Friday, December 19, 2008

All I Want For Christmas Is Some Red Blood Cells

As I've mentioned before, Benjamin was born with a blood cell disorder. Although it has necessitated a stay in the NICU, more doctor visits and procedures than he cares to remember, and blood transfusions, we are very grateful that his is a fairly low-maintenance disorder to have. As long as Benjamin stays healthy, we have little to worry about. When he does fall ill, however, he is in danger of becoming dangerously anemic. Unfortunately, our little guy picked up a bug several weeks ago that he was unable to kick, and thus began the medical merry-go-round. Blood tests and x-rays and hospitals, oh my!

Several days of testing revealed that Boo would be needing a transfusion. Luckily, we have the best pediatrician in the world. When I was still a swollen, hormonal pregnant woman, I interviewed ("ruthlessly interrogated" is more like it) several pediatricians, and Dr. Sharon Kaminker was the only one who passed muster. As we got to know mommies and babies in the area, we found that Dr. K had fans in many places. The last time I saw her, I joked that we were going to start The Cult of Sharon Kaminker, which made her laugh. Somewhat uneasily, I think. Anyway, we checked into the peds ward of Santa Monica-UCLA Hospital where the wonderful nurses got him set up and Dr. K also came to check on him.

In between the various tests and procedures, Benjamin carried on with business as usual. He ate crackers and watched talk shows, yelling at the asinine comments people made.

He took naps against a soundtrack of beeping and whirring machines.

He tore up a menu after he was told that his favorite meal of string cheese, yogurt, and pork sausage wasn't on it.

He hung out in the children's playroom where he fiddled with toys, drew on a pad of paper (and on himself), and read a book.

He kicked back with Daddy, made Mommy smile, and sang songs with his future mother-in-law, Catherine.

And yes, he did business as usual in his potty. A funny sidenote: The pottying has actually come in quite handy this week. When a lab tech told me that she'd have to "bag" Benjamin to collect a urine sample, I told her that that wouldn't be necessary, because I could simply ask him to pee into a cup like all the other patients. The look of shock on her face when I procured the sample was priceless. Also priceless was Catherine's reaction when Benjamin decided to entertain her by very enthusiastically going Numero Dos in his potty while she was visiting.

After a fitful night, an endless day, and prayers from family and friends, Benjamin's blood counts went up, his fever stayed down, and we were discharged. It happened not a moment too soon: in the words of Jack Bauer, this was the longest day of our lives.

5 comments:

Charming Handle said...

I'm glad he's home and doing well!!!

Catherine (aka Lucy's Mommy) said...

I second that! :)

Because Lucy really, really, misses her Benjamin!

Ms. Shamash said...

This warms my little nurse heart. I'm so glad he is feeling better and miss you guys! xoxo

Debbie Kee said...

I know B was the staff's favorite little mohawk patient the hospital has ever seen! So happy our Boo is almost back to his healthy self, right in time for his first Christmas!!

linkergirl said...

Berry goes to Dr. Kaminker too! I love the posting because its so positive and it melts my heart!