Wednesday, November 22, 2006


For those who may care and because I feel like whining about it, here is the saga of our eventful past week.

After Aaron's surgery last week we spent the night in Portland, lying in a hotel room, Aaron in the bed, nauseous and in pain, me on the floor with a towel as a pillow, jumping every time he moved. He was feeling awful yet when we went back to the doctor in the morning but they pried his eye open long enough to say it looked good, and he got some sleep on the way home. Over the weekend his vision sort of improved, although not as much as we'd expected (based on poor assumptions that the absence of pain would mean the return of vision). We had a few visitors, and on Sunday Aaron attempted to watch the Lions game (based on the poor assumption that they are in fact a professional football team).

Tuesday we had a scheduled appointment to see Dr. Flaxel for a follow-up. His retina still looks good and she was pleased with how much his vision had improved (even though he wasn't!). He will need glasses, but not nearly as strong as in the past. She explained what's making his vision cloudy now--basically blood in the eye--and things like why it seems worse in the morning sometimes. It was the end of the day by then, so she said, "I've got a conference call at 6:00--any more questions? I have 45 minutes!" She was teasing Aaron; she was happy to take the time. It was nice to hear her say how many Marfan's patients she's seen too, both here and in England, where whole families tend to stay put and all go to one main hospital. Our insurance company is moronic if they can't soon comprehend why we went to her instead of "in network." Anyway, we felt great about the visit despite the fact that driving through torrential rain made it an exhausting 9 1/2 hour round trip.

But after that good report came a lousy day. On the way home Aaron felt like his eye was bothering him, but it was so dark and rainy even I could barely see, so it was hard to tell. Wednesday morning he got up early for our YL meeting and could barely see--really sensitive to light, feeling pain, severe fog. Called the doctor's office and they said it wouldn't be the new drops they'd given him; it was most likely the sutures but they should rule out an infection. So at 7:45 we headed NW again . . . in weather that felt like driving through a car wash . . . arrived at 11:00, waited for Dr. Flaxel to get out of a surgery, waited for Aaron's eye to dialate . . . Dr. Flaxel still couldn't see in very well, so we waited for an ultrasound. Yes, they do this much like there's a baby in there.

Dr. Emerson, who helped with the surgery and follow-up came in and looked at it and said it seemed to be bleeding from the sutures, not anything major. He drew for me how the new lens is attached and said probably when they dialated Aaron's eye Tuesday, that caused the iris and eye in general to move and work in different ways and irritate the sutures and cause them to bleed. (Don't worry, these sutures are inside the eye--we are not talking about blood coming out at all.) The blood floating around in the new vitreous layer they put in gets in his field of vision and makes it cloudy. It was clearing up, but now more got in. He recommended sitting upright as much as possible and prescribed a new eye drop--number four--to keep Aaron's eye dialated all the time so it won't be bothered by dialating and undialating.

We left there at about 2:00. Traffic was bad. We needed food. Aaron could hardly see so restaurants and restrooms were not much fun. (I've sure been in more men's rooms lately than I'd like.) With the traffic we knew we'd be getting home late so I thought to call the pharmacy and make sure they weren't closing early for Thanksgiving and that they had the prescription. They didn't have the drops so they'd have them Friday--that's no good. So I called the doctor's office to have them call the prescription in to the larger pharmacy in Newport. Based on our Rite Aid passport photos experience we should have known how that'd go: they didn't have the order when we got there. So I called the doctor's office and they said they'd page Dr. Emerson, who incidentally appears to be a member of Clark Kent/Superman's family tree, but he never takes off his glasses to reveal his true identity. After 10 or 15 minutes I decided, screw this paging system, Dr. SuperBoy gave me his personal cell phone number for a reason, I'm calling him. He spoke to the pharmacist and made sure they had what we needed. After that nice 40-minute delay, we made it home at 7:00.

You see, I've gone to the Valley once a week for the last 5 weeks. Usually I go every six days (Monday, Friday, Thursday, Wednesday, Tuesday), but this week we thought, Nah, 9 1/2 hours of driving in one day isn't enough. Let's go the next day too so we can drive 17 hours in one 36-hour period! And then let's go back in six days! Michigan people, this is like driving from Grand Rapids to Detroit or Chicago. That would have seemed nuts to us when we lived there, but we're somewhat used to it now. Sometimes it really is annoying being so far from a big city and these specialists, though. Especially when driving through a stinkin' monsoon. (At least I have been able to enjoy some real fall color.) But perhaps Stacie is right: God knew we'd need Dr. Flaxel and actually put us close enough to find her.

What would be really nice would be if we would receive our immigration form in the mail so we could drop our adoption paperwork at our agency on one of these trips--and this blog could get back to talking about our family instead of me whining about doctors and driving! I promise I will get back on subject soon--as soon as I am done administering blue-, pink-, purple-, and red-bottled eye drops four, six, three, and two times a day respectively. Good practice for being a mom?!


Anonymous said...

Yes, good practice for your mom life!! And what a story you'll have for your testimonial !! God is holding your hand thru all of this !! love, mom

Gretchen Driesenga said...

whew. that sure is a ton of driving. hopefully you had some good tunes to help the trip go by. when are the dates of your MI adventure trip? are we still on for ethiopian? :)

RMMcDowell said...

Good practice indeed!!