It’s after 1 A.M. and I should be sleeping, but I am waiting to give Molly her next dose of pain killers and unplug the ice machine attached to her knee before heading to bed. It’s been a long week.
Last Friday, we went in for Molly’s surgery. She was nervous, but in good spirits.
We were able to stay with her until she was whisked away for anesthesia at which point, Ben and I settled in on the couches in the waiting area. The doctor estimated her surgery would take an hour, and when that hour came and went we started to get a little nervous. Then the second hour came and went, and we started to get even more nervous. Just as we began to edge toward full on panic mode, we got word that her surgery had been completed successfully.
Her doctor is wonderful and came out to talk to us and show us pictures of everything he had done. Everything looked as expected, with the exception of a little bit of damage to the cartilage from when her knee cap dislocated (twice). There wasn’t anything to do for it though, it was just something that hadn’t show up on the MRI. As they had planned, they released the tendon on the outside of her knee and then took a piece of her hamstring to make a new tendon for the inside of her knee to hopefully keep her knee cap from dislocating in the future.
My only complaint through the whole process, was that the surgery center nurses wouldn’t let us come back and see Molly for a long time. It took her a long time to wake up and then even when she did, they told her they wanted to wait until she was feeling better before bringing us back. Molly finally just lied and said she was fine so they would let us come see her.
When we got home, we set up a bed for Molly in the library in order to avoid the stairs. The poor girl was miserable. I gave her pain meds every 4 hours around the clock and ran her ice machine for 20 minutes every hour. It was very similar to having a newborn, except without the snuggly baby to cuddle.
Molly is a fighter. She made it through that first night and woke up the next morning determined to go watch her team’s last soccer game. I was against the idea, but she would not be swayed, so I borrowed a wheel chair from a kind soul on our local “Buy Nothing” group, which the littler kids thought was the coolest idea ever, and drove Molly to her game.
To be honest, I have no idea how she did it. It must have been pure determination and grit. She sat and watched the game in the freezing wind and then lined up with her team to give high fives at the end.
The whole team posed for a picture in celebration of finishing in first place for their division. There are a few State Cup games left, but this was the last time that everyone would be together. The soccer club is merging with another club next month and all the teams will change. It’s been a good experience these last two years and I’m not sure what we’ll do with the changes happening.
The next few days were a blur. On Sunday Molly made it to an hour of church (her request, not my idea) and then the power went out about the time we were getting ready to run her home. They ended up cancelling church and sending everyone home early. We came home to a dark house (darn wind storm!) and no way to run the ice machine. Ben left that afternoon to go out of town with William and Henry, leaving me on my own.
We survived. It wasn’t pretty and both of us may have cried. Day 3 and 4 of recovery were brutal. I slept on the downstairs couch in order to better care for her, but neither of us got any sleep. The power came on briefly Monday morning in the wee hours, and then went back off until 8pm that night. Molly had been wanting to try school for a few periods, but mercifully the entire district had cancelled school because nearly everyone was without power.
The first thing I did when the power came on, was go buy ice so we could use her ice machine again. Hallelujah! Tuesday Molly tried school which ended up being a mistake because even in a wheelchair it wiped her out. (Some lessons have to be learned by experience, not told to you by your mother.)
After surviving that long day of school, Molly had to then go to her post-op appointment. This was not a fun appointment. I thank the high heavens that a friend was watching Oliver and Adelaide so that I didn’t have to bring them.
They removed the brace, took off all of the bandages, and put new tape on her incisions. (So many!) I thought the process was pretty cool, but Molly doesn’t do well with that sort of thing and had to close her eyes and lay down. Then the doctor came in and touched her knee and made her bend it and even though he told Molly to tell him if it hurt, she wouldn’t. She was being stubborn and tough as nails and wouldn’t admit weakness. Silent tears rolled down her face and I’m pretty sure soul-eating fire was spitting from her eyes. The doctor said everything looked beautiful and sent us on our way with a prescription for physical therapy.
We made the drive home from Seattle, through rush hour traffic no less, and lived to tell about it. Barely. She decided she wanted to move her recovery station upstairs to her own bed, but then fell down the stairs (luckily only 3) when she came down to get something. She didn’t want me to help her and I felt awful to see her hurting. That was the night I drove to Target and cried in the parking lot before going in.
Molly woke up the next day in so much pain that she consented to staying home from school. She spent the full day in bed and I refused to let her near the stairs again. I think she is finally getting the hang of this recovery thing. She went to 3 periods of school and then came home to rest. She’s staying put in bed and resting as much as possible. It turns out it takes a lot to stop this girl in her tracks. I admire her tenacity and determination. She’s one tough girl.