Some of you may have heard that we were in the hospital again for Paul? Alas, yes.
A few months ago we noticed his back, where his catheter enters his spine, was terribly swollen. We knew something was up then, and that it would only be a matter of time before his spinal shunt slipped out and failed, which is exactly what happened.
Last Friday Paul began having migraines–the kind where one can’t move from the couch. The kind where one trembles in pain. The kind where one eventually vomits, and in Paul’s case, will not cease vomiting–if not anything worse–until surgery. When this happens, we call the ER in Rochester, pack for an extended stay, and get on the road–all of which we did.
Now, unfortunately, we’ve got this Down to a Science. When Paul starts vomiting, I go for the medical binder, containing all the important phone numbers, and as I said, call the ER. But it is best if I not only warn the ER that we’re coming, but also insist on speaking to Paul’s neurosurgeon’s Resident Doctor, who will in turn beginning looking over Paul’s thick file and speak directly to his neurosurgeon and get a plan going. (One is not able to speak directly to Paul’s neurosurgeon, regrettably! Apparently they’re very busy, which is why they all have at least one attending resident doctor.)
Once this is finished, and while my husband is caring for Paul, I glance at my trusty Packing List, which I keep taped to the front of Paul’s binder, and begin throwing things together that one might not normally think of. For example, we’ve relied heavily upon a few unusual items like a Traveling Lego Box, which contains Legos that are used exclusively at the hospital, not at home, and are especially detailed and take forever to put together, in an attempt to pass time away once surgery is finished. We also cherish the joys of Perplexis Balls and Monopoly Deal. Then, there’s the laptop for audio books, and a few slices of bread for me to toast in the nurse’s station for breakfast, as I never have time to run down to the Cafeteria in the morning because generally we’re prepping for surgery or visiting with doctors and nurses, who are perpetually doing their rounds at outlandish hours.
Anyway, this trip to the ER was no different. As we live so close to Rochester, however, we need not fret so very much–or at least we tell ourselves this–because the drive is literally a tiny fraction of what it was prior to our move to eastern Minnesota. Now, we need not spend hours and hours watching Paul decline on an agonizingly long drive while worrying about truly disturbing things like seizures or bradycardia–both of which have happened in the past and are terribly frightening.
This time, we got into the ER at about 11:30pm, got the vomiting under control at about 12:30am, were wheeled into surgery by 8am, and done 3 hours later.
And Paul is well again. The timing couldn’t be more perfect, too, as he and four of his brothers and sisters are slated to be confirmed this Sunday by none other than His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke. (Awesome. Just awesome.)
If you think of it, remember them all in your prayers. And especially pray for Paul’s continued healing. Twelve surgeries is a lot for one boy, in 15 months.
Truly, we are blessed! God is good.