It’s been good being back in Kentucky even though the proximity of the ocean in our old West Palm Beach home kept the air less humid. But, I missed seeing the country. I never realized how truly awesome it is to look out upon the land in front of me to see miles of rolling hills and farm lands. In West Palm Beach, the only long distance views you get of your environment is the mile of interstate or congested road in front of you. Here in my area of Kentucky, it’s largely free of massive buildings, billboards, parking lots, and obnoxious signs.
Drew is glad to be back in Kentucky as well. Anytime we are driving anywhere, he always asks, “Are we still in ‘Tucky?” His favorite part being back in Kentucky is playing with his best friend, our neighbor. He’s very excited about starting school again. And, I’m excited as well. I got the list of school supplies to purchase and have to say I’m very excited to go shopping!
It’s been over a year since our life has been our definition of normal (I don’t think anybody would describe our pre-surgery life as normal – or our current for that matter – but it was normal to me.) And, now that Drew is fixator-free, we’ve gotten to enjoy a lot of things that we’ve been missing out on due to the limitations of his fixator. Drew is delighted to fit inside a swimming pool floatie ring which was impossible before. He loves to spin around. Dressing him is now different since I can purchase shorts for him in a store and literally just put them on with no alterations to accommodate a fixator. Even though it’s a little bit of a hassle to shimmy the pants up around his braces. And, Drew has returned to using the toilet and wearing underwear. No more diapers for him! Yay! Overall, it’s great that he’s back to using the toilet like any kid his age, but there is a small part of me that finds it almost inconvenient. He’s done so much growing since we last held him on our hip that
despite my anticipation to hold him up so close, he’s actually quite heavy. My back is already starting to protest. Then there is the problem with having short arms and peeing standing up. Just think that through and you will probably understand what I mean. I have to act like his arms and when it comes to a babysitter or a teacher at school, I don’t know what the rules are regarding that type of contact. (And, even if he sits down, one must still provide some gentle downward nudging to avoid peeing straight out LOL). And, it never seems to fail: Drew always needs to go to the bathroom whenever I’m in the middle of breastfeeding little brother. Now, our next step is to figure out an adaptable solution to help him be more independent in the bathroom. I’ve heard of a lot of kids like Drew using a bidet and many use tools to assist with cleaning.
So, now we are just two days away from his open heart surgery. We are leaving to Nashville this afternoon in order to be present at a pre-op appointment early morning tomorrow. Then, his surgery is on Thursday. Even though he’s been through so many surgeries in the last 14 months and should be routine for us, I am anxious thinking about giving him up to the surgical team. Maybe it’s because of the seriousness of the surgery or maybe it’s something else, but I was almost in tears thinking of the moments leading up to the separation. Is Drew going to be scared? Are they going to let us escort him all the way into the OR like they did in Florida? (His last heart surgery in Vanderbilt, we didn’t get to go all the way back to the OR and I had to watch them carry a crying Drew down a long hallway.) How nerve-wracking is the wait going to be? Ugh….so many thoughts. But, hopefully the last year of consecutive surgeries will have provided me with enough strength to get through this one.
Finally, I’d like to thank the Durbin Knights of Columbus in Morganfield for raising $1,000 for Drew (again!) at their Bingo! night!