Thursday – the decision to homeschool

As we were debating about what to do with the rest of the year and H’s healing we decided to homeschool. This was due to many factors and the number one was self-paced learning in a consistent manner. H has so much to do with her physio exercises, eating properly and taking meds throughout the day that it would be a very disjointed time for her to manage in a structured mainstream curriculum. We all felt – H included, that it was best to stay home and heal and fulfil the social duties with her friends by going to the park or meeting after school/weekends. We went to the school this afternoon and informed the staff of our application to the VRQA and once we have the OK we will gather the exit paperwork required from her high school. After our meeting H met her friends and went down to 7 Eleven for a Slurpee with her friends and hung out. So there you go, socialising with peers – done!

Friday – A professional development (PD) day with my work

It was my first time seeing my work friends since we finished work end of last year as I have not gone back at all due to H’s accident. My managers have been incredibly supportive of what we have been going through. We had a wonderful PD session with the Groupwork Centre and here is a beautiful metaphor to share that you always need your “wise one” in charge when dealing with difficult emotions and/or people. The circles consist of micro skills to apply when working within challenging situations. The day ended with a beautiful meditation by one of the staff from another kindergarten she shared cards with us to meditate on and mine was “Powerful”, I need to harness that energy to get through the rest of the year. Thank goodness my exercise practice of body combat is helping me get there.

Saturday – Hamilton matinee

It is amazing and the Australian cast did a wonderful job. This is my second time seeing this show live, my first time was in San Francisco. This old theatre needs a bit of love and a renovation as I felt a bit too close for comfort with my neighbouring seats! Especially in the times of Covid I put my little bubble of protection around me and enjoyed the show.

Sunday – relaxing at last

It was time to do some study and catch up on homeschool prep for the week. H was building a house in Minecraft which is pretty cool! There’s a little bit of organisation to do but as I have experience as a teacher, it is all a matter of gathering the resources you need and discussing with H how the week will look with English and Maths at the beginning of the day and then other fun subjects in the arvo. Homeschool is pretty flexible, so we are all thankful for that! One less stress is always a good thing!!

Hopeful 13/52

Monday – a random trip to the hospital

I awoke to the sound of gushing water outside where a mains pipe had burst which meant that our water was off and we couldn’t have a shower and had to scrounge around for water to make a cup of tea. The water was off for the whole day! Whilst I was trying to work out what to do, I got a call from the hospital – I know that number now when it comes up on my phone!! It was the physio to say that the balaclava had come in so H can come on in to try it on. It is a full head garment with holes for the eyes, nose and mouth (the ears were cut out with scissors). H wore it home on the car ride home and it was pretty uncomfortable after 30 minutes because it is so tight on the face . The plan is to wear it for 23 hours a day! As we were there, the physio took some photos with a measuring tape in the shot to show the makers of the balaclava measurements to make it fit a bit more comfortably.

Tuesday at home

Quite a mellow day, as I went to acupuncture and then came home relaxed. The feeling of driving after acupuncture at the right speed limit is pretty amazing. I got a call from the teacher from the hospital in the afternoon and we went through the transition back to school and it is a huge list of things to do! After I got off the phone with her I thought of home education, a few families in CA used to homeschool before covid made it popular!! I did a little bit of research and from an educational point of view it looks amazing and from H’s healing and well-being it would be so good for her. That way she can self pace the learning during the day and take breaks when she wants to, plus do her exercises, take time out to take her medicine and eat a proper lunch. The other bonus is that she does not have to wear a face mask over the balaclava to prevent her from getting covid. Oh yes there is still a pandemic out there and she is immuno compromised and the burns team want her to go back to school, no thank you!

Wednesday – clinic day at the hospital!

It was H’s birthday on Wednesday and she had a clinic visit first thing in the morning – whoo hoo! It was a dressing change and the doctors and nurses sang happy birthday and gave her a lovely gift. The clown doctor came in and was pretty relaxed just talking about the chickens in his pocket and sang happy birthday softly on his ukelele. All the dressings were down and H still has to stay on antibiotics as the thigh donor spot had staf bacteria growing on it. Just when we thought she was getting back on track with her gut microbiome then BOOM all the good gut bacteria are annihilated again! It was a very low key birthday for her for the rest of the day.

I came home from the hospital as the drs had steam rolled my thoughts on home education stating that it is important for her to socialise in the world around her and to not make decisions on how she looks. Well no, the first thing that came to mind for me is how inconsistent her learning will be once she goes back to school starting with multiple supports for her – beginning with staged return with one class a day, then out Wednesday morning for clinic, no PE or contact sports, she has to put sunscreen on before going outside, needs a key person from the well being team or an adult she trusts at school, safe place for a break (a pass out system), needs a high back chair or sit at the back of the room for her to rest her head, has to prepare her peers for her appearance with a Q&A session, a dedicated space for her and her friends, short visits to classes she enjoys as she builds up relationships with peers and teachers and there will be no pressure just small steps. To me, this is a huge ask for a public school because even just asking for extra work from 3 teachers they cannot even follow through that request. I am just sensing it will be a complete mess because I work in education and teachers in general are pretty much over worked and seriously low on time.

I have spoken to H and she will give it a trial next week and then we will see what she thinks. I have written up her lesson plan for the week as I have found a great resource aligning with the victorian curriculum. But as I discovered if you choose to home educate your child you do not even have to hit curriculum targets! The most important thing is to target key learning areas and write a plan for the learning for the year on what you will do with your child. I am pretty inspired by home education but as H is a very routine and structured learner, the pre packaged programs are the way to go. The other bonus you do not have to be a teacher, but it is helpful for me looking through the curriculum options. It is a big wide world out there in education and mainstream is a big part of it but it is a very traditional path. The importance of creating a love of learning is key as I have seen in my son who left high school to follow something he loves and is so happy and enthusiastic in his learning journey.

Thursday – chat with a counsellor

We are lucky to have found a teen counsellor for H to talk to she happens to be from the San Francisco Bay area as well which is just incredible. The video call went well and H is going to have regular check-in sessions with her and practice art therapy which will be wonderful. I researched homeschooling options and chatted to the VRQA and have a plan of action. We will see how her home education pans out next week before I put the application in, H has to see if it works for her. She is already socialising with her friends online and in-person so that box is ticked for the doctors. To her the peers in the class are whatever, so I am hoping all works out so she can heal in a relaxed environment at home.

Friday

Organising home school options and studying for me.

Saturday and Sunday

H was socialising and had a sleepover with her good friend who has supported her through this. It was so good to see her on Sunday after spending time away from us and enjoying herself. She knows what to do with her meds and exercises and she is great at routine, so no worries when she asked to go and stay. H’s spirits had lifted having some independence again and getting back into the swing of normal – whatever that looks like these days!

Hopeful 12/52

Monday and Tuesday @ home

Nothing exciting to report except that I have reduced my work hours and am going to do one subject at Uni. My work offered me time to cut back my hours because of the traumatic situation our family is going through. So I decided on looking after 3-year-old children for just over 6 hours a week and to do something that matters to me, which is getting through my units for Uni. I only have 3 subjects and 2 placements to go so I am looking forward to graduating hopefully soon!

Tomorrow is clinic dressing change day and I have had to chase up the hospital to get our appointment confirmed. Finally, we did and it is good to go, so hopefully, we will see lots of healed skin and maybe some more pressure garments this week. It is all such a surprise when we go to the clinic and I better pack the bag of splints, pressure garments and other items the hospital needs to look at on H. Plus I definitely need a book to read to pass the time away until we are seen by the burns team. Oh no, the clown doctors – that is stuff nightmares are made from!

Wednesday – the weekly clinic visit

We got to the hospital just in time for our appointment at 10:10am. After we checked in, we went to check out the cute meerkats hanging out in the sunshine. Then the text came through that we were ready to go into a room, craziness they were on time this week. We went in and everyone was ready to go and it was so exciting to see them all get into action. This week was a big one with all the dressings being taken down and redressed. First was the face and the surgeon asked H if she wanted to look at her face for the first time after the accident. She grabbed a phone and had a look and to our surprise (myself and the social worker) she was very stoic and said, “yeah it is how I imagined”. No emotions, nothing. Now because the skin grafts are healing the dressings were taking down completely. So no dressings on the head and she has a number 1 haircut and lots of grafts on her cheeks and forehead where we have to put silicone to flatten the scars. Next week she will be getting a pressure balaclava to wear for at least 2 years. The balaclava will just show her eyes, mouth, ears and will have breathing holes for the nose. Her neck was a bit of a concern for the surgeon and she mentined the skin is getting a bit thick from the grafts and we have to watch out for contracture which means that the skin will get tight beneath the neck and restrict movement. H does her exercises daily to help and she is also wearing silicon around her neck with a neck collar to keep her neck stretched out. All of this is going to continue for the time being.

Next they took down the bandages on the right arm where she had to regrow cellular structure in her arm so the skin could be grafted upon. The skin graft is enormous and extends from the back of the hand to just below the elbow. It has healed well and now she just needs to moisturise the hand and wear a long glove from her grafted fingers to her elbow. The upper arm is healing well where the skin graft is and she has to wear silicone and her pressure garment there as well. The left hand where she has a skin graft on her wrist is being flatted by the pressure glove and now she has silicon to flatten the scar of the graft.

After the arms the nurse took down the dressings on her thighs. She has a large skin graft on her right thigh and the rest of her thigh is where she had the donor skin taken from. The left thigh is all donor skin and the nurse took a swab for infection. The thigh was bleeding and did not look too good at all. The surgeon said to dress both the thighs until next week and as of Friday night we found out the thigh is infected so H is on another dose of antibiotics.

We went to the physio afterwards to measure for the balaclava and check out the movement of the neck and she showed us how to care for the face without all the dressings. H has silicon all over her face that we have had to cut out and make a patchwork over all the skin grafts. Finally the clinic session was over and we had the social worker in with us and afterwards we had a conversation about returning to school and life once the pressure garments were on. The surgeon is pretty keen for H to get back to some “kind of normal” hopefully her resilient nature will her her get there. We had meds to get so I left H with the social worker to have a chat. H and social worker soon returned and then H and I hung around the pharmacy to get the lower dose of drugs (she has to be weaned off the nerve blocker drugs she has had from the beginning) and get out of the hospital. Every Wednesday is our weekly clinic with the burns team, I do hope it is as efficient as it was this week for our future visits – we will see.

Thursday, Friday and Saturday – a visit from Aunty who lives at the Sunshine Coast

Yes, we are minimising visitors but when my sisted planned a trip because she was so worried about her niece – we were happy! I asked my sister to do a RAT test before hanging out with H and all was good. We enjoyed our time together and had dinner and chatted before H got tired on Wednesday. Thursday I went to CERES and enjoyed some sister time and we went out for lunch. Dinner was lots of fun as Aunty had bought with her a great game called Ramen Fury and it was the first time in months that I have seen my daughter smile and laugh. This made my heart sing and I was so happy, it was a special moment that I will treasure for a long while because we have not felt joy as a family for months! Being present in moments like this make you really appreciate that the time you have together is something to be grateful for and it was even better to have my sister with me having fun with us as well.

Sunday – birthday celebration with friends