Kevin and I were talking this morning

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Kevin and I were talking this morning, and we decided that he is living in a season long Man vs. Wild. He is Man. Wilkes Syndrome is Wild. The family, meal makers, gift card providers, grass mowers are the crew and you are the viewers. All play an important role. He wants out of his contract. In fact, he never applied for the role, so he isn’t too thrilled to be playing the part. Anyone who has watched him over the past year knows that he has earned an Emmy for his role. Dr. Downey remarked (upon seeing the state of Kevin’s duodenum) that an adult simply would not have tolerated living under the pain that must have accompanied the state of the organ. So, indeed, he is stronger than I can fathom, never complaining, never whining – not even now, when I know that he is at the end of his emotional limits.

Of course we are all thrilled to be home from the hospital, joyful that the surgery went well, and relieved that Kevin is receiving IV medication and nutrition twelve hours a day. He has never “eaten” so well. And – recovery from Kevin’s particular surgery, and his sustained illness – in addition to twelve hours of IV therapy is quite demanding on a household, as you can imagine. Jeff and I opted out of having home health come in twice daily to manage the IV, and took on the responsibility ourselves. It’s not too hard, it’s just a frightening responsibility. Air bubbles, infections, occlusions, injections – words that were not in our vocabulary are now whispered throughout the night. It is somewhat like having a newborn baby, but instead of listening for a cry, we listen for the little scream of the infusion pump. 

Meanwhile Grammie and Papa took off to pack for their trip to Butan and India. Katie begged them to buy the house next door, and they of course would have stayed because that’s who they are, but we said good-bye to our live-in support with huge hearts full of appreciation. Now I’m back at work, Phillip and Kate are back at school and rugby/lacrosse, and we are easing Kevin into a schedule that he can handle. Right now it is one class a day, using a wheelchair to minimize energy and calorie consumption.

Kevin caught a cold. Exactly what we don’t want. So, in a nutshell, Kevin doesn’t get any commercial breaks, filming has been going on for over a year now, and I think that I can speak for the entire crew when I say that we’re ready for this season to end.


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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