Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Modern medicine

I suppose that ER, Grey's Anatomy and Scrubs should desensitize us all to the intricacies, invasiveness and unpredictability of modern medicine. But, when it's your kid on the gurney, a ventilator tube coming out his mouth, IVs running into his hand, both feet, his neck; a catheter draining pee and a tube draining blood from a 6-inch incision in his chest—well, nothing really prepares you for that.

And then, after you have choked back the tears and stifled the urge to panic and run, it is amazing how quickly you adjust. Within minutes you are reading the paper, chatting with the nurses about the weather, stopping occasionally to cradle his head or hold his feet when he wakes up crying and fighting all that has invaded his body.

In this place, these things are the facts. This is the place where little children come because otherwise they would die. This is the place where tiny babies fight for life and their mothers grow accustomed to sleeping on the floor under the fluorescent lights of the PICU lounge. This is the place where doctors say things like, "Well, she's going to be here a really long time, but I'm pleased with her progress." It is a place where drains and needles and incessant beeping make you forget that there is a world of children going to school and riding bikes and eating macaroni and cheese.

Of course, this is not normal—at least it should not be, was not meant to be. And yet, for us, for Levi, this is the place of miracles.


mburgin said...

glad to hear the update. we think of you constantly! praying that the pht is indeed transient. and that sweet levi rests well today.

lots of love,

Anonymous said...

Dear Larisa, Matt, and family; Your description brought back very vivid memories to me of when my own John spent 3 weeks in the NICU. What a scary time, but so thankful all the drs and nurses knew what they were doing. Its a place for miracles - big ones and small ones - and for guardian angels. You probably will never forget this rollercoaster ride, but thankfully Levi will. So glad he's resting well! God bless!

The Muhs Family

Jacqui & John said...

I only had to endure a day surgery procedure with my daughter. That hurt way too much to see her lying on the gurney knock out. My heart goes out to you as navigate through this journey to a healthy Levi.


Anonymous said...

Ifound your blog through your sister's posting on Carolyn's board. Hoping that Levi recovers quickly and you are back at home enjoying life soon.

This post is one of the most touching I have read in a long time and so accurately describes life in the CVICU/ PICU/NICU for heart kids. Heart surgery was a miracle for us, too. One of my twin sons has had open heart surgery -- twice, once at 11 days and once at a year and a half, with an angioplasty thrown in there for good measure.

For us, we were amazed at how resilient our little guy is, and how much more appreciative we are of the little things. Going through what we have gone through has made us able to not "sweat the small stuff".

Hoping the lines and tubes are pulled soon, and that you aren't stuck in the hospital for too long.

Thanks for such a touching post.

Kristen (Katiebug from Carolyn's boards)

Anonymous said...

Larisa, I am a close friend of your sister Mindy. She has shared her nephew's story w/ me and I want to offer you prayers and support as your little boy undergoes this invasive but it sounds like much needed surgery. I hope he recovers quickly and is not in much pain.

With love from a fellow adoptive mother~Deana in California

Anonymous said...

I post on a board that Mindy posts on and have been touched by your journey with Levi's heart condition. I am praying for strength and healing for Levi and strength for you. What a wonderful kid! We adopted our daughter in July (as a newborn) and in November when she was about 4 months old, she also went through Tetralogy repair. She bounced back so quickly and I know Levi will to. Kids are so strong! Hang in there and know that there are so many people praying.

Mandy said...

Hi Larisa and Matt,
We have all been praying and will continue to pray for Levi and you both.Praying also for the Doctors to have the wisdom needed.Praise God Levi is here in the US able to get the care he needs not still with us in Uganda.
Mandy and the Welcome Home Family

Anonymous said...

I am an acquaintance of Sam Morris and he sent some of us an email asking for prayer for your family. I have read through your blog and was really touched. I have never had to deal with anything like this, but my heart goes out to you guys. I cried as I was reading and started praying that you would have an extra measure of comfort today. Your family will be in my prayers.

Jana Turner