Sunday, November 20, 2011

Personality in the PICU

Micaelyn is anything but a quiet, calm little girl.  I often say she is the prissiest little tomboy I have ever known because she is as rough and tough as any little boy but loves to look like a girl.  She can often be seen running around the yard with all the boys while wearing her plastic high heeled dress-up shoes with a purse slung over her shoulder.  She is a very sassy, bossy little girl.  She often tells me, "When I'm a big girl then I'll get to tell everybody what to do."  (Not that she doesn't try to now, she just doesn't like it when I tell her she can't do that.)  Not long before her surgery her daddy asked her, "Who's in charge?"  She responded, "I am."

Even while she was on the ventilator that tough little personality of hers shined through.  The doctors and nurses kept referring to her as a "fighter" because even with them giving her so much medication to sedate her she was still fighting for control. 

On her last day in the PICU her nurse said she had been told all about Micaelyn.  She said she normally worked in the surgical ICU where Micaelyn would have gone had she not been on the ventilator.  When she showed up to work in the PICU and was assigned Micaelyn she said all the other staff let her know Micaelyn was a "feisty little one!"  She said the nurse that had her over the night shift reported that Micaelyn had said to her "I don't know you" when the nurse was trying to take care of her.  Micaelyn was apparently the talk of the PICU and everyone wanted to know what else she had done.

The thing Micaelyn kept repeatedly saying as soon as she was off the ventilator was "I wanna go home."  It was usually said in a sad, pathetic little voice.  When she got her discharge papers Friday morning one of the requirements she had to meet first was to be able to walk a little (she could have assistance).  She was really feeling quite awful and did not feel like walking, but I pushed her to do it so she could go home.  Once I got her out of bed and she had taken a few small steps her nurse walked in the room and she practically yelled, "I wanna go home NOW!!!!!!!"  Then she wrinkled up her little face and growled, "uuuuuggggghhhhhhhhhh!!!!" as loud as she could.  She made sure to let everyone know she did NOT want to be there!

Of course, that same feisty little personality was really working against me when I was trying to get her to drink and eat so we could go home.  She would say "I don't wanna do it!" and growl each time I gave her a bite.  Although she would sometimes cry, mostly she growled at me!  It got to the point where I told my husband if she didn't finish her drink and it got close to the time limit I was going to finish it for her and tell the nurse Micaelyn drank it all.  I'm sure that sounds bad, but I knew I could take care of her a lot better in the comfort of our own home (and I wouldn't have done it if I was completely unable to get her to drink, only if there was a fairly small amount she didn't finish in time).  Thankfully I did manage to get her to drink it all, and we got to bring our feisty little fighter home!
Sleeping in the PICU after getting off the ventilator.
Sleeping with her mouth closed!
Caleb let her play on his Nintendo DS to keep her occupied.

The eating battle begins!
A brief smile BEFORE trying to eat.
Her feisty little personality shines through!

  Notice I had already fixed up her bed, folded the blankets, etc.  I was getting ready to go home!  No matter how much she growled, I was determined to get her to drink!

Caleb so desperately wanted her to drink so we could go home!
I managed to get a brief smile (before I started pushing her to drink).  We are simply amazed to see her keeping her mouth close now, but it's also surprising to see how different her smile is.  It used to be that you would see a lot of tongue when she smiled.  You almost never saw any teeth because her tongue filled her mouth up so much it covered them up.  She looked more like a toddler than a little girl.  With her new smile she looks much more like a little girl about to turn 5 years old.
Here are a few pictures of her from before her surgery.  You can easily see how prominent her tongue was before and how different her smile looks now (although she's always been adorable!).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was just wondering how you pronounce Micaelyn's name.
Is it "my-kuh-lynn" or "mih-kay-lynn" or something else?

Either way I love it!!