In fact, she was so disoriented when he woke her it took her a second to be able to answer his questions: do you know the month? do you know your name? do you know where you are? Then he said, "Do you want that thing off your head?" When she said, "Absolutely," he walked over and pulled it right off without hesitation. It had worked itself loose in the night. What a relief to see just a 1 inch swath of her hair shaved where the surgeon had made the incision. It is a somewhat odd shaped question mark that begins just below her temple in front of her left ear and wraps up above her ear and then up towards the top of her head. She has a few small marks on her forehead where the metal bars held her head immobile, but remarkably, one can hardly tell she had major brain surgery less than 48 hours ago. Fortunately, the way she parts her hair allows it to fall across the incision, hiding the 42 staples.
Even better news than the turban coming off was the doctor telling her he would start the paperwork for discharging her. Once he left, the nurse brought us towels and shampoo and conditioner. We had to spend awhile gently brushing her hair as it had several places soaked with blood and had been matted beneath the turban. Elizabeth was alarmed when a large chunk of her hair came out in her hand, but we believe it was a casualty of the nurse loosening the turban last night by cutting it slightly above the ears. I helped her shower and get dressed in her street clothes, and immediately she felt better. After a bite to eat and going over the directions with the nurse, we were able to bring her back to the hotel.
The sun is shining in Rochester, Minnesota, and the air feels a bit warmer. Elizabeth is sleeping deeply on the hotel bed wrapped in her blankets and warmed by the sun coming through the window. We have no plans for ice skating or curling at the moment; instead, we are just going to hang out for the next few days and watch the professionals in Russia. On Wednesday afternoon, we have an appointment with the oncologist at the Mayo Clinic. Our plan at this point is to head towards North Manchester once we meet with him. Elizabeth wants to be home with her family and friends and furry friends, and she plans on being in the stands at Columbia City Friday night cheering on those Squires.
I know I have said it before, but I will say it again. Our family holds close to our hearts scientists, researchers, and skilled health care providers including surgeons, general practitioners, and nurses, and every specialized person involved in caring for the sick. From the moment Elizabeth experienced her seizure on January 19, she has had the most remarkable attention by every person she has encountered. Hippocrates wrote, “Wherever the art of Medicine is loved, there is also a love of Humanity.” The health care providers who have joined Elizabeth's journey have demonstrated their love her as a person and have wanted the best for her. At every step of the way, we have witness doctors and nurses treating our child like their child/grandchild/sister/friend. That oath to use medicine for the love of humanity has made all the difference in the world.