Coming on to Koala ward, with the cardiac nurses who I know, love and have worked with on and off for six months, is like coming home in a way. ICU was fabulous with Kaylee ticking every box correctly and we caught up with a few old friends and made a few new ones - but here on Koala is home. Partially because here is where I get to work. This week we start to look beyond the ticker. This week we start to put together a time line of treatment and therapies. Our room looks out over the parklands. I watch the trams go past, the rainbow lorikeets in the gum trees, the joggers running past - all oblivious to the fact that I am sitting in here with a miracle, working hard to enable more miracles to happen.
She is pink and beautiful (as opposed to slightly purple/blue and beautiful). She wants to play and gets all excited then realise moving around makes her chest hurt and grumps which is sad and funny all at once. I expected to still be in ICU at this stage, maybe even still intubated, and she has surprised me. I always feel mildly guilty when she surprises me like this, like it was wrong of me to underestimate her, but the truth is nobody expected her to bounce back this quick.
Of course the last few days have not been without their hiccups. We have had feeding tube issues - the kinks of which I am still (quite literally) trying to work out. She is being treated for a urinary tract infection. Erin has come down with a gastro bug so we are juggling that with the knowledge that if the other kids come down with it too we will have to ship Jon and the kids elsewhere and none of the kids have been able to see their sister since the operation as a consequence. Plans for visits to the hospital, zoo and museum are on hold. And it will take me several years to catch up on sleep if ever I get the chance
But her heart is beating, her skin is pink, we are making plans and to a certain degree, we are home.