Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Laser Treatment #8

This story was almost a tragedy. When I called on Monday morning to get our appointment time for yesterday, I was told that we “didn’t have to be there” until 10:30. Surgery time was 12:30. PM. Are you KIDDING? Making the boy go without food early in the morning is bad enough, but making him wait until after his lunchtime had the makings of a horror flick. Or at best, a Greek tragedy where everyone dies, albeit with great theatrics and some flowery language.

My mind started flashing back to the last time we had a late appointment time and how horrible it was. I immediately began praying. Mostly for myself, I’m not going to lie. And that the miniscule amount of juice we’d be able to give Caedmon until 9:30am would multiply in his little tummy and make it full.

And? This would be our first treatment without the bah since I waited until after the last one to get rid of it.

(A totally unrelated note: Caedmon still asks for the blasted paci now and then. And I am ashamed to say I’ve been tempted a few times to give him one. He seems to be letting go of his nite-nite on his own, though. Weird kid.)

And then the clouds parted, the sun shone down, and the angels sang. Children’s called back.

“Laser Beam Doc has had a change in her schedule, so I need to give you a new appointment time,” she said.

I gritted my teeth and prepared for the worst.

“You need to arrive at 6:30am. Your surgery appointment will be at 8:30.”

The angels went from singing to humming. Because they knew that an earlier appointment time, while great in many ways, was also going to be terrible in some others. But Husband and I liked it much better than the alternative. One of the very good things about this early appointment time? We’d be home in time for a real live afternoon nap. Maybe for all of us. (Caedmon still doesn’t sleep well in the car.) One of the terrible things? We had to leave by 3:00am to get there on time.

Used to, we would’ve cried at the early appointment time. We started making these trips when Caedmon was 8 months old and still nursing. So, all we had to do was hold him off of solid foods and switch his eating schedule up a little, and we were good to go. It was after he quit nursing that the appointment times became really tricky. We quickly realized the earlier they can get us in, the better. The boy does not like to be deprived of food.

So we were up at 2:30am and left at 3:00 Tuesday morning. We arrived a little early (no traffic – I wonder why?) and were checked in immediately.

Caedmon was not a fan of having to change out of his “pabrite bamas” (favorite pajamas) and put the hospital’s pajamas on. So I told him that when we got ready to go home, he could put his pj’s back on instead of the clothes I’d brought. To which he promptly started crying to go home.

We ended up having to wait a bit long, which is unusual, but especially unusual for such an early appointment time. Apparently somebody before us was a slow-poke or something like that. And an entire 9 minutes after we left Caedmon with his surgical nurse, Laser Beam Doc was giving me a report.

It always kills me that we jump through all those hoops for something that just takes a few minutes. But I’m thankful for it.

Anyway, Laser Beam Doc said she was extremely pleased with Caedmon’s progress and wanted to see him for another treatment in…wait for it…6 months instead of 3 months! I can’t tell you how excited we are about that.

We finally got back to recovery, where Caedmon was chugging some juice. He was seriously in need of some sustenance. His nurse, Ms. K, said, “I think I’ve had this sweet boy before.” When I pulled out the snacks she said, “Oh yes! I remember you, Caedmon, and all your snacks!”

It’s nice to be remembered for something good.

So we hit the road by 10am, headed home. Caedmon watched Toy Story 2 (twice) on the way home. His eyes were still a bit droopy from the Versed (aka “goofy juice”) he got pre-surgery.


We got home in time to let Caedmon play for a while, then take a nap. Thankfully, Husband and I were able to catch naps too. It’s a good thing, because when the boy woke up he was wired.

Again, why do I not remember this and make plans for someone who hasn’t been up since 3am to come over and play with him?

While we were in the waiting room at Children’s during Caedmon’s surgery/recovery, I met a guy (I’ll call him A) from our area. He’d brought his 5 1/2 year old daughter down the day before for a regular appointment while his wife stayed at home with their 12 year old son and the 5 1/2 year old’s twin sister. The daughter A had brought to Children’s has had some major medical struggles in her short little life. The doctors did an x-ray to check on some stints/shunts (not really sure which) in her brain and found out one was not working properly. The doctors told them they had to stay and have surgery the next day. On her brain. With her Mom and siblings still at home.

I sat there, talking to A as he was wearing the same clothes he wore the day before, charging his iPhone due to the kindness of a stranger who let him borrow a charger, and I realized once again how incredibly blessed we are. Even though Caedmon’s treatments are a pain and I complain and whine about the drive, blah, blah, blah, we are incredibly blessed with his overall excellent health and that his “condition” is in no way life-threatening. And the best possible treatment in the world is just three hours from home.

Families like A’s who made 25 trips to Children’s in the first year of their child’s life and whose kids have endured more surgeries than the years they’ve been alive are the ones who have struggles. Yet, his attitude was one of gratefulness. Grateful that Children’s is available. Grateful that the doctor was able to find the problem in his daughter’s brain before it caused problems. Grateful that immediate surgery was not only recommended, but available and possible.

I didn’t get a chance to find out if A was a believer or even get his full name. But I will be praying for his family. I’d love it if you would pray for them too. They are the ones who live each day with the real possibility of a tragedy.

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  1. I'm so glad things went well for you guys. The story about the other family was very inspiring. I'll pray for them too.

  2. I am always so amazed at the magnitude of the challenges that come into people's lives and how absolutely miniscule my problems are in comparison. It is a good thing to be reminded how blessed I am...and a good thing for me to live like I have a heart of gratitude.