Saturday, January 2, 2010

One year ago

Originally uploaded by andreas.lehnert
This picture shows Max in what Carolyn and I referred to as the "McMansion" crib. He had outgrown the little lucite boxes used for neonates, but he wasn't able to survive without intensive medical control.

I can't remember now whether, when this picture was taken, he was in the step-down NICU or still in the high-intensity ward (indeed, the NICU would sometimes consolidate all of their patients into a single room when business was slow). I do see that Max was getting supplemental oxygen via a nasal cannula, something he needed off and on for much of his stay at Georgetown.

Reading back through our notes from late December and early January, I see that Max's clinical situation at the time was still precarious, and that we were considering a variety of surgeries--shunt, Hirschsprung's biopsy and, for the first time, something called a "fundoplication".

I also notice that I expected these matters to be resolved one way or another in the near future. But January 2009 would be a long, tense wait during which nothing in particular happened. (Our insurance company took the same view and retroactively denied coverage for Max's hospitalization in January; they later reversed themselves so we were not impoverished by the stroke of a pen.) In some sense, the whole of 2009 was an exercise in patience. In fact, I would divide the year into thirds: the first third in the hospital, the second third grappling with the hospital-at-home, and the last third watching Max get himself organized and start to make progress.