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It’s tough to watch Kevin struggling…

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THURSDAY, AUGUST 28, 2008 10:14 PM, CDT

It’s tough to watch Kevin struggling – exhausted and sedated. It is what was expected, so no one is worried, but it sure isn’t what we hoped for. Since a surgery like this hasn’t been done for ten years here at Primary Childrens, there isn’t a clear script, though a steadily decreasing level of stomach fluids of a lighter color being pumped out of Kevin’s stomach would be a great sign. Right now they are steady to increasing and of a brown not a yellow color. Kev’s weight is down two pounds – again expected but not ideal. We had good counsel from Dr. Jeff Botkin’s medical experience: Use a calendar not a clock in situations like this. So, here’s to the calendar.

Each day we’ve gathered as a family in room 3060. It’s a Whiting take on the old time radio tradition, we’ve just replaced the radio broadcast, with Kevin’s IV pump. Jeff and I help Katie and Phil with their homework. Grammie and Papa read the paper. Speeches from the Democratic convention filter into the conversation. Kevin snoozes while we hold his hand – one set of pumps sending fluids into his body, another set of tubes pulling the fluids out. It’s all a bit Twilight Zoneish.

The hospital is well set up as a basecamp. We come and go from the bed/chair to meetings and school. “Hello honey, I’m home,” I cried to the family crowd lounging around the room upon my return. Mom rushed the three feet to grasp my briefcase, let me know that ‘dinner was ready’, and encouraged me to put my feet up while she ‘got me a drink.’ Ah, hospital humor.

Meanwhile Phil is throwing himself into rugby – especially his fingers, which are officially broken as of this afternoon’s x-rays. He is pleased with his classes which make up his junior year in high school. College only slightly spoiled him this summer. Katie’s school is incredibly understanding of her situation – she took off at lunch to help take care of Kevin when I needed to leave for my meeting. How fortunate we are with our family and our community of caring.

And so perhaps tomorrow will be the day that Kevin’s intestines “wake up.” If you can direct your prayers, thoughts and energy in that direction, that would be great. Of course, with the calendar in front of us, maybe tomorrow will instead be another IV broadcast. Until then, I’ll sign off to the sounds of the night chirps of hospital monitors. ‘Night John boy.

All the best.

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About the Author:

Professor and award winning author, world traveler, Mom, thought leader, mentor, friend, and advocate Vicki Whiting, Ph.D. is dedicated to the facilitation of learning and the development of leaders in all walks of life.

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