Where to begin. It has been a tumultuous couple of weeks. Once Bryn's pain was finally under control, we were released from Children's and came home at midnight last Sunday. She was so glad to be home...I was so glad to be home. Unfortunately, we weren't there very long.
At 4:00 a.m. on Tuesday morning, she was ambulanced to the Abbotsford Hospital then ambulanced from there back to Children's in Vancouver with a suspected ruptured appendix. I have never seen her so sick. For 36 hours I waited with my wonderful friend, Cathy, as the surgeons flipped back and forth between taking her into surgery, then delaying as they ran test after test. Her appendix hadn't burst, but she was suffering from what they suspected was a serious post-op infection and were pumping three different massive doses of antiobiotics through her IV for the next three days.
It was a terrible time. The positive side was that the pain from this episode was so bad it completely surpassed the pain from her leg (if you can call that positive). After two days, she began to respond a little more, was able to partially sit up, was still unable to eat or bear the pain in her abdomen, but at least was no longer suffering the extremely high fever or very high heart rate. The most difficult thing was her discouragement. "Why is this happening?" she wanted to know. I had no answers. Why indeed.
We came home very late on Thursday night and she has been steadily improving, but her colouring is still grey and pale. She has had to resume her physiotherapy and trying to use her crutches with the steel external frame that is attached by 6 large steel pins through the outside of her leg, which seems cruel considering how awful she has been feeling, but necessary. I knew things were getting better when after I had insisted she get up on the crutches, she looked at me and said, "I am really starting to question your parenting techniques, Mom!" The sass was back, so the energy must be returning.
Since being home the past 46 hours, she has already improved so much in maneovering herself. It is amazing. Why is it that children are so much better at finding ways to meet their challenges? Even so, it was difficult for the other children having to be left at home again. Waking up in the morning to find your mother and sister had disappeared in the night was not easy. Thank God for my friend, Sharon, who had flown out from Saskatoon to stay with us. They loved being with her which made a very stressful time a little bit easier.
This is a picture of the Ilizarov Frame attached to the outside of her left leg. It isn't pretty! One morning a nurse came in and said (to me), "Are you ready to learn how to clean the pinsites?" (Where the rods pierce her leg). I said..."No." She was a little annoyed. "I can't send you home if you can't do the cleaning!" she said sternly. "I can't do the cleaning if I'm lying passed out on the floor!" I replied, in complete honesty. Just looking at them up close made my knees weak (this is a nice picture of them all cleaned up...believe me!) Bryn piped up, "I'll do it! Teach me, I'll clean them!" And she has, twice a day ever since and has done a superb job. So I'm told...I still can't look very closely.
We have been talking a lot lately about choices. It would be so easy to focus on the negative, to become weary from the battle of believing that God is for us and not against us. I have to admit, I was angry as we got into that ambulance at four in the morning. I was angry that she just couldn't relax, heal, have things go smoothly. I was angry that I had to once again leave behind three children, that Myron wasn't there to help. I was angry watching her suffer so much after working so hard to overcome. It wasn't fair. It isn't fair. I once again kicked at my faith and there was a tiny part of me that wished it would just explode and dissipate, that I wouldn't have to believe or trust or call on a God that continued to confuse me. But I knew He was there, darn it, knew (after I had calmed down again) that He loved her, had raised many to pray for her, and continues to be for us. And as I said to the paramedic in the ambulance, "It can't be for nothing. The biggest tragedy would be if we didn't allow all of this to change us for the good." But that is a choice, isn't it? I am here to believe when the children can't; they are here to believe when I am unable. Together, we will find a way through to the next day.
Thank you to those who continued to pray, even without recent updates. The prayers were needed so much more than you even knew, and I bless you for your faithfulness!
(PS- I know I said I would give brief updates, but the therapeutic benefits of ranting in type once again gripped me!)