Time and place, backwards and forwards

Tuesday, March 29, 2011
I am at Primary Childrens Hospital. I have been coming here with Son #1 for the last 24 years. I don't even know how many visits it is anymore.

I remember his first visit like it was yesterday. I arrived at the hospital just as the Life Flight helicopter's rotors were winding down. I had left my wife at one hospital and drove across the valley, not knowing what expect.

Lot's of different people told me lot's different things that day. At some point his first surgery was done and I was able to see him for the second that day, the first being when they were prepping him for the flight to Primary.

In the NBICU, surrounded by other babies, many of them immature, was my boy. Larger then the other babies, my first thought was, why is my baby here? He looked healthy, well healthier than the other babies. As an aside, this would become an issue over the following years. At first glance you wouldn't know anything is wrong with him.

You can't judge a book by it's cover. Once in the ICU, after one of numerous surgeries, he was all drugged up on morphine. He looked up at me and said in a sad voice, "This the first time in my life I have been pain free," as if it had just occured to him what he had been dealing with since the first day of his life.

Over the 24 year journey that made Diane and I expert at working through the maze that is the American health care and insurance system, we have experienced highs and lows. We frequently lived in a state of mini denial between medical emergencies, trying to make things as normal as possible. In spite of this we knew, somewhere in the back of our minds, that we would be back at the hospital. Sooner or later.

Today he is seeing his neurosurgeon who has been treating him since he was six months old. He is the only specialist he still sees here, having moved on to other specialists over the last couple of years. This could very well be his last visit. This could be the last time I am in this hospital.

I have to thank the doctors, nurses and staff. While we had to become advocates for his care, our son always received the best of care here. Diane and I did, too.

Posted from my Droid using the Android Blogger App

3 comments :

  1. It was a weird passage today....the last time we'll be at PCMC (I hope). It was like a second home for many years and while it was never easy it always at least gave you some hope that by the time we left, our son would feel a little better.

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