Friday, September 5, 2008

It Was a Long Day

But once again, I'm thankful that we are where we are.

Today was Nels' first day at his new pre-school. Class started at 9:00. Also scheduled (several weeks ago) for 9:00 today was Willem's echocardiogram at Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland.

Fortunately Shaun's mom was willing and able to spend the night last night and take Nels to and from school while Shaun and I went to the doctor's appointment.

The hospital was striking (the adjective, not the verb). I've never been so aware of being in a "designed" space. In a good way. It was really spectacular, and took perfect advantage of its hillside setting. The view of the city and the river was amazing. I felt like it was the most Portland-y place I've been in Portland.

Anyhow, the tech who did Willem's exam was pretty amazing as well. He set the proper tone right successfully that Willem stepped right onto the scale without protest (something he's never done) and even stood still against the wall so he could be measured (normally impossible.)

We really liked Willem's new cardiologist. Unfortunately we had a long wait for her, and Willem's good will had dissipated by the time she finally tried to examine him. Tried being the operative word.

The situation with Willem's heart is the same as it was when we left Boise. It's time to consider whether or not to go ahead with surgery. It's a tough call because his heart is doing its job just fine right now. It won't be fine indefinitely, though, if the hole doesn't close on its own.

His case will be presented to a group of cardiologists and surgeons either this Monday or (more likely) the Monday after, and they'll offer their opinions on whether or not we should go ahead with surgery. We got a lot more details on what that would be like, and we are hoping that the consensus will be to hold off.

I was pretty sad after our four hours's so heart-wrenching to see the parents with their (much sicker than our) kids. I hold in high esteem everyone who works or volunteers in such a place.

We ended on a high note, though. As we walked out of the lobby, we discovered that the Ice Cream Man had just pulled up in his ice cream truck. Volunteers were bringing free treats into the lobby for those who couldn't come out. Since we were walking by the truck, Willem got to point out what he wanted. He ended up with an enormous ice-cream sandwich that was almost as big as his forearm.

Thus, joy was spread. When we got home Grandma fixed toasted cheese for the boys and we pried a few details out of Nels about his first day of school.

"The teacher's hair looked nicer this time." (As opposed to being a little frizzed out when he met her at back-to-school night.) "So I wasn't so shy."

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