Stephanie Burgis
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We've had two phone calls from the orthopedic clinic since dropping Maya off this morning. Around noon, the specialist called to let us know that she had woken back up and would be able to come back home today (after a few more hours of observation). He also told us that the X-rays and tests had revealed gross deformity in her shoulder, so much so that he couldn't even find any fluid in the joint at all. However, he's not yet ready to recommend surgery - he said he would not approach that particular surgery lightly - so he's going to prescribe some new & serious painkillers for the next few weeks and see if they do any good. He'll only decide on surgery if the painkillers don't do the job.

Five minutes ago, I talked to one of the orthopedic nurses, who had just taken Maya out on a short walk. He said she is still groggy from the anesthetic, and very stiff from the various tests that were done while she was unconscious ("joint taps", he called them - maybe that was when they were trying to take samples of fluid from the shoulder?), but she's doing well. She's had one injection of painkillers, and she'll have another injection before we take her home this afternoon. We can pick her up at 4:30.

Then came the killer moment: as he was saying this, I heard a horrible whimper from his end of the phone, and I recognized the voice even though I'd never heard it make that sound before: it was Maya, letting out a whimper of pain and abject sadness. Everything in my body went tense with the urge to rush across town to her. I said, trying to sound calm, "Was that Maya?" and he said, "Oh, yeah, that was her." I said, "Mm," and a moment later, having reaffirmed our appointment time for picking her up, hung up the phone. Then I started to cry.

Patrick pointed out really sensibly that it's no wonder she whimpered: she's groggy and in pain and in a strange place, with people she doesn't know. It doesn't mean anything is horrifically wrong; it's just normal.

But I really, really hated hearing it and not being there for her. I hate the fact that she was perky and happy this morning and now she's hurting and sad, even though we're doing all this to try to take away her pain, long-term.

It's going to be a long two hours before we can pick her up.

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