Monday, July 23, 2012

Baby Maximus: back in the woods



It was one of those therapy appointments where you could hear Maximus screaming all the way to the elevators.  Simple stretches like having him straighten his right arm, or bend it to touch his head, or straighten his left hand, motions that I take for granted, were hurting him so bad.  
The physical therapist said she was worried about his left thumb.  The scars were contracting and pulling his thumb in.  She was worried it would pull his joints out of socket.  His whole hand was looking and feeling more like a tough tiny little baseball mitt than the soft chubby hand I used to hold.
We had a clinic appointment next and the doctor came in a took a look.  We had never met this doctor.  He took a look at Maximus' hands and asked us if we had been doing any stretches.  He took a look at Maximus' scars and asked if he had been wearing compression gloves.  That wasn't what we were expecting to hear after all of those hours of work and pain (and tears, and whimpers, and complete exhaustion).  It was discouraging to say the least that there was no sign of our work.  And this is where I figure that they might not give doctors personality tests before they let them into medical school.  Because his bedside manner left us feeling horrible. And then he told us that he needed to do surgery on Maximus' left hand to release the thumb and the curling of the palm.  He was going to have to cut his hand and graft his skin again.  
That was Tuesday and we scheduled the surgery for Thursday.  Recovery was estimated to be about three weeks.  We were planning on going home in a week.  Plans change again.  School is starting on July 30 and the kids are probably going to have to miss that.  We haven't figured out just what to do.  I love decisions (said in my most sarcastic voice ever).

Early in the morning.  Suited up for surgery.  They gave him some drugs to sedate him.  You know how they say it will bring out your strongest traits?  Now we know that Maximus is a loving drunk.  Blowing kisses right and left.  To the cleaning staff, the nurses, the doctors... even planted a big one right on the lips on one of the nurses.  It was hilariously adorable.

Oh, and the anesthesiologist and Karl recognized each other.  Turns out they were from the same town and that Karl's mom taught him in fourth grade.  And let this be a lesson to teachers all over that it's best to do a good job (like Karl's mom did) because you never know if one of your students will some day be in the operating room with your grand child.
Surgery didn't go as planned.  They got in there and decided it would be best to do his right hand, too.  The scarring was pulling his pinky and they needed to release that, too.  But no complications.  Phew.  And who can charm an operating room full of people even when he isn't awake?  That would be Maximus.  

So it was back to double muffin teddy bear paw boxing glove club hands for Baby Maximus.

And when he woke up the first thing he did was remember how bad he hated the monitor on his toe.  And quickly started to try and remove it.  
We got to come home as soon as he could hold food down.  Which he did like a champ.  And after a monster nap, he was ready to play outside.  And not having hands did not slow him down a single bit.  Recovery at home is so much easier than recovery in the hospital (well, at least when there is no oozing stuff.  Gross, I know).  Playing on the trampoline (not jumping) on the trampoline and getting super hair with your sister is so much better than being hooked up to a bunch of beeping machines.
And speaking of hair...
Maximus gets the best bedhead ever.  
He wakes up angry most mornings.  I don't know if it is because of pain, or discomfort, or what.  But balloons from his sweet cousins totally cheered him up on this morning.
In his rage, he chose to be mad at his shirt. So, he went shirtless for a while.  Simple solution.  In HI he does all the time.  But here, I feel like I need to explain.  Here you can see that it looks like they extended his arms about 6 inches.  It is just the bandaging. 

But the extra bandaging gave him leverage.  One night when he was sitting on my lap he stuck his giant club between his knees and pulled.  Out came his freshly grafted hand.  And his club remained between his knees.  Want to ever see me panic?  Do that.  
Being back to zero hands, his toes are once again are extra useful.  He has to use lots of lotion for his new skin.  He is getting used to putting it on.  And has started to like it.  
Here is his face.  Happy and fully moisturized.
He goes in tomorrow for dressing changes and we will know more of what to expect.  At this point we realize his hands will never look the same and are just hoping for, someday, after tons of therapy, full movement of his hands and arm.  Okay, okay, and maybe I'm hoping a different doctor will be there tomorrow.  

4 comments:

Kat Clark said...

I'm so sorry your doctor was a douche! I remember when michael was graduating I watched each and every one of his class mates walk and thought that I would maybe, possibly be comfortable with about 3 of the 60 of them being my doctor. It sucks when smarts can't compute into any sort of manners.

I am also so sorry you're facing so many decisions that suck. I know things will get better. I've said it once and it sounds so hollow on this tiny screen of my phone but I believe it. I really do. We love you and Max SO much and we're still here for anything you need. We pray. We still pray and we will continue to. Thank you for sharing all of this and for letting us rejoice in your victories and happy moments. And thanks even more for letting us hate douchey doctors with you!

Dawn Peterson said...

Ditto Kat, I couldn't have said it any better!

Adri said...

I am so sorry you guys are going through so much and have had some not so great news. I agree with personality tests for doctors. Some have horrible bed manner and can make you feel stupid. You are in my thoughts and we pray Max gets better soon.

Brady and Karen said...

Darn! Sorry things didn't work out this time to come home. Eva and Max look so charming together. What a great sis.

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