Tuesday, June 25, 2013

He's Back!

Was the past week just a weird dream? It flew by and everything went so smoothly ... And now Callum will complete his recovery at home. How great to be on the other side of spinal surgery.

Sunday, June 23, 2013


"With all these wires and blood from another person, I may become something new: a robot lizard that will walk on 2 legs and shoot from its hands with detonators.
With all these wires, my mutation could be completed in a day or two."

That's our boy!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

True Metal

Before ...

And after.

And here we are, in the PICU at the new Hopkins children's center.

Right now Callum is sleeping through a Star Wars marathon that we only keep running because we're afraid the sudden silence might wake him. And despite a lot of  pain medication, he's been stubbornly wakeful all day, since emerging from surgery at around 12:30.
The doctors report the procedure went pretty much exactly as planned, and Cal has been a total trooper throughout.
The anesthesiologists were kind enough to let both me and Janet stand at Cal's bedside when they put him under. What a great team - they were chatting with Cal all the way into the operating room and he was chatting right back.
Cal: "do you have a computer in the operating room?"
Doctor: "We have three."
Cal: "I think I'm going to like this surgery!"
Committing to this surgery - emotionally - has been one of the hardest decisions yet in our SMA journey, but we've never doubted its necessity, and we've never doubted that in Dr. Sponseller's team we were going to the best people to do this job. And I don't think we've ever doubted that Callum was up to this ... just worried at the thought of putting him through anything more painful or dangerous than what he's already up against. But at the end of day one, I think we're all feeling mostly relief and resolve ... and optimism.
Tomorrow morning, if all goes as planned, his breathing tube will come out and he'll really start on the journey of recovery by taking over the work of breathing for himself, and hopefully eating some real food. We've managed pretty effective communication today with just eye wiggles and blinks, but a day without Callum's voice is a long day indeed. Tomorrow we hope to have it back.
Our deepest gratitude to all who are keeping him in their thoughts.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

On the eve of Callum's surgery ...

We are getting things together for the hospital stay. Callum's surgery is scheduled for 7:30 AM tomorrow, which means we need to be up at 4AM to get to the hospital 2 hours before start time. Janet and I are doing a pretty good job (though I say so myself) of keeping it cool, despite carrying a lot of stress ... somewhere? Floating around our heads like a grey cloud? I don't know. Callum seems in good spirits. He knows what's up as much as he can at age 7, and he seems really positive. Every now and then he asserts quite authoritatively that there's an alternative to spinal surgery, so we can cancel the procedure ... but today he's mostly been excited to pack, choosing books and DVDs and toys to bring, insisting on helping to carry things from one room to the next in his power chair. Really, knowing there's no alternative, and knowing we're in extremely capable hands, doesn't make this exactly easy, but it does bring with it a certain peaceful resolve to go forward with a positive attitude. There's lots of other news; for example, 1st grade has come to a successful close ... but I can't really concentrate on that stuff right now. Maybe there will be time for a more complete update in the near future. Thanks to our wonderful, supportive friends, and to all who continue to keep Callum in their thoughts.