Maddi had her follow up appointments a couple of weeks ago. I meant to get this post done right after while the impressions were fresh but as I have said, writing for the blog has been difficult. It isn’t that I haven’t been writing, actually I have written a lot but that has been in my personal journal.
Journal writing has always been important to me and as a way to encourage Maddi’s writing improvement that has become a part of our daily routine. We set the timer for 10 minutes and just write what is in our hearts or on our minds. I think that Maddi will find those entries valuable later on as this season fades into the shadows of the present.
Anyway, back to the topic. On March 16-17th Maddi had many follow up appointments with all the doctors that had worked with her during her stay at Primary Children’s Hospital. As we walked in those rotating doors I was flooded with feelings and images of our time spent there. It was much like the feeling of coming home.
We past the cafeteria that was our kitchen for so many weeks and climbed the stairs that were my only exercise. We heard the bustle of so many people doing their jobs in such an expert way. All of that seemed so automatic, familiar and so normal. I remember those things seeming very strange and unfamiliar at first. I don’t remember the exact moment that those places became comfortable. It is odd how easily strange becomes normal
I saw people that told their stories with the worry lines on their faces. Their eyes were sad and I recognized those feelings. You could tell those that were recent arrivals by that look in their eyes. You could also see which were a little further along their journey. My heart ached for the new arrivals and for those that had the more weathered look. I longed to ease their burden whatever it might be.
All of the appointments went well and of course Maddi is exceeding expectations as always. The best part was seeing those people who had become such a support to us during that time. They may have been doing their “job” but for us they made the difference.
Maddi was so excited to go back to the Neuro-Trauma Unit to visit her therapists and nurses. We even ran into Dr. Murphy from South Davis. Everyone was thrilled to see Maddi and excited at the changes they saw in her.
I am with her everyday so the changes that happen over time don’t seem as big. According to the people at Primary’s, the changes are huge. She has such expression in her voice and on her face. When she was there she had what they call a flat affect, meaning she had very little change in her expression or voice. I had noticed but I didn’t see it as dramatic because for me is has been gradual.
It was so fun for me to watch Maddi interact with these special people. While at Primary’s I wanted those people to know the “real” Maddi with her fun personality and lively imagination. It wasn’t really possible for them to get to know her that way. Watching her in the halls laughing, smiling and teasing them fulfilled that wish for me. I know it was a very small moment but they got a glimpse of her outside of the brain injury.
We also were able to see Elliott the Therapy Dog. That was a highlight for Maddi too. Elliott looks just like Josie, our dog and Maddi really responded to him. I am so grateful that Joe takes the time to come and brings Elliott to visit those kids. Maddi lived for Thursdays when he would come.
It was great to see everyone but it was nice to feel like we didn’t belong there too. When we were in the rehab gym there were other patients working there and it brought back those feeling from when Maddi was on the mat trying to figure out how to walk and hold her head.
Relief washed over me as I recognized the possibility that could have been our reality and those monumental battles that have been won during this journey. All of the worry and agony of not knowing how much mobility she would have is gone and it seems so surreal that we were ever in that moment.
As we completed our time there and prepared to leave for me there was that gratitude that we could leave and that Maddi was well enough to be home. I was grateful that this hospital was on dedicated ground and that they had the expertise to treat her.
I was also overcome with gratitude that the will of our Heavenly Father was for Maddi to recover. It should have been so different. I feel overwhelmed with gratitude that my daughter was given such a great miracle because I know that not everyone has this type of outcome.
I have always felt indebted to my Savior but now I feel indentured and I am thrilled at the opportunity. I hope that I will be a profitable servant and honor to him through my actions each day.