Saturday, April 23, 2011

New Routine!

This past month has felt like one big blur and I have lost all track of time. Tim laughs and gives me this bewildered look when people ask how long we have been home and I say 2 weeks...still. My mind has been so submerged with the kids, weddings, easter, snack days at school, trips to Calgary and Tim in the middle of finals, that I simply lost a few weeks. Amongst all of life's craziness though, we are finally getting used to our new way of life, the routine and all the different challenges that Ethan's injuries have brought. A bath no longer takes 2 hours (just one), and we are getting much faster at cleaning and moisturizing his body several times a day so that our whole day isn't eaten up by just taking care of him. I am still in awe at how well he is doing and how rapidly his body is beginning to heal. Our past few trips to Calgary have been great and our physiotherapists and plastic surgeon have had nothing but good to say about Ethan's healing. Dr. Harrop, our plastic surgeon saw Ethan 2 weeks ago for the first time since we had been discharged and could not believe how well behaved and patient Ethan is as they clean and debride his head and arms. We now have a new routine at home when finished a bath where Ethan falls asleep everytime on his pillow. It's great because it lets Tim and I get done what we need to without him squirming around. We are also trying a new essential oil blend on his scars called Immortelle from DoTerra to see if it will help with the healing process. Our friend Kristi brought it over for us to try and so far it seems to be helping...only time will tell! Tim and I were sitting around talking about Ethan's head the other day and Tim mentioned that he wants to look into the whole hair transplant process. We had a good laugh as he said, and I quote, "It may be painful and expensive but I think we should do it." Haha, maybe Tim should do a trial run to test how it feels. But I definitely think it is something we might look into down the road when he gets older. As much as we are starting to get used to the new Ethan, its still hard to see your little boy without any hair and so many heavy scars that are continuing to form on a daily basis. Its hard to wrap my mind around the fact that Ethan won't have a full head of blonde hair like he used to and I still struggle at times when I see a little boy his age with perfect skin. I feel like I have to keep reminding myself that Ethan will be just fine, I hope, with his scars as he grows up, but rather, I am the one that needs to overcome my idea of the perfect image. Image matters not, but who he is inside, as a person, and how he treats people and excels in life should be of more concern to me. But i know I am a biased mother because bald, scarred head and all, I still think he is the cutest kid around!

This boy absolutely loves movie night!
Our little drama queen!
My mom came and took care of Ethan for a bit. He gets so excited when we tell him she is coming over!
Our happy boy is back!
Sleeping as I do his routine lunchtime dressing change!
Hallie absolutely adores her little brother! I was making dinner while Ethan ran around complaining cause he was tired and hungry. Next thing I knew it was quiet and this was what I found! I love how she was rubbing his little legs!
Tim's beautiful sister Hilary was married this past week to our new brother-in-law Dane Owens and we are so excited to have him as part of our family. The kids were absolutely thrilled to hear they were going to have another new uncle! Poor Tim came down with a terrible head cold that day and had to write an exam earlier in the morning. He was able to finish his exam, quickly change and race to Cardston for the ceremony only to make it their 5 minutes before they began. We had a wonderful day, but must admit we were exhausted from chasing three little mischevious children all day long, who were thriving on too little of sleep themselves. Lets just say we were all a little cranky from the months of no sleep.
Left arm

Its doing much better.
Head about 1 week ago.
Right Arm.
Getting ready for bed after a nice warm bath. He is just so irresistible. I know all moms can relate with their own kids, you just can't get enough of them!
The 'Eternal Student' studying! As much as I love to tease him about it, I think there might be a day when I miss us being students.
Jello Jelly Beans. The kids loved them according to Hallie, so did Ethan!
Making rice krispie snacks for Ava's preschool class at midnight. What a long night!
Rice Krispie Easter nests. We filled them with jelly beans and the kids absolutely loved them. (They are just upside down while they cool in case you were wondering).
Hands in my pockets!
Hallie has been surprising me a lot lately and is willing to try a lot of foods she would normally frown upon. She loves eggs she told me today, just not hard boiled..."Honestly mom....their disgusting!"
Ava had a blast running around and was so surprised to find money in some of her eggs.
The Easter Bunny even remembered Tim and brought him one of his favorite snacks! Mmmm.
Easter fun! Ethan would find a plastic egg and then open it to eat it rather than find more eggs. Later on that morning when we went to the school easter egg hunt he got the hang of it and was sure he was going to get the most eggs of everyone.
I think it took him 15 minutes to open the hard boiled egg and only 1 second to realize how much he disliked it!

Monday, April 4, 2011

I have come to realize there is just not enough time in the day to get done the things I need to! Which can be very frustrating! Ethan's daily care routine eats up most of my day, leaving me with little or no time to get all the other routine things done each day, such as laundry, cleaning, errands, girls homework, having a shower, etc. It has been such a blessing to have so many wonderful people bring us delicious meals this past two weeks...I don't know what I would have done without them! Today the girls and I cleaned the upstairs all day and just as we were finishing some dinner was brought over. It was nice to get the house in somewhat of an order and not have to worry about what to feed the kids for dinner!

Ethan is doing better at home and we are slowly weaning him off some of his bedtime meds, such as Gabapentin (used to help him relax and stop itching). He is doing well without it and is even starting to sleep for longer stretches which feels wonderful. Its amazing how just a couple of hours of straight sleep can make you feel rejuvenated as opposed to waking up every 30 min to a screaming child who is thrashing around and kicking you in the face! I can't wait to have my own bed back! (For those who are wondering, Ethan sleeps in our bed because he tears off his bandages in the night and scratches everything and makes big scabs on his already healed areas. This way we can keep a better eye on him). This last Friday we went up to Calgary for a dressing change and were reassured by our physiotherapist that everything we were doing to help reduce infection on his arms and head was right! It felt good to know we were doing the right thing and to see that certain parts of Ethan's head were starting to heal. As Ethan's skin bonds and matures we are starting to see large puss pockets that form and eventually pop. This is normal with grafting, however the open sores do pose the risk of an infection and so we therefore have to be very thorough with cleaning his arms and head on a regular basis. Its frustrating because here we thought his arms were in the clear and all we needed to do was hydrate them. He is also starting to form some heavy scar tissue in some areas on his arms that weren't there before. When we asked if that would go away we were told probably not! Ahhh, it's times like this that it is easy to get upset and wish this hadn't happened to our perfect little boy. When I see pictures of him before the accident I get really emotional, I just wish we could just turn back the clock and go back to the life we were living before. And as shallow as this sounds, I miss his bleached blonde hair the most! I hate to see my little guy go through so much pain on a regular basis. I hate hearing him call out "Help Me!" when we start to change his dressings. I hate holding him tightly so that he doesn't move as we debride his skin and force down his meds. Its both physically and emotionally draining, but I know that in the end the Lord has a plan for us. I just keep telling that to myself and it seems to get me through my bad days! But I know it is true and we are already starting to see the Lords plan for us. We are not the people we were over a month ago and that's a good thing! Ethan's personality has changed so much and we are all in awe at how resilient he is. He is so patient and sweet and funny, and we can't get enough of him. He enjoys every minute of life and so I think we have adopted that same attitude...Life is just too short!

We are getting used to the daily grind of cleaning Ethan's head but on this particular day he was exhausted and fell asleep. It made things a little tricky as we tried to put on his compression stocking.
We made a quick trip to the park to get outside and enjoy the fresh air.
Ethan thoroughly enjoyed it even though the winds were blowing at 100 miles/hr. I so am looking forward to summer...except for the part of trying to figure a way to keep Ethan's burns protected, as they are very sensitive, without heating him up too much!
Hallie absolutely loves any chance she can get to go outside. Its hard being trapped in the house all winter.
The park is even better when you get to bring along some great friends! Breanne and her daughter Brielle joined us in the horrible winds and later treated us to dinner. It was nice to have some help throughout the day!
This is Ethan getting his head cleaned, looked at and debrided (all the scabs and dead skin removed). He sits so patiently and is such a good boy. This is Julia, one of our physiotherapists, who was standing in for Doug who normally does all the dressing changes but was away to a burn clinic along with all of our other doctors.
This is the back where they did not do any grafting. It is still healing but is finally starting to look a little better. I just hope things continue to stay that way.
Peeling away the top layer of skin that dries out.
Ethan has definitely learned to be a LOT more patient!
So have the girls. They do pretty good as they wait over an hour in that tiny room for Ethan to be done.
Everytime we travel to Calgary and back we have to fight Ethan to keep his socks and foot bandage on. He usually has them off by the time we get home and then we have to redo everything.
I bought Ethan a new pair of gum boots so he could join his sister in splashing in the puddles. I made the mistake of putting them on at home first and then struggled to get them off. He wore them all night long!
See how patient he is!!! On a regular basis we find Ava bundling him up and telling him to lay still...and he does. He patiently waits until Ava is all done and then continues to lay there because he enjoys the attention.
I told the girls to go brush their teeth and when they didn't return for over 10 minutes I got suspicious....and this was what I found. They were washing each others feet with the hand soap because, I quote, "our feet stink like Ethan's head!"
I love my little munchkins!