We have been blessed with two special daughters and two sons from Eastern Europe. We welcome you to follow our journey as a family of five, waiting to travel and pick up #6, with the ins and outs of family, education, farm life, and love!

Saturday, January 21, 2012


I wrote this post mostly as a reminder to myself of Mila's first days home after surgery, since we will have to do another surgery down the road.

Mila has been home for 48 hours.  The last two days have been interesting, challenging, and a great learning experience for all of us. 
The first 72 hours they asked us to keep ice on her incisions to help minimize swelling.  Her cast needs to stay elevated.  She is on two different kinds of pain medication.  Diaper changing is an entirely different experience.
Mila had her hamstrings and abductors tendons released.  She has a 3-4" incision on both of her inner thighs in her groin area.  These incisions are very close (if not on) to where her diaper rides.  She has a good bit of bruising and swelling. 

She tends to cry and whimper when she is going to be moved or have her diaper changed.  I think most of her cries are out of fear, more than pain.  She has a high startle reflex and fears of falling over, so I think the "unknown" of a new cast makes her feel even more insecure.  She will ask to be moved, then when her Papa or I come to move her, she starts to whimper, say she's too scared and she'll just stay where she is.
There are all kinds of things I didn't think about having a big cast on that differs the way we do things at home.  When she's sitting in the recliner, no big deal. 

Bed time, she is currently downstairs in the extra bedroom and Papa is sleeping in the room with her, so that is a small adjustment.  Bath time (or lack there of) and meal time has been tricky.

Mila typically sits in a Fischer Price Space saver seat at the table.  With her legs so far apart, she doesn't fit in that well.  We tried a couple things, but for now, we put her kids recliner in the kitchen next to the table and I feed her in that. 
She cannot get her cast wet.  One of the suggestions the hospital gave us to wash her hair was cutting a trash bag, putting it under her head while she was laying on the couch, and make a funnel out of the trash bag so when you poured water on her hair, it would right into a bucket you had put on the floor.  That sounded like a disaster to me, so thankfully I was able to bring a Tumble Form chair home and rest it against the base of the shower.  We used the hose of the shower head to wash her hair. (It was somewhat like a beauty salon wash bowl kind of set up.)
Diaper changing is entirely different. I'm working hard to be gentle since she is so scared that anything will hurt.  When she gets scared, her muscles tense, which sometimes makes her feel heavier and harder to lift.  Diaper changing takes me twice as long as it did before.  We are learning how to improvise, be creative, and use muscles and maneuvers we didn't know we had.

She complains that her knee hurts, and when I ask, she always says it's her left knee that hurts.  Then she asks me to check it, and asks "Mama, what can you do to make it feel better?"  I can't see her knee because of the cast, nor do I know how to make it better.  I'm hoping it's just a swelling issue and it will get better in a week or so.

View from Mila's chair towards the table.

Though the first two days have been interesting, we are all getting into a new pattern of "normal" for the next six weeks.  I'm thankful that Mila is only 30 pounds at this point.  I can't imagine when we have to do the next surgery.  I'm thankful that God has lined up family and friends to help us while we all learn a new way for the next six to eight weeks.

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