Thursday, November 20, 2008

Show and Tell

I thought I'd post some photos from the past week.  I'm leaving out the gruesome ones (no ICU pictures at all), so no need to proceed with caution.  The last one is of Willem at home showing off his battle scars, just so you know.  Being a huge crybaby myself, that's the kind of thing I tear up over when I'm not expecting it.

Here's Willem in the "holding room" before the surgery.  They give the kids some medicine to make them tired and loopy before they take them in and administer the general anaesthesia. We shamelessly got some video of Willem giggling in my face in a very drunken manner.

Prior to the surgery, Willem's heartbeat ALWAYS elicited raised eyebrows from everyone (except cardiologists) who heard it.  The chief anaesthesiologist on the case was no exception.  In fact, he asked if we minded if he told some of the med students to come have a listen.  We didn't mind, and the comic sight of the students lining up to chat up Willem before springing their stethoscopes on him was a welcome distraction.  That's what the assisting anaesthesiologist is doing in the photo above.

After Willem was almost asleep, they had me carry him down the hall to just in front of the doors of the operating room, where I handed him off.  I found this to be a far more humane procedure than having them wheel him away from us in a bed.  The sight of him in someone else's arms made me feel like they would be caring for my child, rather than making it feel like a purely scientific/medical endeavor.  Gotta love my "trying not to freak out" face.

A grape Popsicle made an excellent early meal.  Here is Grandma looking through the book that Nels's preschool made for Willem.

Willem's Auntie Kim and Uncle Cory got him finger puppets for his birthday, figuring they would make convenient hospital toys.  Here are Grandpa, Willem, and two of their animal friends checking out the glow-in-the-dark moon and stars built into the ceiling before the four of them settle in to watch a movie.

A barbershop quartet came around and sang to all the patients.  Willem listened intently to a medley of American tunes and then proclaimed, "I don't want to go home."

I didn't get great photos, but I had to put these up for those of you who've never seen OHSU.  Pictured here is the "sky bridge" that runs from Doernbecher's to the VA hospital.  I ventured over it once.  I have a minor fear of heights.  At least the views are spectacular.

Here's the view from the hallway outside the surgery waiting room.  It's a pretty good distraction.  Just to the right of center, you can see the aerial tram.  Which I rode.  Unhappily.

The doctors warned us that Willem would be grouchy (check), disobedient (check), and likely have nightmares (check) upon his return home.  They told us to encourage him to express his feelings about his experience through things like role play.  He needed no encouraging from us:  Me-ma's book light was immediately employed in a thorough examination of her mouth.  The boys have been performing surgery (with lasers) on me all week, and I have been informed that Spiderman had his heart fixed.  It's been really interesting to watch Willem work through it all.

Below you see the first time Willem willingly showed us his chest.  Alas, it has now become his new party trick.  A mom from my MOPS group dropped off dinner for us the other night, and Willem lifted up his shirt and yelled "Look!"  In the photo you can see his incision, the stitch where the chest drainage tube was, and the two bandaids over where the pacemaker wires came out.  The stitch came out on Tuesday and he took the bandaids off himself last night.

So, hopefully this will be the last of the medically-themed posts for a while.  I have a lot of other important things to write about, like raincoats.  

It's wet here.  But I'm not going fishing; I don't need a big yellow or green slicker.  I'm not going to be sporty; I don't need an anorak or ski/snowboard jacket.  I don't work in an office or live in the big city; I don't need a trench coat. How's a stay-at-home mom to keep dry without being dumpy(er) or overdressed?  Yep.  I've got big things on my mind.


Ariana said...

I have been thinking about all four of you so much in the last couple of weeks. This post brought back so many feelings from working the Children's Hospital of LA for three years. All of the anxious, overwrought parents, the beautiful, resilient children and those who were not doing well and figuring out how to cope with their situations. I don't think I could go back and do it again, now that I am a parent. My heart and prayers go out for your family, and I am so glad to hear Willem handled this all like a champ (and you guys too!)

ancy ancy said...

Thanks for posting the pics. Really helps to see what you've been going thru and we've all been praying about. The last one chokes me up, too.

Christine said...

Willem is a trouper --- and bless you all! May you find the days ahead full of light and rest! (I think I would have lined up a half dozen barbershop quartets in the next few weeks....)

Praying for complete and speedier-than-a-kid kind of healing.

(of CAKE)

Gretchen said...

Oh, the last picture did bring tears aplenty to my eyes. You guys really have been through a lot lately.
It looks like you were in a truly good environment for such a procedure and how sweet to have a barber shop quartet come and sing. =0)
I'm happy to see how well Willem is getting along.

richard said...

I am glad to see that all is going well with you guys! Looks like he is doing well, and will be back to his myschivious boy self in no time!

3ish weeks till I get home, I can't wait. E-mail me your phone number and addrss so we can get together when I get home, I have a couple weeks in Portland in December / January.