November 9th, 2010
I wrote yesterday about our scare with Jacob. It’s been quite the day.
Before I go into it, I want to say thank you to all the many of you that have sent comments and support our way. Terah and I haven’t had the chance to reply to many of them, but we have read every one, and very much appreciate it!
Terah spent the night with Jacob, and I spent the day with him today (others were present for parts of it too). Jacob was mostly in good spirits. He was up and around, pushed his IV around himself in the room and to the bathroom. He called it “my VI machine” (not a typo — take that, Emacs, eh?) He continued to enjoy measuring his trips to the bathroom. We went “exploring” a few times. He would walk or run down one of the long corridors in the hospital, holding my hand, while I pulled the IV along. We often went by the cafeteria, which he called the kitchen. One time he insisted that I get a cup of coffee from the free coffee dispenser. I insisted that I didn’t want to, but eventually asked, “Shall I get a pretend cup of coffee?” “Yeah!” So he watched me get a pretend cup, pretend to fill it, and pretend to drink it — and smiled and clapped for me after.
He spent hours watching videos of trains on YouTube. This is a favorite activity at home too, but we obviously limit the amount of time he can spend doing it. I had to limit the amount of time he spent with it today too, of course, but he got rather more time with it than usual.
Jacob had his usual books, but I thought we might try something new today. This morning, I loaded The Tale of Peter Rabbit (with illustrations) onto my Kindle. Jacob loved it, and enjoyed pressing the Next Page button in the Kindle. We read it twice, and he is interested by the promise of other stories about rabbits. It also probably didn’t hurt that his grandma had given him a rabbit in the hospital yesterday.
As we got on towards evening, I told him that tomorrow could be a “normal day.” His response: enthusiastic applause and a big grin, plus “YAY!”
Jacob loved eating today. He wolfed down breakfast and lunch. He enjoyed the lemonade I brought for him again, and played with some toys, and yes, watched some more train videos in the afternoon. He also pretended to ignore the visitors he got as much as possible (pretty typical for him actually).
The doctor came by at about 6:00PM and again was just stunned at how well he’s doing. Jacob neither complained of any pain nor acted like he had any — even when the nurses would rub neosporin on his wounds. The doctor was still just stunned at how well he was doing. He told us his last tractor accident resulted in a death before LifeWatch could arrive, and the one before that turned a good student and a promising athlete into a wheelchair-bound person with a vocabulary of 20 words. “I can’t believe I’m discharging him today, but try as I might, as I go over all the details, there’s no reason for him to stay.” I thanked him for all his help, and he said, “I didn’t do anything for him. All I did was figure out what had happened to him…. I guess we have the CT to prove that something really did happen, but the fact that he showed up at my office in the first place was stunning enough.”
Jacob started to get more excited after the IV was unhooked from him. He didn’t particularly like having the needle removed, due to the pain of taking off the tape, but was happy to have it gone. He was making plans: “will we stop by the train station on the way home? It’s the middle of the night — maybe a train will be there!” (If it’s dark outside, it’s “middle of the night” to him) We agreed to stop by the cafeteria to pick him up one last lemonade, than stop at the train station.
The nurses offered a wheelchair to take him out to the car with. I said I didn’t think he’d want it. One of them said, “Wouldn’t you like a FUN ride in a WHEELCHAIR?” Jacob: “No.” Me: “I suspect he will want to run out of here.” Nurse: “OK then.”
We walked, or half ran, to the cafeteria to get his lemonade. Then we went out to the car. He was excitedly jabbering about everything: the car, my radio, and especially the train station. We did drive by, and at least got to see a freight engine go past. He noticed the Christmas lights starting to be set out along Main Street, and said, “Dad, it’s CHRISTMAS!” “Well, almost…” Then he got quiet, and eventually fell asleep in the car. He had almost fallen asleep while eating his lunch, but stayed awake, and then got interested in other things so he had no nap today.
When we got home, I unbuckled him and pulled him out of his seat. He opened his eyes for just a second, wrapped his arms tightly around my neck, put his head on my shoulder, and fell back asleep while I carried him up to his room. I put him down on his own bed. He had a contented sigh, pulled his favorite blanket up to his neck like he loves to do, and was back asleep in no time. Our little boy is home, safe and sound. It’s a happy day.