Recovering From Surgery

I used some of my frequent flyer points to fly back to Cincinnati for Boun Lod’s first two surgeries, and for the first few days of her recovery. 

Boun Lod’s first surgery was on Monday, November the 10th. The operation released the skin under each arm. On Tuesday, the surgeons grafted skin from her back onto the newly–released areas.

Boun Lod did very well. She was very brave, and gave a “thumbs up” with her big toe as they wheeled her through the operating room doors. She was also remarkably good-natured after returning from the recovery room.

Boun Lod had some pain, and nausea and vomiting after her first operation, but the medical team found a more optimal combination of medications for her second surgery. After her second operation, the only thing she complained about was being hungry, and having an itch on her nose that she couldn’t scratch. She was even able to smile and laugh a bit, which was pretty remarkable given what she’d been through, and given the fact that her arms were splinted out at a 90° angle to her body and tightly wrapped in elastic bandages.

On Wednesday, we were able to get Boun Lod onto a gurney and then take her down to the playroom for some fun. She really liked the walking Spiderman, and enjoyed playing the electric keyboard with her feet. (It’s also quite amazing to watch her play a “Nintendo DS”. She particularly likes the “Mario Kart Race” game, and uses her big toes to control the cart as it races around the track. She can open and close the game, turn it on and off, and even pop the stylus out from the side of the case and then write with it. )


Noy and Boun Lod.

Noy and Boun Lod.


Via and Noy are also doing well. It’s tough for anyone to see a child in pain, but it’s got to be so much harder for the parents. Even though a few tears were shed, Via and Noy are coping admirably.

The Shriners hospital is great, and the staff is wonderful. Everyone has been very kind, concerned, and helpful, and the medical care seems to be of the highest standard. Everyone from the nurses to the orderlies to the cleaners do their best to make the atmosphere as friendly and pleasant as possible.

Boun Lod will likely be in hospital until sometime during the week of November 24, when the family will move back to the Parent’s House for a couple of weeks. If everything goes according to plan, they’ll travel to Philadelphia on December 6 for a couple of months of recovery before the next round of surgery.

There is a Shriners Hospital in Philadelphia as well, and its specialty is orthopaedics. We’re hopeful that Boun Lod will be able to get her prosthetic arms designed, made, and fitted there while she recovers from her surgery.

Boun Lod is also most anxious to start school, and we’re trying to get her into kindergarten or some other type of school program in Philadelphia.

Boun Lod is picking up English quite quickly. She likes to watch the children’s shows on TV, especially the ones that teach the alphabet and numbers. She happily follows along with programs, learning as she goes.

Via and Noy are also doing their best to improve their English. They constantly refer to their Lao–English dictionary, and we had numerous discussions, complete with plenty of arm waving and hand gestures, to explore the meanings of different words and expressions. I’m pleased to say that I even improved my (very limited) Lao. 

Via and Noy said to say hello to everyone, and to thank everyone again for all their concern, help, and kindness.



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