Monday, July 11, 2011

Pump it up, Daniel!

You'd think a grandma who intended to blog about her grandson's surgery would have gone to the hospital prepared.  She would have taken her camera with her and taken a pre-op picture of her grandson to post with the story.
I did go to the hospital prepared.  I took my camera.  However, that presupposes I would remember that I HAD my camera with me when I went into the pre-op room to visit with Daniel today.  I do hope that cure for Alzheimer's is close.
I didn't think to take a picture until Daniel was in the Recovery Room ... where no electronic devices were allowed.  So, the best I can do is feature a picture of the hospital sign.  Gillette Children's Hospital ... a wonderful place that takes awesome care of the children who come there for help.
Following the surgery, I left the hospital to spend some time (and make some fudge) with Lauren and Cam, Daniel's sister and brother - notice how forlorn they are without Daniel at home.  They traded a beautiful arrangement of homegrown flowers for the homemade fudge!  Good trade from my perspective.
Daniel had two different surgeries performed today. One of them was to replace his implanted Medtronic medicine pump .. hence the title of this piece!

I won't go into the technical details since my command of medical jargon is pretty limited. These are just two of the surgeries Daniel has had in his short almost 16 years of life.  He actually had a very major surgery (fusion of his spine) just 3 months ago .. barely enough time to have recovered before getting on the merry-go-round again.  
He was five months old before he ever came home from the hospital, and he had already had 5 neurosurgeries.  There are more surgeries in his future .. a couple that we already know of; possibly others hidden from view at this time.  And he never complains.  Rarely cries.  He just smiles and greets you with his own special sounds.  He wants the same things the rest of us do .. to be loved and accepted.
Daniel is my oldest grandson.  He has beautiful blue eyes, freckles (mostly on one side of his face) and thick brown hair that reminds me of his mother's when she was growing up.  He has knobby knees and is getting visibly taller, something that is obvious even from the confines of a wheelchair.  He likes pretty girls and watching his siblings play computer games. He's the most social kid you've ever met for someone who can't talk, and he makes friends wherever he goes. He uses his head controls to drive his power wheelchair and does a pretty darn good job of it for a kid who hasn't taken driver's ed!  All in all, a pretty typical 15-year old. And, yet, one who is totally different from most other 15-year olds.    
Many years ago, I wrote a poem about being Daniel's grandmother. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it.  I've never shared it with anyone.  Today seems an appropriate time to share it.  This space seems an appropriate place to publish it.
My excitement at being a grandparent was ...
Tempered with fear at the fact of his premature birth
Shattered by the words, "He may never walk."
Rekindled the first time I held him in my arms.
Put on hold during his first neurosurgery.
Bolstered with relief when all went well.
Awed at his tenacity in choosing life over all obstacles in his path.
Shored up by pride when watching his parents cope with the unexpected change in direction of their dreams.
Dampened by sorrow at the realization of all he would never be able to enjoy or experience.
Swelled by amazement at the realization of all we would learn from him.
Renewed by hope the first day he left for school on the bus.
Amplified by gratitude and faith in the next generation after witnessing the many classmates who greeted him and accepted him so readily when we lunched together on Grandparents' Day at school.
Married with acceptance of the gift he brings into our lives ... the gift we call Daniel.
And through all of the excitement and fear and wonder and awe and gratitude and hope and acceptance runs the strongest emotion of all .... love.


Anonymous said...

Oh Mom... that is a beautiful tribute!

Michele said...

Oh Mom.... that is a beautiful tribute!