Here’s Charlie enjoying an after-doctor’s visit frappuccino (coffee-free, of course!). We went to his neurosurgeon this week to get the stitches removed from his head and although they insisted it wouldn’t be painful, poor Charlie was not pleased to have one of the neuro-dudes who was constantly poking at him in the hospital coming at his skull with a sharp pair of scissors. Oy. He screamed bloody murder for a bit but was all smiles for Dr. Danielpour, the surgeon who’s seen Charlie’s brain up close and personal eight times in the last four years. After a quick examination, the doctor said that everything looked great and then he uttered those five beautiful words that we always long to hear in his office: “See you in a year!” So much sweeter than those heart-stopping five words we’ve heard on several occasions: “I’m admitting Charlie right away.” As you can see, Charlie is now wearing his Cedars-Sinai Department of Neurology-issued knit cap to keep his wounds covered until they are completely healed. I think it’s pretty hip—he almost looks like he could be grinding Kenyan coffee beans at the Silver Lake Intelligentsia.
Charlie still can’t bathe until next week so it will be a full month in which he has not had a proper washing. Is he turning French or something? JUST KIDDING, you all know what a Francophile I am, right? Hey, my daughter is half-French! I’d have to go all the way back to traveling on the metro during the year I went to school in Paris in the late 1970s to add any credence to that offensive stereotype. And, anyway, the French are probably much healthier for not scrubbing themselves as neurotically as we Americans tend to do.
Here we are this morning at one of our downtown haunts. Those low-angle iPhone selfies make me look more like Jabba the Hutt than I usually do, but I love seeing us out and about together. And Charlie's recuperation continues—beginning yesterday, his walking has dramatically improved, I’m happy to report, and he can walk unassisted for nice long stretches.
It's hard not to think of the other kids Charlie shared the PICU with. Some of them were not in good shape at all and I wonder how they're doing. I feel so, so grateful about where we're at now despite some scary times a few weeks ago. And, starting when we were in the hospital, I find that I'm thinking a lot about not only kids (and their families) who have chronic health problems, but also children and parents who have to go through the worst possible nightmares because of random accidents or worse. I found myself thinking of the parents of the Sandy Hook kids even more when we were at Cedars than I did last December when that unspeakable tragedy occurred. It's one thing to have to deal with the terrors of having a sick child because of various issues with their bodies that you have no control over, but I simply cannot imagine, thank God, what it must be like to watch your perfectly healthy child gunned down out of the blue for no reason whatsoever. And then to have to listen to the resulting bullshit arguments against saner gun control laws in this country, I honestly don't know how those parents can endure it. (Note: If you're an NRA supporter and you want to remind me that better gun control laws wouldn't have stopped the Sandy Hook tragedy, please don't bother, that's not the point I was trying to make.)
Crazy that I've written more in this blog in the past three weeks than I did in all of 2012. I'm very glad I had a place to record those events and I may just continue writing in here even if the absence of such a crisis (yay!) leaves me with far less to report. I guess instead of being self-conscious about recording my thoughts when I don’t have that much to say, I’m thinking of Holocaust survivor Gerda Weissmann Klein’s Oscar speech. To paraphrase, I find that after our recent experience, I’m quite grateful for “the magic of a boring blog post!”
Until then, here’s Charlie’s salute to this week’s World Read Aloud Day which was created several years ago by my friends Pam and Jim Allyn and their amazing organization LitWorld: