Sunday, January 30, 2011

Away, With Anything That Holds You Safe

On Saturday, while Amanda and Julia were living it up at the hospital, Finn and I were forced to attend a birthday party for a newly minted four-year-old. We had to endure pleasant company, good food, cake, and a piƱata. Finn had fun, sometimes playing with the other kids and sometimes sneaking off by himself and finding a quiet place and some toys to play with. It was a nice time, but my mind was elsewhere.

I had spoken to Mandy earlier in the day and Julia's blood counts were still low to the point of non-existent and the mouth sores that had quickly developed were ugly and painful enough to have her on a constant morphine drip. The pain medication allowed her to eat a little bit more and she was also on an IV nutrition supplement.

Mandy's dad was in town for the weekend and that allowed us a little extra breathing room for making the switcheroo at the hospital. So Sunday evening, Mandy drove home while Grandpa Duane stayed at the hospital with his granddaughter. I drove to Children's last night (and thoroughly enjoyed seeing both big-building skylines at night). Julia's fever was back up at the time and she was not sleeping very comfortably. By the time morning came, the fever was down to close to normal and the best news was that the blood counts were up. The word around the hospital wing is that we'll be here until Tuesday for sure, maybe longer. They want Julia to be off antibiotics, off morphine, fever-free, and eating decent (and all for 24 hours) before they send her home.

I think Mandy and I are handling things very well. People tell us that we are, but they can't really know for sure. I can't speak for Mandy on this, but I am handling it well - and in a healthy way. That doesn't mean I don't fluctuate between acceptance, anger, sadness, despair, and hopefulness, I do, but the whole time I feel I'm properly realistic and grounded. It throws me off a lot when things force us from our planned road map, but if I can figure out a plan of sorts, even if it's just in my head, I feel better. That all being said, I sure hope these last few days have been rock bottom.

The ending of all of this is still unwritten, and while I remain optimistic about Julia's future, hers is the biggest unknown. "Unwritten" for me doesn't mean completely unknown because even though I don't know what my life will look like six months from now, I am certain that whatever the outcome, I will come away unbroken and changed only for the better.

The picture at the top is from before this hospital stay, the next three are from Saturday, and the bottom one is from today.