Yesterday Ella had a few Specialty Doctor appointments. Back at the same hospital she spent 5 weeks in. Last year. At this exact time... It was a little surreal being there.. seeing the familiar hallways, same receptionists, lunch ladies.. We've been there a few different times during the past year, but yesterday was different, knowing it was exactly a year ago that we were in this same building fighting for our daughter's life.. making decisions that could ultimately decide if she lived another day.. the same place we slept in, ate at, shed a thousand tears and prayed a million prayers.
A few weeks ago when I realized that our appointments randomly coincided with Ella's 1-year anniversary, I thought it would be neat to take a visit to the PICU to celebrate, but after finding out we probably didn't know any of the doctors or nurses up there at that time we decided not to. I was a little disappointed at first.. I wanted to see everyone. Show them how far Ella has come. Thank them yet again for making today possible. But I suppose it's a good thing we don't know anyone. It means we haven't been there for awhile. It means we've stayed healthy. It means we, and everyone there is moving on. That life in the PICU is a part of our past.. not our present. (And hopefully not our future!)
So instead of visiting the PICU between appointments Ella and I enjoyed a nice lunch in the cafeteria together. While I've eaten that food so often I think I've had everything on the menu.. Twice.. I realized it's probably the first time Ella has eaten there. Last year at this time she was enjoying a hearty meal of TPN liquids through her IV, then later Nutramagin through an NJ tube straight into her intestines, and finally an NG into her stomach..
What a difference a year makes..
|Cheeseburger and fries please.. Do you Supersize?|
Of course while we were enjoying our lunch date almost every single person who walked by had to slow down to admire this precious girl sitting so big in her high chair. Some had to physically stop just to smile and remark on how adorable Ella is. She caused a little hiccup in the middle of everyone's busy lunch hour and seemed to bring them a moment of happiness. She tends to do that to people...
What? Doesn't everyone eat in their chair sideways?
And upside down??
Or maybe everyone was stopping to look at us because after about 20 minutes of sitting there
I finally realized we sat at the table that was very clearly reserved for guests using wheelchairs...
|Wow.. Seriously.. How did I miss that sign that I set my tray down RIGHT next to?|
And the best part about being at the hospital on this day a year later?
WE GOT TO COME HOME THIS TIME!!!