Monday, December 6, 2010

A Letter From JBS

Today, my friend Journey Beyond Survival is so sweetly helping me out as I am still sitting in a hospital room with my 11 year old daughter as she begins recovering from her spinal surgery. JBS has a lot of experience with hospitals, doctors, and watching your child go through some really painful things, as well as having had surgery herself as a teenager. She has such a wonderful voice and reading this post was exactly what I needed.

Dear Morgan,

Morphine makes you do weird things.  If your daughter happens to ask you, "When is that helicopter ever going to land?" please hide your dismay.  She is not hallucinating, nor is she quite as high as a kite.  No, your daughter is probably being tormented by the pump in her IV stand.  It is really cruel and unusual to have to listen to that while in a drugged haze and everyone treating you like the class clown.

Also, laughing should be discouraged.  Unless your daughter starts laughing first.  Then you should make all efforts possible to laugh as long as she does.  Do not be discouraged by her delayed stupor.  She WILL notice if you stop and stare in a horrified way.  The best way to accomplish this is to steal her breathing exerciser.  It will look like this:
Incentive Spirometer 2,500ml Capacity and No One-Way Valve

Make sure she is asleep and the nurses will not be coming in, then float that yellow disc at the top!  Keep it up.  LONGER!  Not only will this give you empathy for when she has to do it, but it will also give you the ability to laugh as long as her disturbed sense of normal laughing time dictates.

Make sure you gargle with iodine first, or something equally disinfecting.  Do not swallow.

When you go home, do both of you a favor and invest in tube socks.  There is nothing worse than having someone else put on your socks.  The heel is never quite right, and the seam always itches in the wrong way all day long.  Tube socks will prevent all such horrible interactions.  Especially since you both want to just be nice.  Remember, it's like having a toddler put your glasses on for you while your hands are tied behind your back.  Terribly difficult to be civil during such challenges.

Loneliness will be rampant for both of you.  It is difficult to be cut off, shut out.  Just remember that it doesn't make it any better for her if you are equally imprisoned.  Maybe her friends could come to "help study" while you go out grocery shopping.  Or you could go to yoga.  Or skydiving.  At any rate, it would give you each some space and time away from each other.  Please attend to this matter most attentively.

It could make or break your recovery.

Oh, and hers too.  

Kisses, hugs and brainwaves,

1 comment:

  1. JBs is too funny but all she said is too true. I hope your day gets easier. And whooo on all the stair climbing the other day that amazing. I think I will go do that here at my house for cardio today. Thanks for the inspiration.