This is Caroline, just minutes after she was admitted to the ER. Yes, that's a penguin on her mask :) Levity is always good in these harrowing situations, but what I didn't know at the time was that the next 21 days would prove to be the most difficult trial of my life.
Initially, Caroline's response to her circumstances was good. "I feel fine. I want to go home", she whispered through her breathing tube just hours after her first surgery. Within 24 hours, however, she would respond much differently, often lashing out at nurses and us. We eventually realized that her mood swings were directly related to the morphine boluses, and once we got her off of it, she mellowed out.
Still, when you're intimately caring for someone, putting seven other children on hold, moving heaven and earth to be in that hospital room as much as possible, it's painful and wearing to be yelled at.
Lessons were yet to be learned, refining is still happening, and I don't believe I've recovered yet.