After last night’s post, I want to follow up with Justine’s story today. Somewhere I had recently read that a child’s memory is first activated by some kind of traumatic experience. I don’t know if that is true, but it made me want to be very mindful of Justine’s first potential big-memory experience. Its nice to be available for both Justine and Maki in this time, as so often a child’s big experiences can happen outside of the family (good and bad) so I am hoping that we can all go through this together openly and lovingly. After all, they have their long lives ahead of them, and I hope this experience ends up being a positive memory for them, despite the pain and upset.
Justine already wanted to be a doctor before this ordeal, so it was appropriate that for her 4th birthday last week, she got a doctor’s uniform. How could we have known how soon she would actually be using her Doctor’s skills in a hospital?
Before we visited Daddy, she wanted to visit the statue of the Great Physician. She was not disappointed.
In the room, Justine kept telling the everyone to be quiet. She is so bossy…I mean, she has such great management skills.
Justine was out of the room at this point, exploring with the wonderful Lisa, Child Life Specialist. Dr. Nwagyu, our neurosurgeon (played by Forrest Whittaker in the film…he rolls his eyes when I tell him that) began, to my surprise, to remove the Brain Hardware in Vernon’s head. We are no longer needing to gauge the ICP (Brain Pressure) or add oxygen to the brain. Now that Dr. Nwagyu has done this, Vernon is slated for the elusive pelvic surgery on Thursday. And since this, we have learned from the current nurse on duty, they will begin to wean him from his heavy narcotics tomorrow, a little every twelve hours. This is the beginning of the waking stage! I can hardly believe its true!
Did I mention, Justine was making her rounds to the staff in the meantime. Here she is with my new best-friend, “Sister” Kris. Justine kept telling the staff, just in case they were wondering: “I’m not REALLY a doctor. I know a lot, but I still have a lot to learn.” I wonder if she was afraid they would ask for a diagnosis….or try to hire her.
She did great. Afterward, we just hung out and did some lighthearted stuff: lunch, a bit of shopping, a big-girl haircut.
But tonight, she did say, out of the blue: “Mommy, I had a great time at the hospital.”
We are so thankful for Vernon’s jump in recovery. We hold these things lightly but feel super-encouraged!