Ok, right off, let’s talk about worry. AKA, stuff to pray about. Or, if you’re really in touch with our creator, stuff to run about.
Milk, we need more milk.
Ella, she needs less yellow (jaundice).
She also has a slightly inflamed left ureter. Scary. One ultrasound down, one urologist to go.
And some disconcerting birthmarks, which may be suggestive of spinal problems. What?
Our dear grandfather, it turns out, has had a massive stroke, and looks to be at the end of his life. And we’re here, which is unbearable.
Will continues to do well. His paralytic drugs have worn off, and he’s blinking his eyes, moving his hands and feet, and looking around the room. His chest tube came out today too, and they are starting to feed him a little bit of milk through a new NG tube (see above about urgent need for more milk). He also had a couple of episodes of decreased heart rates (the wife calls it ‘bradying down’, so Google that, I guess). This is normal, I hear, but I don’t like it one bit.
They are also weaning him down off of his pain meds a little bit, to prepare for a weaning off of the ventilator tomorrow. This is good news, obviously, but it’s honestly a little scary to think of him doing without all of these comforts and help. When I last saw him without a ventilator, he was in the middle of a bout of apnea, and was being revived by about 5 very scared medical experts (yes, we obsessively check Ella’s breathing, so don’t make a bit deal about it, ok? Cut us some slack).
So I had a heartwrenching hour this afternoon, seeing my little boy in discomfort, and (I imagine) real pain. I know that he needs to struggle a bit, to be weaned off of his sedation enough that he will start to breathe over and against the ventilator, to demonstrate his strength and to allow him to begin to breath on his own again. Still, watching him repeatedly wake up with a start, wrestle against all of the tubes and lines, shed a tiny tear, look over at me, and try to cry against the tube in his throat, is absolutely heartbreaking.
I tried to tell him through my tears that pain isn’t necessarily a bad thing, about how we need it if we are to grow, about how everything good in this world is paid for with pain, and about how the best workouts that our friend Steve and I have run together have been the ones that hurt the most. What’s learning without confusion, running without lactate, work without fatigue, love without heartbreak? And then I stopped my fatherly lecture and realized that he already knows much more about this than I ever will.