*DAY +66 POST TRANSPLANT & 73 STRAIGHT DAYS IN THE HOSPITAL*
First, I want to thank you all so much for your comments, messages, thoughts and prayers over these last 10 days. It has been so busy, and quite overwhelming at times, so knowing how many people are behind us and rooting for our little family helps keep us going. Now our little Hazelnut has been moved to the inpatient rehabilitation floor and has been there since Monday. We knew she had a long road of recovery ahead of her and were hoping so much that she could do it from home, but this was not the case. Dr. Craig, the head rehab doctor told us she is a very complex patient and may need anywhere from 4-6 weeks of inpatient therapy. Of course we will do whatever it takes to get our daughter back to where she needs to be, but this news was so heartbreaking for us. We wanted so badly to be home for Christmas and to finally be all together as a family once again, and now we have to wait so much longer! They did tell us, however, that in all likelihood, she can get a 12-hour leave pass to come home on Christmas day! So we will take it!
Her days on this unit are intense and long. She goes through three hours of therapies, consisting of: speech, occupational and physical. These are usually broken up into half-hour or hour sessions spread throughout the day with breaks for meals and nap time. As part of her physical therapy she has had two casts put on her legs. Her heels, calves and hamstrings are so tight after being in bed as long as she was, and the casts are being used to helps stretch them out so we can get her standing and walking again. Upon arrival here, Hazel was very weary and untrusting of everyone around her. The huge strides she made before seemed to disappear overnight. She clammed up and seemed almost defeated. This of course took quite a toll on me (which everyone seemed to notice). But as time has gone on, she has warmed up and become comfortable with her routine and her therapists, which is making all of our jobs much easier. Another thing that has lifted her spirits is the fact that we are finally allowed to go downstairs and outside!!! This has done wonders for all of us!! She even had her siblings come for a visit and many tears were shed by all of us.
Now on top of rehab, we have also had to move forward with her cancer treatment, which means we began radiation on Thursday. I think I will save all the details of this for another post, because it is a complex process. But I do want to share something else that has been truly remarkable. Over this last week, I have been praying, and asking others to pray very specifically that we could finally see a glimmer of our little Hazelnut come through. It has been about a month and a half since we have really seen our daughter and Aaron and I have had hearts full of anguish. Well I am happy to report that our God is a faithful God! He knows when our hearts are weary and how to lift us up. For He promises in Isaiah 40:31: "but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up on wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." His answer to prayer came Thursday afternoon. It was as if something was plugged in and Hazel just showed up! She has been talking so much and has used so many words and phrases that are so very specific to her and it has been unbelievable! She also has sang the lyrics to entire songs, is playing with toys the way they should be played with, is staying on task and is being playful and goofy! It has been a wondrous few days so thank you, thank you, thank you for your prayers!!!!