Saturday, March 15, 2008

Midnight at the Eli Cafe

Dave at the wheel:

Howdy howdy howdy. That’s how we say “hello” in Oklahoma. In fact, I’m pretty sure you can get a ticket from a cop if you greet someone with anything other than “howdy,” “howdy-do,” or a polite tap of your imaginary hat. Some people say “hey,” but it’s alright if they quickly correct themselves. The Oklahoma jails are full of West Coast tourists who couldn’t keep from saying “Sup, dawg.”

It’s day five of our most recent excursion into the wonder of hospital-ity, care of Saint Francis Hospital (known to my pal John Hartmeyer as “Saint Frank”). My grandparents treated me to a Pizza Hut deep dish “Meat Lover’s” pizza tonight, and it’s coloring most of my ongoing pessimisms in a warm glow of red pepper-flavored steam and marinara sauce hues. So forgive me if I come across as overly giddy, as opposed to my last blog-posted rant from the other end of the spectrum. Also, forgive me for that rant. I was not my fuzzy, pragmatic self that evening.

Elijah’s sleeping well tonight, and he’s been giggling throughout the day. I promised you I’d have some good news for you, and there it is. We still don’t know how long he’s going to be in the hospital, nor how his tummy will tolerate the sudden transition back to formula (and off of IV fluids), but for the moment, we seem to be enjoying the eye of the storm.

There have been moments of angst, of course. We had to remove the broviac (central line) when we discovered it had a yeast infection – the source of the 105-degree fever, to be sure -- and as it turns out, that decision was doubly important, because today’s blood tests show that the old broviac ALSO had staph all over it. My reaction to the news, I’m embarrassed to admit, was a kind of emotional disconnect, like when I heard they were canceling “Friends” – it’s devastating news, but there’s nothing you can do about it now, and big problems you didn’t even know existed have been solved. How can you be mad? More importantly, why? And at whom? Better to say “thank you” and trust that everyone knows what they’re doing.

But most importantly, you have to look at God (I imagine him above me, near the ceiling, as I have since I was three) and say, “I know you know what you’re doing, so just keep doing it.” I think that pretty well sums up my prayer these days. As long as we’re able to protect Elijah from legitimate, ongoing pain, I believe we can pretty well handle anything, and I do mean ANYTHING, that comes along.

Quick genetic update: We heard from the gene researchers in Finland, and they’re telling us they’ve confirmed the location of Elijah’s genetic mutation. I’m going to hold off giving you all the details we’ve been given until we’ve had a chance to talk with our doctors about this some more. In the meantime, keep praying for good news each time we walk into one of these guys’ offices. No amount of stickers and lollipops can make up for some of the outrageous speculations they’re making… especially because so many of them are correct.

Continue to pray for Elijah as we withstand the ministrations of our capable docs and nurses. They’re great, and they care deeply, but it’s just so hard to sleep in this place!

More importantly, pray that we get Elijah back on track IMMEDIATELY with his eating and weight gain. Remember, his upcoming surgeries will be safer the more body mass he carries into the operating rooms. Which is the opposite boat for the rest of us. I could stand to have a few less grandparents buying me Pizza Hut deep dish “Meat Lover’s.” Not that I’ll start turning them down any time soon…

One final note: If you’re ever around the Sapulpa area, stop by our place and see the Leprechaun Trap that my daughter Sophia built for school. She designed the entire thing in her own pretty little head and explained to me and her Grammie Ayers how it should be constructed. The gist is this: We made a spider web (yarn in a wire hanger frame) and set it on top of a fake pot of gold (rocks painted yellow, also her idea). It’s ingenious, but unfortunately, Sophia is now nervous about the prospect of ACTUALLY catching a leprechaun. So am I, if I’m honest… Not many people know this, but I had a pet leprechaun as a child. The gold was great, you know, at first, but then your friends change on you, and you’re just “the guy with the gold.” Also, they are hard to housebreak. And try dressing them in non-green. The drama!

One p.m. Wow, is Elijah STILL asleep? We really messed with him half-an-hour ago, reading his vitals (blood pressure, respiration, temperature, fashion sense) and pouring 45 cc of formula in his tummy. Then he went right back to sleep with a tiny little hoarse moan. He didn’t even complain that someone dressed him in little yellow duckies instead of the rugged camouflage he deserves. He’s such a great, great kid. (Insert “awwwwww” here.)

BIG THANKS to my grandparents, Marvin and Bobbie Groves, for driving up from Edmond for the better part of this week. They took care of the boy by themselves today, and they kept him well entertained. Marvin approached him in the crib when he was screaming, and when Marvin touched his feet, for some reason he stopped immediately, fascinated by those big hands on his little toes. Then they had a very nice talk... probably about me. We'd been completely helpless without the Groves, especially during our OKC trips. They are my heroes.

Good night, and keep praying.



Anonymous said...

Sounds like things are getting back on track. Thank you for the update. Give Mel my love and best wishes. I think of all often and with admiration and prayers.


Nadra said...

You're allowed to "rant"'re a parent! Sounds like Eli is doing better. We're praying for continued improvement, for weight gain and for you guys as well. Take care!

Charlie & Nadra Conner

aimeenky said...

David and Melissa,
I'm praying for you guys and Eli a lot! You guys are really troopers.

God bless you all,
Aimee (Heald) Nielson