About an hour ago, the Nurse Practitioner on duty for 10East today removed the central line from Blaise's leg. It only took a few minutes, and Blaise didn't even have to leave her crib. She didn't even really fuss...she just made eyes at us the whole time and kicked her legs enough to make life slightly difficult for her nurses.
I can't believe it's gone.
I don't remember if we ever shared this number with all of you on the blog, but at our first family meeting we were told there was about a 1% chance Blaise would ever come off TPN. We were told she might never eat. We were told that line infections would be a constant source of worry. We fretted about the day she'd be old enough to pull it out herself or compromise it in the million unpredictable ways a two-year-old can come up with and that a parent can't hope to pre-empt. We learned how to take care of the line, both of us worried that someday we'd slip and Blaise would get sick.
If there's one thing I've learned from all this, it's that small probabilities are NOT equal to zero.
The line may come back someday. We're not done. Blaise needs to get bigger and stronger and that's going to take lots of effort and attention. Still, today feels a bit like victory.
I can't leave off without saying something about our nurses on 10East. The real victory as far as I'm concerned is that we went this long with a central line without an infection, a broken line, or any of the other issues that cause serious problems for kids on TPN. Unless you read lots of blogs about children with lines (which of course, we do...and maybe some of you do, too), it's hard to grasp how impressive that is. Trust us, it's pretty damn impressive. The care Blaise receives is unparalleled and the line that came out today is a testament to the dedication and skill of the many nurses who have worked hard to keep her safe and healthy.
Anyhow, it's a rainy day in Boston today, so now that the big event has come and gone I imagine some naps and some Dr. Seuss are probably in order. We'll post some before and after pictures soon.