Today was our last free day before the operation on Thursday. We took the hotel shuttle bus down to Union Station and then hopped on the Metro (brilliantly wheelchair accessible) to The Galleria Mall, specifically the 'Build a Bear' Workshop. We had promised Daniel that he could make a new teddy bear to take into hospital with him (and of course Lucy had to make one too). We had the shop completely to ourselves almost the whole time we were there, and had a lovely relaxed hour while the children chose their bears, recorded messages that they speak when you press their hands, stuffed them, brushed them and dressed them, as well as doing a birth certificate. Daniel was so sweet; because he is allowed to take one teddy down to theatre when he goes for his op, he deliberately chose a 'bear that sleeps', and dressed it in pyjamas, because he wants it to go to sleep when he goes to sleep for his anaesthetic!
We went to The Cheesecake Factory for some lunch, having heard so much about it from other UK families and then started our way back home again. We caught the Metro no problem, but then had to wait over an hour at Union Station for the hotel shuttle to come and collect us, with us all getting rather cold and very frustrated (and both Rich and my Dad declaring that they were going out tomorrow to hire a car!) Anyway, we got back eventually and spent some time in the apartment chilling out, before giving the children some tea, and getting them early to bed, still clutching their bears!
For the benefit of all those that contributed to the Help Daniel Find His Feet fund, I just wanted to make it clear that although the fund has paid for all the hospital costs, plus the flights and accommodation for the four of us (my Mum and Dad have paid their own), we are of course paying all our own living expenses out here. I did not want anyone to think we were spending the fund on building bears!
Tomorrow we have the main physiotherapy assessment for a couple of hours in the morning, where they will video Daniel's existing movement pre-surgery, as a baseline. We then intend to rest him in the afternoon and have another early night. He is first up for surgery on Thursday, so we have to be at the hospital by 5.45 am! He is due to go into surgery at 7.15am St Louis time (1.15pm in the UK), so we would be very grateful for anyone who can spare him a thought at that time. He should be in surgery for 3-4 hours.