Tuesday, August 23, 2005

How beautiful are the feet of Dr. Haggebeuk...

Today got off to a bad start -- at 12:09 in the morning, in fact... Yeah, it was a rough start to a difficult day. Shortly after midnight, Elliot awoke with an urgent need for the first of what was to be six trips to the toilet during the course of the night. Some nasty virus had wrested control of his little gastro-intestinal tract, and he developed a severe case of diarrhea that kept him and us uncomfortable throughtout the wee hours of the morning. And, well, it's tough for a day to recover after having been preceded by a night like that.

Today also happened to be the day that we were scheduled to talk with the neurologist -- though not until the very end of the business day, unfortunately. Thus, we were forced to go through the motions of our daily routines cloaked with the nagging question in the back of our minds as to just how deep the tumor infiltrated our baby girl's skull cavity... Not exactly the classic recipe for a fun day.

So Elliot camped out on the living room couch (excepting trips to the toilet) -- looking and feeling pitifully -- while Marci and I longingly orbited the telephone... well, looking and feeling pitifully. It had become one of those days where it could be so easy to despise one's own existence. Things seemed to just keep getting worse. Olivia routinely rejected just about every food that we put in front of her throughout the day. A massive bill showed up in the daily mail. The computer was showing signs of having caught Elliot's virus... By dinner time, the tensions in our home had become excruciating. Elliot was complaining that his tummy hurt and that his video had ended. Olivia still wasn't eating. And worst of all, the neurologist was an hour and a half late for the appointed and much-anticipated calling time.

Fortunately, we summitted and began our descent almost instantaneously -- when the telephone rang, and Marci's tone immediately indicated good news from Dr. Haggebeuk. I glanced over her shoulder as she jotted notes: "EEG - normal. MRI / blood vessels - brain is normal." And our family almost palpably breathed a collective sigh of relief for the youngest member of our clan. The connections inside the skull (that had been indicated by the first ultrasound) proved to be a single vein, not even feeding into one of the main cranial blood vessels. Dr. Haggebeuk went further to say that she had no reason to believe the neurological situation would affect or alter treatment of the hemangioma -- and that as far as she was concerned, Olivia's case was closed for her and no further neurological investigations were necessary. We could follow up as planned with Dr. Kuiper -- all of the necessary pre-surgical examinations completed (even earlier than could typically be anticipated)...

And this was very, very good news. Day-changing kind of news.

It just so happened that Elliot started to feel better after suppertime. He was finally able to keep some food down, and we actually caught him enjoying himself with his toys in the living room. Olivia decided to eat some of her spinach. Tech support finally came through with a solution for our computer problems. And, well, Marci and I ended up feeling a lot better, too.

I'd be foolish to say that a good couple of hours in the evening turned everything around into a "good day," or that everything is going to be perfect from here on out. But it's good to feel good, at the end of a long, bad day. And that's worth something.


At 2:20 AM, Anonymous mom said...

Oh, how beautiful, indeed!!! I, too have been "worried" all day (by nature, I am not a worrier, but we ARE talking about my granddaughter!!) I have been "praying without ceasing" today, as has my office manager where I work. Thank you, Lord for this wonderful news!!!

At 5:33 PM, Blogger Jason Slack said...

I breathed a sigh of relief with you as I read your blog. Praise God!

At 1:29 PM, Blogger Eva Ellingsworth said...

that is great! look i am reading your blog..hee
I like the way you write, and we need to get that new artsy picture for you, you look angry in that one.

At 4:55 PM, Blogger Eric Asp said...

I'm so appreciative of the prayer and sympathy that our friends and family have provided through the whole ordeal... It would have been much more difficult without such love and support.

Glad to see that you finally made it to check out the blog, Eva! I agree with you that a new profile photo might be nice... But the old photo works for now -- and that look is "pensive" (not "angry").


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