Monday – Day 38 of Platypus ward
Today was my day at the hospital so I went in at my usual time around lunchtime and H was enjoying a bit of drawing with her teacher Becky. I took off to have lunch and H was still working away using her left hand to do her drawing which was so lovely to see. I waited till her lesson was over and then we chatted over lunch and she told me the dietician has come by and prescribed zinc for her skin this morning. The good thing is that she is 41 kg and has put on some weight with all the overnight feeds. The results of the rest of her bloodwork to check her nutritional status will come back next week. Soon it was time for the physio to come by with her two physio students from the University of Melbourne sharing the knowledge of the rehabilitation of burns patients. Today H had to stretch the skin on her face vertically as well as do her neck exercises to make sure she has the movement of her neck in all directions. She finished her exercises did a bit of a wordle and then off we went for a little walk down the lifts and around the ward and we had to stop because her thigh was so sore. Slowly we are getting there.
Tuesday – Day 39 of Platypus ward
Wow, it is March already and H has been in hospital for 42 days the longest time we have ever spent apart. This is our calendar and what was happening this time last year and I do hope H gets out of the hospital before her birthday at the end of March. It was my hubby’s morning at the hospital today and he said she was in good spirits and did a longer walk than usual around the place. She also had her teacher come by and they set up a jigsaw on the couch to do to break up the day. H is practising some tunes on my ukelele in hospital which is another outlet to pass the time as it is all just a waiting game now for her healing.
The domino effect of H’s accident is that I have now deferred University for the teaching period (which is the next 3 months) and I cannot work due to the high-risk environment of the kindergarten and covid (this means if I was to go back it would me end of April). So that reduces my idea for some sort of normalcy in life, it is important to H’s immunity safe from germs. It looks like I just need to ride it out as the H’s mum to love and care for her when she is allowed to come home again. Until then I am building up my own shield around me (just like those pathogens) with lots of self-care – starting with acupuncture tomorrow, float tank hypnotherapy, myotherapy, kinesiology and massage as well. Yep, this is far away from the medical model but it works for me. Alcohol does nothing except make it worse so it is best to stay healthy and strong and be prepared for whatever the universe has in store for the next phase.
Wednesday – Day 40 of Platypus ward
It was an early start today as we had someone come to our house early morning to put up a fence, some incomplete work from our house build back in 2020. So it was all systems go with getting my exercises done so I could be out for an acupuncture appointment at 10am. I was really thankful that I went for acupuncture today as I feel so much better in my body and mind now – way more relaxed. It was my turn also to go in and visit H at the hospital and as I checked in I was greeted with a familiar face from the gym. It was great as I had not seen her since the gym closed during the lockdown and back then she was studying physiotherapy and was so close to graduating which took ages. So we had a quick chat and now she wants to be an OT – it’s so funny when your worlds cross in unfamiliar places, hopefully, I see her again. When I went up to see H, she was just finishing her lunch of a felafel and cucumber sandwich, yummo! So we had a bit of a chat before the nurse coordinator came in to let us know that H will be off for her dressing change tomorrow around 12pm. It was great as I had not seen the nurse coordinator for weeks and had some questions on what the plan is from here. The response was we will see tomorrow to see how the graft has taken and the surgeon will let us know. Still hoping and wishing with double fingers crossed that the face and arm graft have taken.
While I was at the hospital a friend texted me and told me she was in the Emergency Department with her daughter, so when I left H as she had a school lesson and wandered down to Boost juice to say a quick hello!
Thursday – Day 41 of Platypus ward
Today was a day when I stayed home all day by myself without anyone else in the house – now that was luxury! Usually, with people working from home and a student with a varied school timetable, there is always someone here. Today my hubby was waiting and waiting for H to go into the theatre so he stayed all day – as she did not go in until 4:20pm this afternoon. Yesterday the theatre list said she was scheduled for 12pm, either there are a lot of sick children around or there is a lack of anesthetic doctors as it took an extra 4 hours for her to go to her dressing change today. She gets bumped down the list whenever an emergency case comes along so the day drags on and on as she has to fast from 7am.
The doctor called at 5:20pm to share the news that everything was done and it went really well, with the info of:
- no vacuum dressing on the right arm as the skin graft took well with the sign that the skin is pink and all is well with the arm bandaged up
- for her face H still has the head wrap and the skin grafts are taking really well with healing skin underneath with dry looking grafted areas where the skin is pink and stuck down
- skin healing in the T zone of H’s face is looking really good
- dressing change of face and the forearm maybe earlier in the week at the ward and they will give her a sedative for the first dressing change for her face like they did with the acetic acid face cleans
- the doctor took photos and we are welcome to see them
- H may be getting home at the end of next week but they will see how the dressing changes go
I will be going in tomorrow to see how she is feeling as tonight she will be resting after the anaesthetic, so it is best to leave her to sleep. Today it felt like the weight and worry of the last 6 weeks seemed to leave my body. Finally, to have some good news was something to celebrate so we are off to ramen tomorrow night. Thankful for all the wonderful healing energy sent to H to get her through this challenging time in her life, there is so much more ahead of us but this last skin graft was a big one that needed to take.
Friday – Day 42 of Platypus ward
Today I went into the ward to find an empty bed! H was out getting herself a new splint with her OT for the newly grafted skin on her right arm for the daytime. Plus, she has a nighttime splint she has to wear as well. I then met up with the nurse coordinator and she had lots of news from the surgeon where:
- There will be a full body bath under sedation mid morning Monday with endone, nitrous and another drug and they will see how H goes as she has not had a top to toe bath for the last 6 weeks.
- The doctors will just assess how she’s going pain wise with the healing of her burns Monday to see if they can let her go home soon.
- The burns coordinator will be back next week to help organise a dressing change on Wednesday at clinic.
We left a thank you gift for the team today and they were all absolutely thrilled with their Smalty goodness! Everyone at the RCH is amazing and we are so grateful for everything they have done for us. It is so good to see some light at the end of the hospital stay, maybe it will be over? I chatted to H and for her to come home she needs to eat more, as her metabolism will be working overtime healing her body. I asked her what she would like and she wanted a selection of nuts. So I went to Terra Madre in Brunswick to get her snacks – now I know where to go to get the good food for when she comes home, whenever that will be next week? Fingers crossed again!
Saturday and Sunday – Day 43 and 44 of Platypus ward
My hubby went to visit Saturday with a meat pie for H as we have to fill her up with lots of food to heal her body. I stayed at home for a bit of a break from the hospital to catch up on some reading and yoga in the morning. Later in the arvo, I went to visit my friend and we went for a walk with her dog – just the 3 of us which was lovely. It was so relaxing just to drive somewhere else that is not the hospital route. So many beautiful trees are in her suburb and this beautiful silver princess had so many gum nuts hanging down, it would have been so beautiful in bloom. H was doing well and went for a long walk around the hospital and found the meerkats.
On Sunday I had a zoom call with my neighbour from CA and it was so good to catch up and talk about everything that has happened. We used to spend hours together having picnics down at the park with the children when they were little, I miss her so much! Afterwards, my son and I went to the hospital to say hi to H to break up her day. The best time to visit the hospital is on the weekends as it is so quiet! It was a little exercise for H as she has to move out and about and she also told me her donor spot on her leg is feeling so much better. It will be back to the burns bath for her tomorrow morning and then we will see what the next steps are from there. This week is looking to be a big one with my appointments at the optometrist, the float tank and acupuncture plus with some luck having our family back together again!