"What are you doing?" I ask
"All he wants is a little attention. I go talk to him whenever he starts crying and the nurses are busy." Beth responds and adds "I wish I could do something for him, maybe I could buy a toy for him from the gift shop."
We both know though that a toy isn't what he needs.
On Sunday everything is looking good for discharge. We can't believe it, open heart surgery on Tuesday and discharge on Sunday!
Powell and I left Albertson's Grocery store a few days ago and ran into Engine 2. It was in fact C-shift and I should have been on duty but my buddy Scotty was working for me. We bear hugged in the parking lot and caught up briefly all while Powell balance precariously on the shopping carpet return area bars. Powell balanced on one lower bar with the upper in between his thighs, swaying back and forth and catching himself at the last minute to recover to a neutral position and sway to the other side. While talking Scotty continued to shift himself and move into a catching position anticipating Powell's inability to right himself and subsequent impact with the asphalt. After his 3rd or forth reposition Scotty noticed my laissez-faire attitude regarding Powell and commented "You just have to let him do it, don't you?"
"He's got some awesome balance and if he takes it too far..." I said. "He can't get awesome balance without falling sometimes."
Two weeks prior though, Gabriel's roommate had started his coughing cycle again and our joy at leaving and seeing Michelle was tempered by the baby's woeful, raspy cough. Michelle soothed him and angrily announced to nobody. I'm calling his parents! We overhead snippets of her end of the conversation (our room was just off the Nurses Station) and could tell she was being fed one excuse after the other. She adamantly requested the parents to come to the hospital telling them their baby needed parental comfort more than anything. We finally heard her state to another nurse after hanging up the phone. "They aren't coming, I think I woke them up." It was about noon.
We have never been to an IKEA and have been too busy to stop by the one in Palo Alto. After discharge from LPCH, my wonderful Cousin Amaya met us at the parking lot and watched Gabriel in the motorhome while Beth and I explored the Swedish superstore!
While home during our break between surgeries we rented the movie Chasing Mavericks shot in Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay, just around the corner from where we were staying. Mavericks is the big wave surf spot of the west coast. The movie is about a young kid training his butt off so he can surf Mavericks with the few veteran surfers capable of handling the athletic endurance and strength required. Gabriel will never have an option to push himself physically to those levels. He'll be able to play and engage in sports but we've read of older HLHS kids that have to abandon sports when the game becomes more competitive in High School. He never will be like other kids and will not have some opportunities but maybe that will just open new avenues we haven't even considered?
We left Half Moon Bay on Tuesday returning to LPCH as an outpatient for a final chest x-ray. He was cleared and the Nurse Practitioner told us he had set the record for discharge after the Glenn procedure! 5 days!
We walked back to the Stanford Mall parking lot, loaded up in the motorhome, waited for the lady in the Maserati to move and headed towards the land of potatoes.
It still seemed surreal, we new they were going to call us at any minute and say we needed to come back. This had happened too fast, this was the same duration we had spent last time just for catheterization!
A netflicks discovery last fall: Powell and I liked the movie, Isabella found it dreadful and Beth fell asleep.