Jan 15, 2011

Athelie's Burn Update - Day 30

Yesterday we travelled back to Augusta for the fifth time. Thankfully the highways were all dry and we didn’t have to worry about ice or snow. With 9 inches of snow earlier in the week, we weren’t quite sure what that drive would look like. This past week was filled with uncertainty. Athelie’s leg, where they took the skin graft began bleeding Sunday afternoon (a day after we got home from the hospital). They said some discharge was normal, but since it was bright red blood - we worried. After calling the clinic they recommended either taking her to the Emergency Room or bringing her back to the clinic. With the impending snow storm, going back to Augusta was not an option. And since we really did not want to go to the Emergency Room, we decided to wait it out. We were going to take her to her pediatrician Monday, however, with the huge snow fall Sunday night the doctor’s office was closed. And since Tuesday it was also closed. We decided that it wasn’t worth it to take her in on Wednesday as the bleeding had stopped and we only had about 48 more hours before her bandages came off.

On top of the bleeding leg, her arm started stinking. Last time her bandages started stinking we ended up in Urgent Care on New Year’s Eve. As she wasn’t running a fever, we decided not to worry about the stink. However, by later in the week it was so smelly – stinking up all her clothes she wore on top of it - we could hardly stand the smell.

Friday morning the nurses removed her bandages. It was such a relief to have them off and to be able to see what was underneath. The skin graft on her shoulder looked great. They said it was healing nicely. One small part on her arm/chest, the crease where your arm and chest meet did not hold the skin graft. It was still very red, swollen, and moist. However, they could see new skin starting to form and felt like it would heal on its own and because it was such a small area that it would not require another surgery. We had hoped that the skin graft would have been 100% successful and were discouraged to know that one area had not taken, but we were just thankful that she would not need another surgery. The nurses waited until the very end to remove the covering from her leg as that was the more tender area. As soon as they pulled it off, it started gushing blood at one end. Athelie cried. It was hard seeing her in pain. However, most of the skin graft had healed with the exception of a small area. They went ahead and re-bandaged everything putting a thinner smaller covering over her still open wounds on her shoulder and leg. She can where all of her regular clothes which is really nice. We had to be quite creative over the last month since most of her clothes would not fit over the big bandages.

We will be going back next Saturday, instead of Friday, so that Marc doesn’t have to take another day off of work. At that point they expect everything to be healed, her bandages will come off, and she’ll be able to take a bath! Woohoo! We are really looking forward to that. Life will resume back to normal. She’ll be able to go back to her class at church and the gym and school. One more week of bandages and open wounds. We are still praying for no infection.

We’ve gotten her a couple of sun hats (it’s very hard to find them this time of year) and we’ve started putting them on her every time she goes outside. We’ve been putting lotion on her about six times a day. We are doing everything we can to prevent keloids and scarring. You can continue to pray for complete healing.

As the trauma of her burns has subsided we can look to the future and the arrival of our second daughter. Alysia is 35 weeks pregnant. With everything that has happened, we feel like she could have the baby at any point now. But who knows, maybe she will surprise us and be 3 days late like her sister. We are excited to meet her and are turning our focus and attention on her arrival.

I said life would return to normal, but what is that? We’re not quite sure anymore. We are so thankful for so many things. The last month has been a huge time of growth in our walk with God, in our relationship with each other, and opened our eyes to those going through similar crisis. In the future we hope to walk with those and encourage those in the midst of trauma and tragedy and so many people have done for us.

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