Here’s the problem with Jews. We’re almost more comfortable when dire predictions are on the table because we can grit our teeth, expect the worst, and just forge ahead and get through it one moment at a time. But when gloom turns to hope, we sometimes feel more scared than we were when we were focusing on worst-case scenarios. Oh, THIS may happen? Hooray!! But wait…what if it doesn’t? Or what if focusing on potentially good news incurs the wrath of the Evil Eye and it’s all taken away from us? Most Jews know that the worst possible thing you can say to a Jewish mother, for example, is “Your baby looks so healthy! I bet he never gets sick or has a moment’s discomfort.” That is basically the equivalent of saying, “Your baby is doomed to hell’s eternal fires.”
I’m absolutely, completely THRILLED that we had a really good day with Charlie at the PICU and got some good news about his condition...BUT...in some ways it also makes me more on edge. I was working so hard all week to prepare myself for the possibility of a long haul, as the surgeon said was quite possible, but now, with the new information, I am DESPERATELY HOPING that we may be home by the end of next week. Breathe…breathe…take one day at a time…just be happy that the infectious disease folks seem so certain that there’s no infections present in Charlie’s CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) and that even our very conservative neurosurgeon is thinking that he may be able to operate as early as Tuesday afternoon if that persists. Yippee!! But yes, Mr. Fucking Evil Eye, that could change at any time, and if any infections are detected in the daily examinations of the CSF, we’ll have to spend at least two more weeks in intensive care before they can schedule the surgery. Is it beyond neurotic that I can’t just be purely happy with good news? I am, believe me, but I’m also wired to be a little scared of having too much hope for things going the way I want them to. Is that the genetic result of centuries of persecution?
Charlie was in great spirits today. He’s still frustrated at not being able to get up but our wonderful family members and friends set him up with an iPad, a portable DVD player, and hours and hours of garbage truck-related fun! We had a lot of great visits and one friend even brought Charlie a crazy cool puppet stage that puts the Von Trapp children’s “Lonely Goatherd” theater to shame!
The nurses continue to experiment with their gauze-based millinery on Charlie’s head, trying to protect his external shunt. Today’s winner bore a strong resemblance to Olivia de Havilland’s head gear in the 1938 version of “The Adventures of Robin Hood.”
I now feel completely re-acclimated to the gigantic Cedars-Sinai complex and can easily get from one end of it to the other in the shortest possible time. I'm still having plenty of PTSD-like flashbacks from 2009 but on the other hand, having gone through that experience is making this one so much easier.
Here’s to more good news in the days to come without the specter of that damn Evil Eye!