Since Namine’s chest incision from her heart surgery is taking longer to close than originally anticipated, she had to keep it covered with gauze and some tape over the weekend. She was none too happy about it, either, especially because her skin is very sensitive to adhesives.
Ever since I can remember, we’ve used medical paper tape on Namine’s skin. It still results in a pretty bad reaction, but it’s much easier on the skin than its heavier-duty counterparts. And for our purposes this weekend, it was especially useful because it can be torn easily. After placing the gauze over the incision, I broke off three strips and tore them lengthways, placing them over the gauze in this pattern:
This placement allowed the gauze to stay in place, but still remain easy enough to remove. But I still needed to find a way to persuade Namine to let me replace the tape and gauze every night and morning. Namine is a logical child; we’ve already seen her overcome her fear of blood draws with nothing more than the realization that her fear of it was worse than the experience itself. Now, she simply laughs through it. I just needed to find a way to help her get past her fear.
Namine loves superheroes. One of her long-time favorites is Batman – I think for no other reason than that Batman is my favorites. Another is the Hulk, which seems to defy all reason, since she is so much of a girly girl. (But it makes sense, when you look at it from her perspective: no one makes the Hulk go to the hospital. When they do capture him, it’s just a moment of HULK SMASH and he’s free again. You can understand her desire for more control over her world.) And more recently, Spider-Man. (There’s a cartoon on Netflix that Namine and I watch, Ultimate Spider-Man, which features other Marvel heroes as well; Namine lives for the episodes where Spider-Man teams up with the Hulk.) I had the idea to compare the gauze on her chest, with its six strips of tape sticking over the edges, with the symbol on Spider-Man’s chest.
Namine loved the idea. “Yeah!” she cried. “I can be Super Namine, because I’m so brave!”
I’m sure that taking the tape off her chest still hurt, but she paid it no mind. I thought she would fight me in removing it, but no, she wanted to help remove it. She knew what the gauze was really for, of course, but she loved to pretend she was a superhero. She thought it was pretend – but I know better. I know how brave she is.
I know Namine is my superhero.