Soooo…what did we learn from this?

Okay so let me set the stage…

My oldest daughter, who is a very capable, independent and good-hearted girl, is also quite stubborn, controlling and has (what we call in our house) an “attitudie issue at times.  Ya know, the good and the bad side of our strengths.  Well, at this stage in the game, her lack of good anger control skills and the way her attitude permeates many of her interactions…grrrrr…ya know, God love her, but I’d like to whack that little behind at times!

Well today, in a moment of discipline, and in her moment of rage responding to that discipline, I hear her slam HARD her bedroom door.  Then I hear screams for mom…like blood curdling screams.  It took me a few second to differentiate fury screams from something is wrong screams.  But I thought I should check just to be sure something didn’t happen.  I walk in the door and see her holding her already swelling and blackening thumb in the air.  Apparently she had gone up to her room, stood in her doorway, had her hand in the hinge side of the door (without knowing her thumb was in the part of the door that was going to slam, she grabbed the door handle and (because she had a message to send to me downstairs) just yanked that door shut hard.  Her thumb got squished in the hinge side of the door and the door actually latched, so she had to turn the door handle to unhook the door and open it.  Her thumb instantly began to swell and turn purple.

Ya know, some people may have no problem with what I didn’t next, but for me, it wasn’t one of my most proud moments of parenting.  I was still coming down off of being angry at her and when I saw her thumb the first words out of my mouth were, “That’s one of the consequences for slamming your door!  Why do you think Daddy and I tell you not to?”  In looking back I told Emma how easy it is as a parent not to take those moments and say “I told you so!”, and forget that the most important thing is how you are doing.  We agreed that the “This is a good lesson to learn in whether we slam doors!” could have and should have happened once she was physically taken care of.

So, the ER visit showed no broken bones…YAY…its her writing hand!  But so much blood had pooled up under her skin and nail that they needed to drain it.  The doc lied and told her this would just be a pinch, but instead he jammed this needle half way into her thumb.  He kept apologizing afterwards and said he does that to keep you calm so kids don’t freak out by him saying, “Now this needle is going to hurt like hell!”  So, she got lied to, and lived to tell the tail.  That was to numb her thumb.  Then, they got one of those handy little burning tools that can prick a hole through your nail.  AMAZING!!!  It gets red hot instantly and it just melted into her nail.  Within about 2 seconds, as soon as he broke the underlying skin, blood shot out of her thumb all over the blanket on her lap.  I think it freaked her out at first, but then it was something cool she could tell people about.  It just kept bleeding and bleeding and bleeding…  So, they sent us home with Motrin and bandaging instruction and best wishes.

Our $100 ER copay became worth it when I heard her say, “I am never slamming my door again!”  I don’t expect those words to remain a reality till she’s 18, but if it can buy us some time right now and at least put off the door slamming until she’s in JHigh…when most of it starts anyway. 

I have to say though that I probably felt a little too much enjoyment each time she had to tell someone new how the injury happened.  I think she had to repeat it 5 or 6 times.  Poor kid, the last times she was asked she just looked at me and said, “Oh, you tell it.” 

Its a hard way to learn a hard lesson!  So what did we learn from this?  There must be better ways of handling anger/rage than doing something destructive that could hurt me, something that belongs to me, or someone else.  AKA -slamming doors isn’t a good idea.  And I learned that saying I told you so might be better saved for another time…not when someone is still screaming from the injury! 🙂  Oh…we’re always learning aren’t we?

MRI Update

Dad had an MRI this morning, and an appointment with the oncologist immediately following.  What we found out is that this MRI did not show huge variances from his last one.  There is one spot on the bottom of the surgery area that went from 9mm to 30mm and held more dye or color (?), but he was unable to determine whether that was glioblastoma reforming or merely post-surgical changes…similar to scar tissue, I’m assuming.  The increase in confusion and aphasia (difficulty initiating thoughts through speech) over the past several weeks, when it comes to this disease, is not considered rapid.  Rapid in this disease is between a day and a week…today he’s speaking, tomorrow he’s not.  But even the significant increase over the past few weeks is representative of the normal decline from the illness.  From our understanding, that means he will not improve cognitively from this point.  Any struggles he is having speaking, getting thoughts out, understanding and processing information, general functioning, etc., will grow increasingly more difficult over time. 

Right now our plan is to do one more month of chemo and then rescan after that one month time frame, to see if there are significant changes.  If changes are obvious, we would then need to consider treatment with the meds that Kennedy received, a stronger chemo that would not maintain cognitive functioning, but would prolong life by a few months. 

Coming away from the appointment, I feel kind of numb and angry.  I hate this disease.  There are no guarantees with glioblastoma, except the prognosis.  Everything else, between diagnosis and the inevitable result, is a wait and see type of thing, and that’s really hard to go through.  But, I think the hardest thing for me though, in all of this, is watching my dad (who was capable in SO many different ways) struggle in even the basic areas of life.  I want for him in these last months to feel good about himself as a man, as a husband and a father/grandfather, because he was a rare man, who, in spite of all of his very human failures and struggles, never stopped striving to become a better person.  He has so much to be proud of, so many strengths that he can’t use or access right now, and it’s hard to think he doesn’t see or feel that right now.  He was never perfect, but never gave up trying or encouraging others to keep growing too!

So, I just pray that God is whispering extra encouraging things to his heart, so he never forgets the kind of man he is and has been!