Sunday, September 27, 2015

After the 23rd surgery

Two quick funnies from Friday that I forgot to write in my last post! At one point before surgery, a nurse asked Elijah if his wristband info was accurate. She said, "Are you Elijah Daniel Porta?" He said yes and she asked, "Who are these two people with you today?" Elijah said, "That's my mom and that's the guy with the gigantic beard." :) Then after surgery the anesthesiologist came in to discuss how things went (this doctor was AMAZING, as all of them are at Children's). He said that E did great and then started laughing so sincerely. He said that Elijah was so polite as they were sedating him, saying things like, "No thank you, I really don't like that icky mask. Please take it away." That's our boy!

Elijah has bounced back from surgery like a total champ. I can hardly believe it! Literally the morning after surgery he was chipper and helpful and happy and rested. He was bouncing all through the house and eating through our fridge like caterpillars eat through milkweed. He was hardly in any pain this time, which was a huge difference from last time. This made me think about something. How often do we say a specific prayer a million times only to have it answered...and not give thanks?!

ALL of my very specific prayers were answered for this surgery. I prayed for a miraculous calm to take hold of Elijah in the OR. This was surgery #23 for him and all of the previous 22 surgeries have brought severe anxiety when the mask was put onto his face in the OR. I'm talking, multiple people having to hold him down because of body flailing and total anxiety/panic. :( According to Dan (because I have only gone in once and swore I'd never do it again), this time was a breeze compared to the last 22. That was an answer to prayer! My other main prayer this surgery was for Elijah to experience minimal pain afterward because last time was pretty bad for 2-3 days. He has had such minimal pain this time. Another answer to prayer. This time I have followed up with much thanks. It's so easy to overlook that part when your prayers have been answered, isn't it?

We are having some specific issues with behavior which pertains mostly to Elijah acting out aggressively toward Sammy. We have a plan in place for that and we're sticking with it, even if takes months for him to stop these behaviors. Consistency works best for him. Other than these issues, behavior has been overall so good for the most part. I remember just a few months ago barely making it through every day. The late afternoon hours were so rough that I wanted to run screaming from my house by 5:00pm. It's not like that anymore, even when homework and therapy is thrown in.

Elijah has been using the toilet on his own lately and I've been afraid to mention that to anyone in fear that he will regress again. I realized today that I have also been able to work on "other" things that even a few months ago wouldn't have been possible. He now gets into the car all by himself and puts on his own seatbelt. Even as recently as July, this did not happen. He also will put his shoes away when he gets home and put them on without complaint when it's time to go somewhere. Prior to July, I mostly did tasks like these for him. If I ask him to do a favor for me around the house, he'll (usually) do it happily. He now brings his plate to the counter without being asked after every meal. All of these things would have been tasks I wouldn't have even attempted three months ago, as we were all just doing our best to survive! I attribute most of this to his anxiety meds. They are another answer to prayer and I am grateful for them!

As always, I had a rough couple days after Elijah's surgery. It always hits me hard, even when it's a minor ordeal. I walked around in a stupor for most of the weekend and got nothing accomplished. Here's to a great week! Thanks for peeking in!

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