Thursday, October 18, 2007

Slow but Steady Wins the Race

Duncan is the tortoise in that age-old children's story. But, as you recall, despite the anxiety of the crowd (whose perspective is not told in the story) cheering for him from the sidelines, the tortoise does pull through in the end.

So that's how we feel: eager onlookers anxious for more improvements sooner. We had three goals for Duncan today. That he be strong enough to wake up from his anesthesia-induced sleep. That he be extibated, breathing tube removed. And that he begin feeding from a bottle. In that order.

But all three goals remain unaccomplished at today's end. Our little warrior's heart was in a worst place before the surgery than it was the last big surgery (at day 9 of life). I suppose we expected him to recover in a similar way to that procedure... wake up hours after surgery, be able to be held the following day, no breathing tube required after a few hours, etc. But that has not been the case, and we must be patient!!! (Patience is indeed a virtue, but it is not exactly genetically inherited on my side!)

So, those three goals are shifted to tomorrow. And maybe even the next. And, you know, it's OK. Because when Duncan is 17 years old it will make no difference whether Oz, his current respiratory technician, takes out that breathing tube on the 18th of October 2007, or the 19th. It was helpful to gain this kind of perspective from... guess who... you got it...Dr. G himself, yet again, who this morning stopped by to express how well Duncan is doing from the heart-repair perspective. The echo and EKG checked out great. His heart squeeze function has improved as expected. So, he was extremely positive. It helps to know that the primary goal has been achieved, now we just need to, as aforementioned, be patient. His little body needs time to heal. And, quite frankly, I shouldn't care how the pace of our tortoise during the race. As long as his heart is pumping well as he does.

Sarah, the dear nurse who has been working the day shifts with Duncan, will end her string of shifts tomorrow. It has been wonderful to have the same, competent, upbeat (but not too upbeat) gal lovin on our guy for several days in a row. There's just something comforting about her swiftly approaching me when Scott and I returned from a re spit at home today to proudly boast, "Feel his hands and feet now... you're never gonna believe how much better they are (previously we were frustrated at how cold they felt, the blood pressure not seeming to get good blood to the extremities)!" She had "experimented" with some Tylenol to bring down a low-grade temperature he had had. And it worked in decreasing the work the body was doing to balance out his temp and allowing it to circulate (more) properly. I am probably not explaining the details of why the Tylenol helped very well, but you get the gist of the story. Bottom line (again, not something I'm good at): Sarah is an angel who cares. She was so eager and excited for us to return so she could tell us the good news.

Our virtual friends, with whom we have only dialogued by internet/phone, have a son named Brian with HLHS and is undergoing "the Big One" tomorrow. Please pray for Brian and his family, Aaron and Tracy Zuber. They will be in that ole familiar family waiting room tomorrow for 9 hours biting their fingernails. I hope to visit with them for a short while, maybe in person for the first time!

Grandmom and Grandad have been saints (I'm running out of titles for all the special people in our lives: saints, angels...). Jackson entertained them all day with his grins and tongue clicks. This is a new trick, like he is discovering his tongue for the first time. He gifted Grandmom a pumpkin pie colored explosion after 11 days of refusing to clean his bowels (not that I was counting). Glad she got that diaper change and not me. Grandad, meanwhile, has located the nearest hardware store and recauked our shower, cleaned out the dryer tubing, serviced our humidifier in basement, and looks to have several more projects on the list for tomorrow. I asked him what else he planned to do with some reservation (intended to be received as a get-off-the-hook card, so he wouldn't feel he HAD to be our resident handyman), and he responded (receiving it differently) with "Why? You afraid I'm charging by the hour?" I'd be a bit afraid to see the bill left on my counter if the GGs' babysitting and contracting services were actually billed. Holy Macaroni, we'd be in trouble.

Did I mentioned Ricci and Diane spent time at the hospital while we napped at home? And did I mention Nancy dropped off fantastic meatloaf and potatoes, which we gobbled up for dinner? And did I mention the Jon and Kara from church provided the meal the night before? Angels, saints, hands of God... whatever you want to call everybody who loves us, they're amazing.

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