Fortune Friday

“You are a bundle of energy, always on the go.”

This fortune should have gone to the lil’ peanut, rather than the Baba, who is an Object At Rest Trying Valiantly, Against All Odds, To Stay At Rest. If I had a personalized license plate, it would read: I [heart] NRTIA. (Which inspires a digression: in California, for some time now, licence plates have included cutsie symbols like hearts and hands. And of course upon first seeing one, my immediate thought was, How does a serious California Highway Patrol officer phone in one of these? When they get to the “heart” part? And still sound butch enough?)

The lil’ peanut was a bundle of energy last night, always on the go, all the way up until around about 3:30am, when we finally left Children’s Hospital. Kindly medical professionals there tanked him up on oxygen, albuterol, and steroids yet again (we’ve been there once before; if you don’t have the time or inclination to peruse that short post, the key take-home image is this one, depicting what I fear to be the inevitable result of his youthful intake of steroids).


He left Children’s Hospital smiling and breathing easy*, which was good, since he arrived panting like a dog on a hotter-than-July day. That’s how we were breathing upon arrival, too, but it was from worry, not swollen air passages. Doesn’t help that we spent near on nine months in and out of that building, during my nephew’s fierce, losing battle with brain cancer. That building may be home to as many triumphs as tragedies, but in our family, the latter is what defines the place. It also doesn’t help that the third anniversary of the end of that battle is this coming Monday. My nephew was a bundle of energy, too. Always on the go. In retrospect, I think it’s because some wordless part of him knew he had a lot of living to pack into a short time.

Last night, what we needed (aside from not being in that building) was for the pulse oximeter thingy — that doolie-bop that they attach to a digit to read the oxygen level of the blood — to have a spring at the end of its cord. That way, he could have bungee-jumped up and down off the side of the little bed in our curtained-off holding pen. Which would have been infinitely less stressful than trying to hold his corkscrewing body for four wide-awake, fluorescently-lit, middle-of-the-nightime hours, waving a steam-spouting tube in the vicinity of his rotating face.

At the raggedy end of our stint he was done with the medicinal misting, and we began to try to let him walk around a bit. His main goal was to play peek-a-boo with the three year-old girl on the other side of the curtain. Her mother endeared herself to me by erupting with “¡Ay, que guapo!” or “¡Ay, que lindo!” every time he popped his head around. She asked her daughter whether she’d like them to take him home with them, and her daughter, a living doll herself, managed a little smile, and said “Sí.”

All was well with his peregrinations until he managed to break away and bolt to the end of the pulse ox cord, which of course promptly yanked him down. He let out a wail of frustration, let me right his little body, and then went back to the business of roving around, true to his fortune, and to his inheritance from his oldest cousin.

* Diagnosis: bronchialitis or mebbe incipient asthma; time will tell, but he’s on the mend. The stuff of many a babyhood.

11 thoughts on “Fortune Friday”

  1. oh how I know how those nights in the children’s hospital with little who can’t breathe go. They get all hopped up on the drugs and there’s just SO MUCH for them to explore, and the thingamaboby on the finger that gets in the way…

  2. Bronchiolitis would be better than incipient asthma at any rate.
    The munchkin had it but was fortunate enough to escape a hospital visit.
    Here the whole country goes on red alert when the first cases of bronch’ crop up.

    Is it going around in the neighbourhood near you? Usually it’s a winter disease, I thought.

    We gave the steroids once, but she was literally bouncing off the walls so had to stop the treatment. Did they give you one of the aerosols to take home?

    Take care all of you and hope you all get some rest!

  3. Thank you all for your kindly well-wishing. You’re so right about the steroids and the hopping up. They mentioned this only after they were administered (we forgot from the last time). The albuterol stuff is also hopping-up. Greatly adds to the “bundle of energy, always on the go” bit. Just gave him another squirt (yes: we have a “spacer” and a squirty bottle and all), and he resisted it with the vigor of a superhero. Clearly I need to hire some of the King Kong wranglers.

  4. Have heard via the parenting grapevine that there is something that does what the albuterol does, but without all the hyper side-effects. The stuff is supposedly much more expensive, so one may have to ask for it as well as shell out the dough. Sorry to be such a tease; if I can remember from whom I heard about it, I’ll call them and repost.

  5. You heart nutria?

    Odd, but not the oddest plate I’ve seen. (Nevada is full of vanity plates, more so than anywhere else I’ve ever been.)

    By the way, if I-heart-NTRIA is taken, you could also go with I-heart-RSOUS (the plural of ROUS), since that’s what nutria basically are.

  6. Eek! A rodent! N-R-T-I-A in my book equalled inertia. Though the nutria does look kinda cute. For a rodent. I have enough squirrels in my life at the moment, and the beloved reminds me often that they are indeed a part of the rodent family.

  7. Speedy and restful recovery to you all. What a run of ill-luck. Enough to test anyone’s mettle.

    It’s always the drive to the childrens’ hospital that gets me- through quite a wild city centre park. There’s a particular bend that evokes the emotions experienced when 2 had repeated unplanned hospital admissions. This music (inspired by the tempestuousness of a storm) reminds me of that time.

    http://www.chesternovello.com/Default.aspx?TabId=2432&State_3041=2&workId_3041=14694#

    That particular annus horribilis is long gone (just a twist in the road?). Though of course for us, the tinkling ivories did indeed win out at the end.

  8. Glad to hear it’s (hopefully) nothing serious.

    CJ had something similar when he was about that age. He woke up and couldn’t breathe. I was really glad I had indoctrinated him to Star Wars so young, because the only way they could give him the breathing treatment was to call it a Darth Vader mask and have him make the Darth Vader noise to breathe it in. He walked around with that mask for weeks afterward, so proud of it.

    Sometimes I wish our two could get together – they would make a great tag team :oD

  9. My god, Chumpy, that is beautiful music. So evocative. As we drove back from (the) hospital, no one was on the streets (it being circa 3:30 am). All the lights were blinking either yellow or red; streetlights cast fuzzy circles of light onto nothing and no one. The random other car. This music would make wonderful accompaniment (particularly since there’s a sense of wonder, slightly more than dread, that I hear in it).

    What a gift. Thank you.

    And Chris, next time either of us is in either’s neck of the woods, I do think we should have a CJ / P-nut summit. The series of pictures you have up of him right now are crazy adorable. 🙂

  10. I’m sorry to hear what happend to lil’ peanut, I thought I should share my story and a little piece of advice. I have asthma in combination with allergies (don’t know the correct english term) and have gone through a lot of trips to specialists. when I was about 4/5 years old, they found out that I had asthma (a bit late, since I was sick a lot from the age of 4 days on) and that my lung capacity was about 30%. you get the picture. anyways, I got treated in many different ways and mostly could live with it very well. it got better the older I got and now it’s basically gone, I have my spray for emergencies (about 5-9 times a year) and know how to deal with it.

    anyways, here goes my advice: I don’t know about your insurance and how these things are covered in the states, but I had and still have acupuncture (laser, not needles). for me, it costs 10 euros a session and it’s definitly worth it. there were times when I was ill for weeks on end and on really heavy meds that helped, but as soon as I stopped taking them I got worse again and acupuncture was the only thing that helped. I have to say though, every person reacts different to it, so you might find out that it’s not helping your boy at all. but I think it’s definitly worth a try – if you find a good doctor who offers that. I hope he gets better soon!!

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