It's so hard to believe we have been home for two weeks. We spent two Thursdays ago travelling all day long. We had a weird experience at the airport in Minneapolis. We had just heard the call that our plane was boarding, when one of Ashton's nurses from St. Mary's came walking by. Rochester is about a two hour drive from Minneapolis, and the nurse had decided kind of last minute to visit some of his family in Atlanta. It was kind of good he came by, because Ashton had been throwing up all morning, which he has a tendency to do from time to time, usually after eating just a bit too much. He had had nothing that morning, nor was he running a fever, so we were pretty sure it was not the flu. Upon talking to the nurse for a couple of minutes he told us that this surgery fixes the heart, but screws everything else up for a while.
The plane rides were short, the layovers long. I was reminded, once again, that I absolutely hate landing in Vegas in the summertime. The heat really throws the plane around (one landing there a few years ago was not a three point landing, but rather a great bouncing hither and yon; that's the closest way to explain it). It was amazing that we could leave the prairie lands, forests, and cool weather of Minnesota in the morning, and end up in the hot, arid deserts 1200 miles away later that afternoon.
From Vegas it was only a short shuttle ride back to Utah's Dixie. Ashton was so excited to be heading back home that he jabbered and sang the whole way. The kid has a set of lungs. I was feeling bad for the other people on the shuttle. We reminded him to keep quiet, but he was just way too exited.
When we got to St. George we were greeted by numerous family members. There were baloons, welcome home cards, and cousins and aunts whom Ashton had never met (his dad's sister was in from Ohio). We were sent home with strict warnings against his falling over. Doing so could break the sternum which had been wired together much as a farmer would mend a fence with bailing wire. The first thing he did when we stopped the van was to fall out of the vehicle. Everyone's heart stopped, I think. Thank goodness he was all right. He caught himself with his knees rather than his hands. One of the Physician Assistants stated that in her 30 years she has never seen anyone have any re-break the sternum. That's our Ashton, always trying to tread off the beaten path.
So, how's he doing? Well, the fluid on his lungs is all gone (hooray!), and he is able to do more things day by day, which means we have to ride him to keep him down. However, he wakes up almost every morning with a headache followed by bouts of vomiting. The headaches are generally bad enough to have him bawling. He wants relief, so we give him acetaminophen. Because of his nausea he quickly rejects that. There is a chance that he may still have problems with blood sugar levels, which means we will have to monitor this, too. Oh boy, more blood tests. He will be thrilled.