A Henry Update {Denver, CO: Personal Update}

It’s been a week. A week since we arrived with the dawn to Children’s Hospital and handed our beloved child over to a team of talented Surgeons, Nurses, and hospital staff. I will never forget turning around to get one last look at my sweet boy, laying asleep so small on a table in the middle of a room and lights and people that dwarfed him. It’s funny how everyone always comments on how tall he is for his age, and his 32 pounds are getting pretty hard to carry around as my hips give-way to a burgeoning belly…but that day he looked so small. Tears threatened every hour as we waited to hear updates about how things were going: they just opened, it’s taking longer than they thought, they’re through the bone, they’re taking the skin graph, and they’re closing. Finally, after 4 hours, we were holding him again. Trying to comfort him through the pain, the drug induced haze and all the unknown tubes connected to his little body. It was a long 36 hours, but by noon the next day we were cleared to come home, and comfort our boy in our own space.

Every day since has had it’s own ups and downs, but more ups than downs. Narcotics gave way to Tylenol within a few days, our bed at night gave way to his own, and being stationary on the couch gave way to the crab crawl all over the house. 11 days left with his non-weight bearing cast and then we will see the gift of four toes instead of three. We will see what 100 stitches looks like in such a tiny space and how they can take skin and create skin. We have a lot to be thankful for.

For those wondering, there will be another cast till Christmas, but hopefully it will be a walking cast. We will be discussing if another surgery is necessary with his Surgeon in the coming weeks, but initial information says that we will be doing this again sooner rather than later to separate the remaining two toes. (They can’t do all the separations at the same time because it’s too traumatic on the redistributed circulation of the new toes and one or more of the toes would most likely die.)

For now, we will enjoy each day getting a little easier and each night being full of a little more sleep. Henry’s spirits are high and he is pretty much himself. He can be moody at times and gets frustrated very easily, but distractions abound in our home and there will be no living with him when all is said and done for all the spoiling that has happened from friends and family. Of course, we think he deserves every bit of it.

I don’t think it’s quit sunk in that we’re on the other side of this big mountain in Henry’s life, at least for now. I can only compare it to the anticipation of having a baby, but the relief that comes at the end of labor when all is said and done and well, it hasn’t come yet for this. I know it’s all over in my head, and the road to recovery doesn’t seem as daunting as I’m amazed every day by my Little Man’s incredible rejuvenation. He really is just the most incredible. The haze is just lifting slowly I guess. We’ll get there.

The only other thing I can say about this whole experience, is that we couldn’t have done it alone, and we are so grateful to have been so surrounded by family and friends. Grandparents have sacrificed so much to be with us and back and forth. Friends and siblings have showered us with prayers, meals and toys/activities for Henry. Every visit, prayer, text, message, call, comment, has touched our hearts and lifted our spirits. We talk a lot about investing in friends and community, but this is why we do that…to support one another in the hard times. So thank you, each of you, whether we’ve seen your face every day, or you remembered us though we haven’t talked in ages, thank you for your prayers and support. We can’t wait to share all these stories and blessings with Henry when he’s old enough to know and understand.

I’ll check back in soon. We find out this baby’s gender soon, (oh ya! I’m pregnant!) and when the cast comes off. I also want to share some of the amazing resources (music, books, etc.) that encouraged us and got us through this time.

And now, for the shooting stars cast. Thank you Dr. Chang!