I'm still in the thriving metropolis of Esbjerg, Denmark caring for my son. And learning first hand why the Vikings would drive their ships into an oceanic abyss of near certain death looking for better weather than here. Erik The Red got his name from the tanning booth.
If you're not following our adventures (consisting mostly of riveting reports on pooping, eating, the effects of parental sleep exhaustion, and the results of batteries of medical tests) my preterm son Jake was diagnosed with a hole in his heart, common for preterm and newborn infants, but potentially very bad for him given its size, severity, and persistence. Doctors tried to close it with a treatment with a very good success rate, but ECG results revealed its failure - confirming what the docs could hear in their stethoscopes. They followed up with the same treatment in another delivery system and advised us that it would likely fail too - Jake was going to have open heart surgery ASAP. This second treatment was a Hail Mary before the finality of surgery.
Jake was scheduled for open heart surgery on Tuesday of this week at the University Hospital in Aarhus, 90 miles away from our little rural hospital. Though heart surgery has a come long way over the last three decades and can seemingly be performed in adults and children by 3rd year residents on their lunch break, open heart surgery on a preterm is another matter altogether. We were racked with worry and talking a much more optimistic game than what we were feeling at 2:45 AM while alone with our thoughts.
We packed up all of our stuff, vacated our hospital room in Esbjerg, and drove up to Aarhus while Jake was transported by ambulance. He beat us there. And then beat the predictions. The second treatment - which they handicapped with a 10% likelihood of success - worked. We walked into triage room, were met by a grinning ECG specialist (Danes won't grin for no reason), he told us the results, we all high fived and danced around, and immediately jumped back into the car to try to beat Jake's ambulance home and unpack all of our stuff again. Jake handled it all like a champion and slept through it, stopping occasionally to stretch, yawn, and survey all the fuss. "I told y'all I got this."
The young man is now on the fast track to get back home by early November and he's flourishing and growing like a sprout. Though the road remains.
Team Texas put up a big win in the only contest I really care about. And it all it took was a little heart.
Well, IT IS the Red River Shootout...