Tuesday, July 14, 2009

An Update from Houston

Let's settle in for a nice long one, shall we?

I'll try to get this done by midnight.

The day started off pretty good with Rachel getting off at a decent time (thanks to Robert and the Houston Ground Angels for the lift to the airport). I understand she upgraded to business class. The ticket agent offhandedly quipped, "you deserve it." and Rachel said, "You have no idea!" You got that right!

After that, I got to get ready at a leisurely pace since our first appointment wasn't until 10:15am. I woke up Charlotte, got her ready, and we walked over to MD Anderson to start our day.

The first appointment was a chest x-ray on the 3rd floor by Elevator 7 (the world of MD Anderson revolves around what elevator your appointment is near). We got there super early and I expected to wait a very long time but I guess they didn't have all that much to do and they got us right in.

The only drama was when CJ saw the actual x-ray equipment. She's had x-rays before but this looked a little more intimidating than the other times and she started getting scared but she's smart and after I explained what was going to happen and how I PROMISED it wasn't going to hurt, she was game. They actually made her stand, which was a new one, and she did whatever the x-ray technician told her to. I got to wear this big o' lead-lined glove to both protect her lower back from the x-rays and my arm from frying while I helped hold her in place. She thought is was funny.

BTW, she has started picking up the phrase, "big o' (whatever)." She used it twice today. Sometimes she adds "hairy" to it like I do once in a while: "Charlotte, you've got a big o' hairy stinky diaper!"

But I digress

So the chest x-ray was pretty easy, early, and painless so then we tooled over to Elevator C 7th floor which is the Peds clinic where we went before to see Dr. Wolfe. We wew actually slated to go to teh second floor but they re-reouted us to the 7th floor because that's where we were supposed to be anyway. The 2nd floor is for adults.

The place was hoppin. The playroom was full of kids, the music therapist was there and he had the kids wrapped around his finger. I was a little soso on him the first time but he was jammin' today. The child life specialist from last time was there too and she remembered us, remembered where we were from, and even some little details about Charlotte's favorite things. That always impresses the hell out of me.

This segment of the day went well too. Miss/Nurse Toni drew the blood, gave CJ a little Snoopy dog (she got a "Fleece" Beanie Baby before the chest x-ray and a platypus Beanie Baby at the Proton Center yesterday!), and we headed back to the "Imaging Center" for the scheduled MRI/assessment starting at 11:30.

Now things started slowing down. It seems there was a problem with one of the machines so they were running behind. Remember that Charlotte was NPO for the second time in as many days. No food all morning and it was getting to be noon-y. Never once did she complain. We read books, watched Sid The Science Kid and Blues Clues videos until the battery in the DVD player petered out. and talked to a couple other patients there. I think the batteries petering out scared them into doing something for us so they at least let us go in the back to wait. I plugged in the DVD player in the back and we finished the Blues Clues that got interrupted out front.

Then before you know it, it was our turn. We went into the MRI room, CJ was holding on pretty tightly but not really freaking out. Again, I told her what was going to happen and it helped, I think. She got the goofey juice, she conked out and I got the next 45 minutes to myself. I went and got lunch!

The time was just after 2pm. It was supposed to start at 12noon. And the MRI lab was pretty chaotic because other doctors were trying to cram other patients in an already full dockett. Like at the Proton Clinic, CJ slept far longer than normal and this time, they had her hooked up to saline for fluids, and by the time I changed her diaper, it was a big o' hairy saturated diaper!

Well my eyes are fighting me so I'll try to finish this tomorrow.

Buenos noches and adios amoebas!

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