‘Comparison is the thief of joy’ – Theodore Roosevelt
I must admit I have no idea of the context this quote comes from, but it resonated with my experience of life when I first heard it.
When we walk through Level 1 and Level 2 we pass many mums, dads and bubs who came into the ICU after us and will most definitely be leaving well before us. It is a great joy to see them move along but when we start comparing Ellie’s progress it can be quite disheartening. Ellie is well and truly the oldest bub in the ward now, and that covers all levels, not just level 3 where she currently resides.
That said, Ellie is still a joy for us. Her resilience is an absolute inspiration to me and I love how she has become so well respected by all the doctors and nurses. Ellie gave me my first smiles today which was very special (even if it was book-ended by several hours of grumpiness). She is now on continuous feeds, which means that instead of getting a belly full of milk every 3 hours, she just slowly gets a tiny amount of milk trickled past her stomach throughout the day. Needless to say, Ellie is being quite vocal about this change.
Ellie’s current goals are rest and weight gain. The rest will get her strength back and any growth gives her lungs a better chance of functioning normally one day.
Today we are grateful that Ellie is strong enough to scream and kick when she thinks she needs more milk in her belly. We are grateful that she is no longer intubated and is free of infection. We are grateful that she had an amazing nurse today who was so compassionate and that she gets visits from many other doctors and nurses not assigned to Ellie that day. And we are grateful for smiles (unfortunately the camera was not ready though, so you will just have to imagine them).