October 3, 2008

Intensive Care-day 1

7:30 am Last night, the doctor pulled Sally off of the paralyzing drugs that she's on and she moved her feet on command! She's doing amazing, breathing with the ventilator and moving her hands and feet. She should be weaned off the ventilator today. Right now she's waking up more often. She's unhappy for obvious reasons. Her hands are tied down and she has tubes everywhere. Her worst enemy is the respiratory therapist who came every hour during the night to suck mucous out of her lungs. Sally would startle awake and thrash her hands during the procedure (that lasts just a few seconds). She is trying to talk to us, but can't. I can't imagine her anger with this since she's the nonstop chatterbox of our house (if you know the other kids this should mean a lot to you). Once the breathing tube comes out she should at least be able to express her anger verbally.

Personally, I was up all night. The nurses came in once an hour to fiddle with her. I jumped out of the chair and ran to Sally every time--that sleepless, middle of the night, stupor that makes you act wild. Seth slept in the room with us. I'll repeat that, he slept. At 5:30 I couldn't bear laying there any longer. I stood next to Sally's bed and lost it. I've held it in for so long. Once I let myself feel relieved about surgery and how well she's doing, I couldn't stop myself from weeping. I'm in a place I never imagined I'd be. I was overwhelmed with thankfulness for God's care and just cried. I was crying, thanking God for all of you who were praying for our daughter yesterday. I was crying because she's been such a trooper and I'm terrified of what today holds for her. Then, Sally woke up. With clarity, she looked right at me.

I couldn't stop myself and couldn't talk. I was caught by her doing the one thing that I wasn't allowed to do with her watching--bawling my eyes out. Seth came over (chiding me) while I tried to compose myself (which didn't happen). Finally, I gave up on sucking in the tears and hoped she wouldn't notice. She was visibly upset and so I started telling her about the people who are praying for her, grandparents that are going to visit, and then I said, "Maybe the guys (that's what she calls the three big sibs) can come and see you today. Do you want them to come here?"

A glorious thing happened, she looked at me and gave me the 'Ethiopian nod'. I didn't think she was even listening to me. She's mad, confused, and hurting, but she's still sweet, strong, Sally.

Thank you for your prayers and wonderful comments (if you haven't left one for Sally go visit the "For Sally" post). You have all been a blessing to us; I'll continue to update as Sally makes progress.

2:30 Sally's been off the ventilator for several hours now. Then she was on O2 for a couple of hours but is off that now as well. She is breathing well, but is still quite uncomfortable. She's making tremendous progress; she's able to talk to us and let us know what she needs and how she's feeling. The rest of the kids and grandparents were able to come and visit with her for a couple of hours, take advantage of the local attractions (foos ball, air hockey, library...) and enjoy a delicious trip to the cafeteria.

We should be in ICU for a few days until her chest tube is removed. We (and the staff) are amazed at her progress--truly answered prayers. Thank God for her quick recovery this far. Please continue to pray for her as she is in pain and being weaned from the 'strong stuff' that has kept her sleeping until now.


the Steiger's said...

I am crying with you. I am glad that Sally is doing great. We will now pray that she will get out of ISU SOON!!! Love and kisses to all your family.
love, Lenka

the Steiger's said...

I mean ICU :)

Kristi Lanford said...

Good for you!! A good cry is exactly what you need! You have held it together so beautifully for so long (except for the chipmunk incident) that when the relief of simply having yesterday DONE, it going so well, and the reality that there is STILL so much ahead then you deserve to cry and everyone should see that! It may be one of the beautiful strong things that Sally does remember! all my love, kristi L

Debbie said...

Apryl, my heart goes out to you, you are a Godly example of what a mother is! I cried when I read this blog, you are an inspiration to me! Try and get some rest...why is it men can sleep through anything? Praying for your family. love, Debbie W.

Kristin said...

Harbaugh family,
You all have been in our prayers for the last two days. We cried with you this morning as we read the blog. What a Mighty and Great God we serve! We continue to think back to Sunday morning's message on spiritual destiny.. and your family portrays that picture so well! " For such a time as this.." Sally was brought into your family! She is in our prayers continually! Glad to hear that everything is going smoothly! Love you all.
The Dombroski family

Danica said...

Apryl, I think you blog is like an addictive soap opera! Maybe you have a hidden talent you haven't explored yet. Writing for television. Don't get me wrong, I love it, but it's like every other second your emotions are going crazy. Crying/Bawling then happy then back to crying then suddenly you are laughing! It's such an emotional roller coaster. And we are only the readers, you guys are actually living it! I wish I was there right now to hug everyone!
love d

Pastor Dave said...

Seth and Apryl,
We have been in prayer yesterday, last night and this morning for you all. It is wonderful to hear of the grace and mercy the The Lord Jesus Christ has given to you all in this trying time. We will continue to bring you before the throne of God daily. We love you all and can't imagine the helplessness you feel but thats why we have Him to lean on.
Love you all
Pastor Dave and Susan

Anonymous said...

OH Apryl, What an awesome thing to see her wiggling those toes!! Wow!

Praying you'll get a nap in and that she'll be off the vent soon! What an awesome family!

Continuing to pray,
We love you guys,
The Peace's

Anonymous said...

BTW, Thanks so much for taking time to jot updates! It allows us to share in the joy and tears as well. And, hey, Apryl, guess what ... NEWSFLASH: you are human, sister, and a female, and we can hold it together for only so long. God is good with tears . . .

I'm sure there've been plenty shed on behalf of Salomae as we pray with you! Anyways, thanks for sharing this journey with us. Vicki P

E said...

I was thinking...I'd love nothing more than to start my day with a bunch of big, soppy tears. So, thank you for that, Apryl. Now both of my kids are looking at me like I'm crazy. The oldest is telling me to stop - he hates to see me cry. The youngest is thinking about crying with me. :)

“Listen to my prayer, Lord, hear my cry; do not be deaf to my weeping!” Psalm 39:13

You deserve a good cry and I'm so happy that it was a thankful release and that things are going so well! And - aside from everything else - no sleep doesn't help...I can cry at the drop of a hat once I hit about 30 hours of zero sleep...and if I'm away from my kids when that happens...well...not good. You're under a lot of pressure...and I know from experience that crying to God is balm for the soul.

I'm so thankful for wiggly toes and pray today is full of wonderful progress!!! I also hope you can find a warm, comfy bed and get some rest!


Leigh said...

Hi Apryl,
I am came across your blog very randomly, my husband and I are considering adopting one day (we have only been married 6 months). I saw that your sweet Sally had back surgery, I had back surgery for scoliosis at 16 and wanted to let you know that I am praying for your family and of course for your little girl, her doctor and all the hospital staff you will see while you are there. Her surgery sounds like it was more complicated then mine (although I never really asked what they were doing since I was 16 I was worried about boys more than I was my back). I do have 2 rods and 12 screws still in there now 6 1/2 years later. If you have any questions at all about anything I would be glad to answer them for you. Give her lots of big smiles, and have people come see her, I can say that seeing my family and friends while I was in the hospital made my time there much better.

Praying hard for Sally,

Anonymous said...

Apryl - Soooo glad to see that the surgery went so well! You all are still in my prayers and I know that you are a strong lady - but do let it out every now and then - we all need to do that!!! :)
Love ya sister - if there is anything I can do - please let me know!!
In Christ, Sarah King

Anonymous said...

I'm in awe as I hear of God's handywork in little Sally's life! He loves and takes special care of His little sparrows! We will continue to pray for her healing and your family's strength and stamina through this whole process.
Praise His Holy Name!

Anonymous said...

Sorry about the anonymous post of the awesomeness of God. I forgot my password and to put my name.
Connie Helm

The Adventures of Caleb, Becca and Sakari David... said...

we are praying and standing with you guys too!!! God is faithful!