Recovery from this surgery has been up and down. On one hand, she is doing much better than I expected. On the other hand, when she has her "down" periods, they are pretty grueling.
When she's feeling up, her highs are very high. But when she feels badly, she's in pretty awful shape, and it just rakes at my nerve endings to see her hurting so badly. Though she typically handles anesthesia and medications well, this morning the narcotics caught up with her and she had several hours of severe nausea and misery. I immediately cut out the narcotics and switched to over-the-counter painkillers. It's hard to know exactly how to handle pain with kiddos this age, since it's difficult for them to convey exactly what sort of pain they're in and, like animals, they tend to try to conceal just how much they hurt.
Here she is reading a Petit Prince pop-up book that her Lao Lao got her as a recovery present.
It is really quite spectacular - a work of art, and does the original great credit.
This is my personal favorite part of the story, the part I loved most as a child, and still do as an adult.
Thank you, Lao Lao, for this well thought-out gift.
Q is recovering bit by bit, and I am so very thankful for her resilient and indomitable spirit that gives her the strength to take in enough nutrition, and rally when she is able.
Of course she looks beautiful, in spite of the swelling that keeps changing shape around her face, in spite of the faint bruising on the sides of her nose and the unnatural redness underneath the eyes. As for her speech (our main concern with this surgery) it is still hampered by the pain at the back of her throat and into her spinal column. But now and then, when her pain is managed, and she is feeling strong, an entire sentence pops out with the consonants sounding crisp and bold, and my heart flutters with hope.
"O-KAY Mommy!" she said to me in the bath this morning, with a big, strong, hard "K" that she could never before manage. I could hardly believe my ears, and after high-fiving with me several times, she went on to repeat the phrase until her throat got too sore to manage it.
As for me, I'm on the brink. It is unspeakably hard to see your beloved in so much physical distress. And when she asks me "Why, Mommy? Why?" I just want to strike out at the heavens for doing this to my child. Every cry, every pallid glance, every moan eats away at my nervous system and I am exhausted from worry.
I know it will get better. I know it will. And I know she is already ahead of the curve. But it doesn't make it any easier to bear.