Today marks five days here at the hospital. It feels like she has made little progress. Alice is still unable to eat. She has pretty much gone on strike with taking sips of water, and her body is relying on the fluids being administered into her veins from the drip. We have been waiting for bowel sounds, and they are not forthcoming. Until the elusive sounds from the bowel come she will be unable to start eating.
One thing has improved is her spirits. She is now able to sit up and do short activities. We have been so grateful of the play-worker providing activities that take her interest. We are also grateful to friends who are visiting. It breaks up the day perfectly. It gives Alice some new attention, and gives me some new adult conversation. I must sound like a crazy woman as I quiz each new visitor and drain them of all news of the outside world.
Charlie is taking over care today. Before I hand over to him, I need to make sure that he has as much useful information as possible, such as where the parents room is, where the toilets are, what to ask the Doctor, and so on. Although I am anxious to get home and see to our children and spend some time with them, and I have certainly had my fill of hospital life, I feel a strange reluctance to leave Alice. This is not a reflection on Charlie – he will as equally competent as me in surviving hospital life and looking after Alice. It’s more a reflection of how much Alice, despite all her foibles, quirks and difficulties, has become such an important person in our lives. Seeing her in hospital, so weak and helpless in those first few days after surgery, has reminded me just how vulnerable she is, and how much we love her.
As I head to the car I offer a prayer that Alice will continue to make a recovery, not just from surgery, but from all that has affected her life so far. I know that we are part of the answer to that prayer, and I am struck as I drive home of what a privilege it is, despite the frustrations and exasperations, to have this little girl in our lives.
A Less Ordinary Family – Foster Care Blog