I know I am blessed – my baby is home recovering from open heart surgery, released after just 5 days post op. I feel the need to say this as what comes next may sound ungrateful.
Genevieve’s follow up appointment was uneventful. She looks good – incision is healing well, we have taken her off the Lasix and will be working on getting her off the blood pressure medication. Chest x-ray looks good showing that her partially collapsed lung has come back and everything seems to be on schedule.
So why am I feeling disappointed? I used to believe that I was a patient person but this entire experience has made me feel otherwise. We made it through the wait while she was in surgery, we made it through the initial recovery in the hospital and her release. She made amazing strides and she seems to be back to her old self in so many ways. All sass and attitude, dressing up in her favorite costumes, playing dolls and fighting us when it is time to do her homework. She races Harry through the house and as much as we yell for him to be gentle with her . . . she is the instigator. She climbs on the furniture, jumps from the couch and shows no sign of pain.
We have been strong for so long and we are ready to end this chapter. We are ready for life to return to normal. Unfortunately, Genevieve is not quite there yet. At her follow up appointment, her cardiologist said she looked great, she was such a “trooper”. With a smile, he said that she is on schedule to return to school on March 7th – that this date sounded “right”.
I believe that both Genevieve and I thought that her recovery was going so well that he would say that she could think about returning to school after February vacation. That she could get back to working on her group report on dolphins and seeing her friends in the classroom. I love my parents and am thankful to have them here to help. At the same time, I am ready for my house to be a little less crowded and to stop worrying about scheduling her school tutor and what activities to plan to keep her busy during the seemingly endless hours that she will be trapped in the blue house.
It will be 3 weeks from tonight before she will be packing her back pack and setting out her school uniform. There will be 10 more school days of her watching Harry head off to school while she is home. There will be countless more conversations about how it is not fair, how she is tired of being different . . .
She is ready now and to continue to wait doesn’t seem fair. It is all that which we cannot see – the germs that her immune system may not yet be strong enough to fight off. The importance of protecting all the work they have done to rebuild her aortic valve.
I also feel like I have reached my limit. I do feel as if I have been strong for too long and now I am just done. While this is not a set-back in any way . . . it feels like one and I have reached my breaking point. I just want to pull the covers over my head and cry – for both of us.
It continues to be a lot to ask of a 7 year old.