August 04, 2006

2 1/2 weeks home...August 4, 2006

As I write this today, Chloe's been home from the hospital for 2 1/2 weeks. It seems like longer for some reason. We've had a pediatric nurse come to check on Chloe 1-2 times a week. She (Erin) takes Chloe's temperature and listens to her heart and breathing and then has me undo the bandage and checks on her leg. And she also keeps me stocked with supplies for the dressing changes. Then we have a physical therapist (Nancy) come in 2 times a week to work with Chloe on basic moving around stuff. She makes sure all of Chloe's muscles are getting a work out and she teaches her how to scoot on the floor, hop on one foot, get up on the couch or bed and go down the stairs. The good thing is, Chloe really likes Nancy and so her sessions normally go really well! I really like her too, she seems to really have a caring heart and enjoys being with Chloe. Recently, she's worked with Chloe on hopping with a kid sized walker. Thank the Lord Chloe is really coordinated because she does really well with this. It will give her more mobility and she's happy with that. Nothing stops this girl...it's how God made her and it will help her to get through the days ahead.
When we came home, I was having to change her bandage 2 times a day, morning and night. I dreaded each time and Chloe hated it. She wouldn't let anyone come near her so that made things quite difficult. We just had to press through but I pretty much came unglued after each time. Having to do something for your child that they hate and scream and cry and beg you to stop really takes its toll after a while. We give her medicine to calm her before each change but I'm not sure how well it works. She is on regular pain medicine that she takes 2 times a day. The changes don't seem to hurt her it just seems more anxiety related and who can blame her?
July 27th she had her first follow up appointment with the resident Doctor who operated on her. This Dr had NO bedside manner and just took off the bandage herself with Chloe going crazy. I was really upset as I a the only one Chloe will let do it and the Dr never even asked me. She took it off without soaking the dressing like I do at home so it doesn't stick. It was not fun and extremely traumatizing for Chloe. On top of all that, we had had a miscommunication between this Dr and the at home nurse and I had been told to change the bandage just 1 time a day, which apparently was not what the Dr wanted. So it looked to her like there was a slight infection going on with Chloe's leg. She wanted us to go back to changing it 2 times a day.
So after waiting for several hours to see the Dr, we left the hospital about 5 hours later very discouraged. The Dr wanted to see Chloe back in a week.
Yesterday, we had our second follow up appointment. This time I informed the nurse I would be undoing the dressing as well as redressing it. By some miracle the Dr had sensitivity this time and allowed me to do that and stayed out of the room as much as possible to relieve Chloe's fear. She said that Chloe's leg looks good and clean, the cadiver skin has been sluffed off which is normal. The Dr discussed the situation with another Dr who works with burn victims and skin grafting and his opinion was that it was too big of a wound to heal naturally. It would simply take too long for Chloe's leg to heal on it's own. So they've decided to do a skin graft of Chloe's own skin.
She is scheduled for the operation on August 14th and will be admitted to the hospital for 3-5 days. They will take a very thin layer of skin from her upper thigh and use that for her leg. So they'll have to watch both wounds for a couple days. The Dr says that using her own skin will be much better as her leg will heal very quickly. So we had mixed emotions about this Dr visit. We want her to heal quickly but dread another stay in the hospital.
So until the operation, I am just changing the bandage every couple of days which is a nice relief for us all. It's a different kind of dressing which seems to be easier and more comfortable for Chloe. She is also in a knee imobilizer instead of the original splint. It seems to be working better and keeping her knee straight, plus it has a kid friendly Snoopy design instead of tan plastic.
We can also now get her leg wet in the shower. Before we were just putting a little bit of water in the tub and put her leg in a waterproof cast cover which worked ok. We'll have to find some sort of plastic kid chair and sit her in it in the shower and wash her that way.
If y'all think of it, you could pray for us as we're in the middle of some insurance issues. Because Joel had changed jobs a few weeks before the accident happened, our application for insurance was still in process. So we had no insurance when Chloe was in the hospital. We applied for Maryland Medical Assistance and that did go through and they pay for everything for a child who has no insurance, which is a huge blessing. Well, now our application has been processed for Blue Cross but they won't pay for anything related to this incident for 9 months. And apparently we can't have Medical Assistance and be covered by another insurance. So we're trying to figure out if we need to just cancel our other insurance to keep MA or what. I think that's what we'll do, it's more important to have Chloe's things covered fully than for any of us.
That pretty much catches everything up to date. We've been just surrounded with love, support, meals, cards, gifts, money and prayers since this happened. It's been such a blessing to have our family and friends gather round us physically or spiritually during this crisis. We are truly blessed by you all! I'll keep posting as I can so everyone can be updated. Thanks so much for your love and prayers for our family!!

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