Thursday, March 12, 2009

"That's impossible"

We hear that a lot in this house. Rorysaurus' colic was impossible, her flesh-eating bacteria too. Little Monkey's whole skull-adventure was sort of beyond belief as well, and then this whole situation with Needlenoggin.

Thing is, without trying to sound peppy or optimistic, I've begun to believe that nothing is particularly impossible, and that includes anything said by medical professionals. This includes the two rehab centers who have told me they won't provide false hope by giving me exercises to do since it is "impossible" for him to continue to recover at this point after the injury. (I've taken to just telling them he's only 3 months, instead of 9, past injury so that they'll give me more information).

However, yesterday, for the first time, someone used the word "impossible" in a way I could have only dreamed. Needlenoggin went in to the hospital for a Neurosurgery check up with one of his favorite people on earth (and one of his two favorite white-coats, ever), Dr. K-. The appointment was at 8 am, which means arriving at 7 something. He was up, out of bed and doing his hair at six something, all by himself. When he arrived at the hospital, he was carrying along chocolate, flowers and a card for Dr. K- as well as Dr. R-, (the two women he credits with saving his life after the accident and allowing him to recover as well as he has) with the intent of asking them to come with him to his firefighters' charity dinner thing. Dr. R- wasn't in, but Dr. K-, his neurosurgeon, was ecstatic to see him.

And THEN he showed her how well his legs can move. She started to cry a little bit. Then, after composing herself a little, she tested his strength, which was way beyond what she'd expected. Then she heard he was off of one of his terribly side-effect-ridden pain medications. She was in shock. Happy, happy shock.

She called me when they were done, and ordered a weaning off of another terrible medication (yay!), and then told me how impossible this was. She'd done his 8 hour spinal fusion surgery. She'd seen him less than 24 hours after the fall. She knew what his prognosis was...they weren't sure he was ever going to regain the use of his hands or fingers, and knew he wouldn't be able to sit up on his own."I'm the one who told you he'd never walk again," she said, "And I've never seen anything like this. His legs SHOULD NOT be moving."

"This is AMAZING," she said, over and over again, and said that she's not sure, now, what his recovery ceiling is. He's passed what she expected by SO much, who knows?

And then it was said. "If he continues like this, he may walk." Oh, the tears that brought me.

She happily accepted his invite to the dinner, and then told him she'd make sure when he arrived today for his ER follow-up that Dr. R- would be available to see him, and would take him to the ICU so his nurses could say hi as well. She also wants his MediCal worker's name and number to try and get him some PT/OT. He came home bubbling over, did a bunch of exercise, and went to bed early so he'd be rested to see them all again tomorrow.

So, today, we arrived a little bit early, and got a hug from Dr. K-, who then escorted us into the ICU. Needlenoggin met with almost all of the staff who kept him alive in the ICU (although he doesn't remember any of them). Then he was able to gift Dr. R- with her flowers/card/chocolate. She's supposed to be in a conference out-of-state that week, but she's going to try to fly back for that night so she can come. The whole ICU was astounded.

And everyone decided a supported-stand photo would be better than a wheelchair photo, so:

Let's recount the "impossible" here, shall we?

* Needlenoggin goes to a 7:45 am doctor's appointment by himself (dropped off since we had another appointment at home)!
* He comes armed with flowers to ask not one, but TWO beautiful doctors to go to dinner with him! My shy brother!
* He can move his legs! At all!
* He can move them enough that it makes his neurosurgeon cry!
* She was overjoyed to come to dinner with him!
* The other doctor is going to fly in from out-of-state to go with him!
* Needlenoggine is swamped by doctors and nurses who took care of him and are happy to see him!
* We get in and out of the appointment in record time!
* He's lost 17 lbs.
* They were able to get his medications to him!
* Supported by a bunch of people, a counter and a walker, we have an upright picture!

Speaking of impossible, how's this for an image?

Apparently, we have magic buses here in the SF Bay.
(Should say "Wheelchair Securement Location")