Today marks the end of Avery’s third week in the PICU. Her recovery from her Sunday surgery has not moved as quickly as hoped and anticipated. As of this writing, she is still intubated. The plan is to have her breathing tube removed tomorrow morning, but as that’s been the plan for the last two mornings, I’m just going to wait and see.
Apparently, the build-up in Avery’s chest and neck is far more serious than initially thought. The nurses say they’re still pulling quite a bit of unwanted fluids when they suction Avery. The doctors hope that all this draining will assist the antibiotics in obliterating the last of the bacterial infections. There’s still no timetable on moving out of the PICU or the hospital altogether.
Avery must be pretty tired of the hospital because she’s trying to leave under her own power. On Sunday night she tried to rip her breathing tube out by herself. She actually got some of it out before the nurses were alerted. She did manage to rip some of the skin off her left cheek because she was strong enough to tear the tape off. She is now in restraints. When Avery’s nurse relayed this information to us, I smirked behind my surgical mask. When I was 20 I drank too much of something that gave me a sore stomach. I hitched a ride in an ambulance to a hospital ER down the road from LMU. When I woke up in the early morning hours I was extremely groggy and my judgment was probably impaired. I ripped the IV line out of my arm and wandered down an unfamiliar hallway calling out for my roommates because that seemed like the sensible thing to do. A nurse walked me back to bed and put me in restraints.
Perhaps – despite minor similarities in some of the details – this anecdote seems like a poor attempt at levity. I don’t know. Maybe it is. My emotions are screwed up. I’m both raw and numb – kind of like when I scraped my leg up really badly that one time; it hurt so intensely that after a while it’s like the nerves just died and I couldn’t feel anything in that part of my leg. What I do know is this: that flashback is the cringe-worthy climax of the first true emotional war in my life; I almost lost. But enough time has passed that I can now recall it with mild amusement. That’s all I want to happen with all of this stuff going on right now, you know?