Laughing, At Last
One of the most heartbreaking things about the invasive biopsy that Ana had last Tuesday was that it made it very difficult for her to laugh. It was just too painful. Laughing actually made her cry. So today when I came back to the hospital she was definitely feeling better and moving around a lot more, but she was also grumpy and angry – understandably so. She’d been suppressing her laughter for an entire week and that’s just a very bleak place to be.
We took a walk at around 8:00 and had a nice long talk. I won’t go into the details – I do want to respect her privacy – but I will say that after she got to vent a little bit, we started joking and Ana actually laughed. Then she laughed again when she realized that she’d been able to laugh. Oh my goodness, to see that smile! Her whole face lit up. Such a little thing – my child’s laughter, but it was SO amazing to hear it.
She’s sleeping now (in spite of my typing) and my goal for tomorrow is to get her to eat three meals and drink at least four juice boxes of Ensure because her weight was down again today. The doctor mentioned they may need to place a feeding tube if she doesn’t start eating more, which horrifies all of us. It is very difficult for Ana to eat because she doesn’t feel very hungry – the tumor is compressing her stomach. I told her we’ll work on having small meals more frequently and supplementing everything with the Ensure drinks (they are berry flavored and come in juice box size).
Sometimes this whole situation reminds me of when Ana was a toddler and she only ate string cheese and yogurt. I was constantly worried about how much she ate, or didn’t eat and when she ate and how often. I was fixated on every single meal. I wrote stuff down. I agonized. I fretted. I drove Jim nuts. I’m back in that place again – writing down her food, nagging her to eat more, monitoring trips to the bathroom. Worry is my constant companion.
(Very deep sigh)
Tomorrow is another day. I am looking forward to spending it with Ana and hearing her laugh some more.