Monday, February 21, 2005

The Story of Isaac, Part 1

My shoulder is wet.
I winced a few minutes ago, my finger was being chewed to bits.
A slobbery hand reaches out and grabs my nose, gack... smile... I'm suprised by joy.
"Thhhhhhhppppllllerrrrrfffffssssssh." In case you aren't in the know, that was Isaac-speak for, "I'm happy to meet you."

Tuesday May 25, 2004.
Lunchtime. Chris and I are "getting out", on a ride down the coast, headed to a doctor's appointment. She's been on bedrest for weeks now, I think to myself, "its good for her to see the sun and the waves". Her BP is high - and on the up, her sugars are low - insulin needles and snacks are the order for the trip. The doctor retakes the BP, immediately our afternoon shifts gears as we go from one Dr. Kelly to a different Dr. Kelly - one Scripps hospital to another - scaling the ranks of specialization... Perinatologist? You don't visit one unless things are headed downhill.
The adventure is on.

The sort of feeling, that dwarfs the nausea when our hack-nurse-in-training spills my wife's blood all over the floor trying to start a precautionary IV, arrives with the Perinatologist coming into the room with eyebrows raised, my heart skips a beat. We hear, "You aren't leaving the hospital without delivering the baby"... and I'm thinking "we've got over 3 months to go".

From Scripps to UCSD Hillcrest, our third hospital this afternoon. Frustration shades my eyes, I can't see what I should... God's fingerprints... positioning us for that which we cannot imagine. Watching Chris disappear in an ambulance gives anxiety a new face. But this third move is good they say, if she has any more complications, being at UCSD gives the baby a "fighting chance"... a fighting chance?
Needles, blood, my wife a prisoner in a hospital bed... this isn't how its supposed to go down. When preeclamptic swelling hides all the veins, the nurses gore her foot instead - checking for warning signs, constantly monitoring insulin levels among a million other things. Blood pressure though is the central issue, when it spikes she could have a stroke. Some nurses are wonderful, others seem heartless. If the magnesium sulfate doesn't stabilize her BP, there is only one other treatment that is certain to work, c-section. We'll wait for tomorrow, hoping things will calm down.

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