Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Book Is Always Better {R4, Day 17}

Let's start with the Big Drama.

There was a terrible shooting incident in Brookfield, Wisconsin, which is pretty near to the hospital. The victims of the shooting were taken to Froedert Hospital, which is the grown-up hospital adjacent to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. In fact, one time Sam and I trekked over to Froedert's cafeteria for dinner, using the hospital tunnel system. The Emergency Rooms for both hospitals actually share the same entrance. Because of the high security nature of the victims (and the shooter was still allegedly at large), both Froedert and Children's were on lockdown procedures. No one out of their rooms. At all. This all happened as I was driving to Milwaukee after Sunday School today. No turning back for me, and they let me into the hospital ("you're a mom, of course we're going to let you in!") but I was escorted to the room by a security guard. And then Uncle Josh, my mom, and Cantor Lynda, who had all come to visit before the lockdown started, were escorted back downstairs by a security guard. Whew! It was not in any way a "close call" for us but it felt very strange to drive right by the news reporters who I knew were broadcasting to the whole world. My heart is full for the families of the victims and for all those who have been affected by this sad situation.
Actually, this picture was taken by Uncle Josh over the weekend. But I thought I'd break up the story with his cute face.
The lockdown ended a few hours later, with no danger EVER to the hospital or the patients. We passed the time drinking hot chocolate (Sam), playing Words with Friends (me) and watching Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (both of us)! If you'll recall, Michael told you that he and Sam finished the book on Thursday. Sam learned a valuable life-lesson today as he (over)analyzed the movie and found it lacking: The book is always better.

When we were finally released from our lockdown, we took a quick jaunt downstairs - exercise disguised as a dinner-acquiring-mission - and spent a few minutes playing Wii followed by a long bath, SpongeBob, and a few chapters of Ramona Quimby, Age 8. (A whole issue for me, since I'm now going to have to re-read this book to Yael, who just finished Ramona the Brave! I can't wait until they are both home to be read to together.)
Medical Stuff:
Sam did spike a few fevers over Shabbat. They started him on a couple of antibiotics and are waiting to see if there is an actual infection. Thankfully, his fevers went down, with the help of a little tylenol. He also got platelets and blood. I remember back to the beginning, when those blood transfusions seemed so scary. I had asked the doctors if this was "normal" and how many transfusions we could expect. There was a moment when the two doctors in the room paused, looked at each other, and then one finally answered, "Ten to fifty." I remember bursting out laughing at what seemed like the ridiculousness of this range. But now? It seems like it was a pretty good estimate. They give blood when he needs it and don't give it when he doesn't. So it's entirely dependent on how his body uses the blood and how fast he can return to being able to produce his own. I have actually lost count of how many whole blood and platelet transfusions he has received. But let me tell you, I will never take a blood drive for granted again. To know that the blood is just there when we need it...priceless.

Other than that, Sam is doing quite well. The blood gives him a little energy burst, which is nice, and he hasn't had a big appetite but unlike on other rounds, he hasn't stopped eating entirely. Whew. So far, we have been able to avoid putting him on IV nutrition - that is a first! We'll see....I'm not counting my IV poles before they're hooked up.

We continue to wait...

Oh, and P.S. the kid is growing back his eyebrows, eyelashes, and HAIR. I might not be counting my IV poles but I'm counting the little hairs on his head...
Pretty soon, HOMEwork will be done at HOME. I'm just sayin...


  1. Hair, wow, is this a different "coctail" of sorts in the chemo?

  2. I've been donating blood for years - gallons and gallons' worth - and it's always been for people I don't know. Not now. And, I am so grateful to be healthy enough to donate that precious resource to all who need it. Liquid miracle. And so happy to see Sam's eyebrows!!