Yesterday, Squeaker got moved out of the PICU, but he was refusing to move. PT had come to work with his range of motion with his neck and did some exercises with him, which he fought tooth and nail. He didn’t want to be moved at all. when the doctor came to check on him, we told him that Squeaker didn’t want to move at all and kept complaining that he hurt, and the doctor says, “What? Even after day one?” Put it all in perspective. Of course. He had just had surgery the day before. Why would he want to move?
|When we first went out.|
We still had to do the neck exercises with him, and I hated it because he cried when we tried. When a nurse came to check in on us because we had paged about him being in pain, she suggested that we put him in a stroller and take him for a walk. Put the stroller in places where he had to turn to look at things. He hated us for putting him in the stroller. He kept saying he wanted to go back to the bed. But he did actually pick his head up and turn to look at The Grinch, which was painted on two different windows. That was the most progress we made in that moment.
We worried because we really had hoped he’d be out of the hospital today. But the criteria for being released were for him to be taking his medicine by mouth, eating, and walking. At this point, he had barely eaten, he was fighting taking oral medications, and he most definitely wasn’t walking. I expressed my concern to one of the nurses. I was struggling with where the line was. How much do I push him? I didn’t want to push him too hard, but he did need to be pushed to move some.
Many people had already been praying for Squeaker–praying for a successful surgery and for a quick recovery. I asked people once again for their prayers. I wanted him home in time for Christmas.
Later on last night, we took him out in the stroller again. Again, he fought us. But he expressed interest in The Grinch. We took him farther this time. Down to the lobby of the hospital. The Manager had me pull up to the fountains and gave me a penny to give to Squeaker. I handed him the penny and he threw it in the fountain. We got rid of all of our change before moving on. The Manager suggested wheeling him over to the plants to have him look at those. There was also a piano there. I had an idea that maybe he’d want to turn his head to look at the piano because he loves music. Maybe he’d even want to touch it. So I mentioned the piano.
|Maestro. Play it again!|
Next thing I know, Squeaker’s trying to move the tray of the stroller out of the way. “Get me out,” he says, “I want to walk.” And he didn’t just walk. He practically ran to the computer. I did my best to keep up with him so make sure he didn’t fall. He still had the IV in his arm and everything. He went over to the piano, slid onto the seat, and told me to sit with him. We played the piano together and tears streamed down my face. There he was, laughing, leaning against me, and smiling. He was up, moving around. All of my prayers had been answered.
|“I got to eat all this beautiful food!”|
We showed the surgeon the pictures of him playing the piano this morning as Squeaker skipped around the floor and talked excitedly about the piano.
Today, it was impossible to keep him still. We took him down to the cafeteria for breakfast, where he got excited about the bacon and the “ice cream” (yogurt parfait). He played the piano some more. He pushed the stroller he had been riding in less than 24 hours ago all over the floor and around the halls. His nurse paged the doctor on call a few times to have him released. He was jumping, skipping, and running. And frankly, scaring the crap out of me. Those hospital rooms are so small, and it would be so easy for him to hurt himself by falling off of the bed or slipping on the floor and running into something. He would not and could not be contained.
|My happy boy.|
The nurse commented on how much he was moving around and said, “I’ve never seen a child doing so well on Day 2.” That’s how resilient my little man is. Nothing keeps him down.
And when asked about the piano at dinner by my mom, he talked about it with happiness, but then said, “I never get to play the piano again!” He sure did love that piano. Music is a great motivator with him. It sure did create some magic for us yesterday. When I look at those pictures of him playing the piano, I think about how blessed we are to have our healthy little boy back. And then I think, “How the heck am I going to keep him from over-exerting himself for two weeks?”
|Dancing around my parents’ living room.|