Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Sunday, May 2, 2010


I'm happy to report that our little patient is recovering well from his medical ordeal. He has really powered through the discomfort and pain with great fortitude, and shown enormous restraint in hoarding the consumption of frozen sweet goodness over his brother. Sleeping is a real challenge, but during the day he's pretty happy and chipper. That may have to do with his steady diet of television, board games, snuggles, pain medication and copious amounts of high fructose corn syrup at every meal.

Additionally, Max is doing a great job on inventory management. Each day he monitors any potential inequity of Sam's diet (liquid and sweet) over his (solid and full of vitamins and minerals). When Max leaves the house he's prompt upon return to inquire as to how many servings of ice cream his brother has had, how many t.v. shows he's watched, and diligently counts the empty juice boxes in the recycling bin. I'm honestly not sure which is more trying - keeping up on Sam's pain meds or making sure that Max feels that he hasn't been jipped of the greatest opportunity available to small children. We've tried to explain to Max that he's the one receiving the good deal here as he's riding the popsicle/Penguins of Madagascar wave right along with his brother, yet without the loss of glandular tissue. But each time we offer up a Danimals yogurt smoothie to Sam, Max's shoulders shrink down to his dairy-allergic belly and his lower lip quivers from the injustice of it all.

Sam handled all aspects of his brief stay at the children's hospital with his usual subtle humor and low key one-liners. Without argument, but with clear disdain, he put on the hospital gown that was covered in ridiculously animated dogs, shaking his head at the nurse "But my don't like dogs. And..there's a hole in the back", as if she hadn't noticed about that tying action. When she offered him a green stuffed bear with a soccer ball on it that he'd be able to take home after the surgery, Sam just shook his head and said "No sanks. Max he will just take it from me" (a valid point). Instead, he chose the bland beige bear with "1999" lamely embroidered on it, proving that he's the only child in 11 years who was able to overcome impulse and was willing to take the plain and boring bear rather than deal with the painful fallout of his older brother's anticipated drama.

With the gift of childhood innocence, Sam seemed pretty un-phased by the somber nature of our time at the hospital. During the pre-op exam in which they asked me about his medical history, Sam looked at the nurse with a completely straight face and told her "My only allergic to monkeys". After requesting a "Little Mermaid Night Night Story" from the anesthesiologist, Sam took the masked-man's hand and walked right with him into the operating room, Scooby Doo doll in hand, bypassing the nurse/gurney that was ready to rip him from his nervous mother's arms.

Modern technology allowed us to view the progress of surgery much like the status of an order of fries and a cheeseburger: each child is given a random number and it's posted on an electronic screen in the waiting room. It's color coded to let you know when your child is in pre-op, surgery, incision closure, etc., and then onto the recovery, which can be an additional hour before the child can be seen by anxious parents. Sam knew that time line just wasn't going to work for me, so he made it pretty clear that any recovery that he was going to have needed to be in his parents arms. Which, of course, was just what I needed and he knew that.

This little episode has proven to us we are enormously blessed to have a thoughtful, tough, and hilarious little son. And that hopefully, however enlightening they are, our trips to the hospital will be few and far between.