Ah, home is a wonderful place to be.
I thought we would have to stay until today and take the train home, as Jörg was sick this week. I didn't want to push him to come get us, as the last time I did that (about 3 years ago), he passed out while driving and crashed the car. Having thankfully escaped that incident with no injury, I surely didn't want to be responsible for a repeat. But when I called him Friday afternoon, he was feeling much better and arrived to whisk us away at 7:15 that evening.
Home looked just wonderful, despite the overwhelming smell of cat piss that hit my nose the instant I walked in. Poor Jörg has been so congested he didn't even notice, but one of our cats has a tendency to protest any conditions that are not up to her exacting standards by peeing beside the litter box rather than in it. And, of course, I had left the house a wreck when we left for the funeral 10 days ago.
This morning my first priority was attacking the kitty smell (done, and I hope she's happy), and then doing laundry and repacking a bag to be ready to go to the hospital again on short notice. We came home with a letter from our Chicago docs to be given to the E.R. docs here to let them know immediately how they want Annika treated in case of a rebleed. The doctors have said that the chance of a rebleed in the next 6 weeks is approximately 20%. In typical fashion, I was surprised that the chance was so high (I tend to underestimate risk), and Jörg was relieved that the number was lower than he expected. We have become a truly complementary team over the years.
My parents are bringing Frankie home from Kansas City today, and we are all looking forward to a family reunion, for however long it will last. I hope we manage to last the 2 weeks here at home without another bleed.
We got the results from the C.T.angiogram just before we left: the clot is still external to the liver. This is very good news. Now we just have to wait for the surgeon to decide exactly what kind of shunt he wants to do in the next few weeks, and then hold our breath that it works.
Here are some photos from our hospital stay:
Annika was so happy to see Joerg on Sunday when we arrived in Chicago.
Annika having fun in her hospital bed with the balloons that Lauren brought with her on her visit. Annika was just coming off sedation, but was still up for a little fun with her first babysitter.
Lauren brought Anni a new crown and earrings, just in time for her to get the OK to visit the hospital's main playroom. She swished along the halls, swinging her polyester hospital pj's, which she had pronounced her "pretend princess gown." Once in the playroom downstairs, she introduced herself to everyone by saying, "Hello. I am Annika the Princess. What's your name?"
Annika has a chat with her good buddy, Shelby
Sarah and her daughter, Anna
(liver transplant also at CMH), visit Annika.
Anna giving Annika the play-doh she brought for her. Thank you Sarah and Anna!
Soon little Natalie
, a recent liver transplant recipient, joined in the fun. Liver girl party! And Annika loved
Natalie is just about Frankie's age, and Annika was pretty pleased to have a baby around her again. Natalie, for her part, was pretty pleased to be in on the big girl action.
We all got to enjoy one of Natalie's trademarked Huge Laughs. I like this picture because you can see her parents, Becca and Jason, laughing behind her.
Here you can see Annika's reaction to Natalie's trademarked Huge Laugh. She was pretty amused.
Here is Annika, naked except for her underwear (how long, exactly, is this "get naked" phase supposed to last?), doing her best to make Natalie laugh again. I think she's already a Natalie Laugh Junkie.
Annika doing an art project for her favorite nurse, Beata. As we were driving home, Annika started crying, "Oh, I miss Beata so much!" She is such a drama queen.
When I got out the camera, noting that I hadn't gotten a picture of Beata with Annika for a very long time, Beata seemed not all that thrilled to see that it was picture time. "I was wearing this exact same scrub last time you took pictures, too," she sighed. It's all about the memories, though, Beata.
And in case you've been wondering about what Frankie's been up to, here she is wandering around the wonderful wooded area around my sister's house. I think Monica said that they had found a bunch of baby snakes on this day. My sister takes great photos.
And here she is with her cousins, Darcy and Rayna, doing a portrait shoot at Wal-Mart. Nearly 2 years old, and this was her first professional photo. Annika, at nearly 5, still has not had one taken.
Frankie had so much fun with her cousins, and it was particularly exciting to get to hang around Rayna, who is so close in age.
And I leave you with a photo of Frankie, preparing to audition for KISS
Notice how her well-behaved cousin, Rayna, is looking at her like, "Hey. Is she allowed to do that? On official Wal-Mart portraits?"