Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Some Parents

Some parents a baby book. Some parents have a scrapbook. We have a blog.

And part of the purpose of this blog is to help us remember these first few years of parenthood and perhaps share some of these memories with C&D as they get old enough to understand. For example, if they ever ask "how tough is it really to raise twins", then we'll have some evidence to back up our answer.

And while most of this blog is about them, occasionally something important enough happens to mom or dad that is important enough that it might affect them as well. Like, for example, the last week.

Last week we learned that if you ever see all of these strange things happen to you at once, it's probably something kind of important:
1) Big headache
2) Bigger headache
3) Kinda dizzy
4) Can't see straight
5) Not quite sure if you can talk straight either.

Now, (1) and (2) have lots of explanations that make perfect sense. David's bucket of balls (his aim is getting better!), Carmen's cobbler's bench toy, where you hit some wooden balls, and then someone's head, with a hammer, and lots of other daily events that are of no long-term consequence. Similarly, (3) and (4) are natural results of either baby waking up at 4:00 AM and declaring "All done sleep. Upstairs. Crack eggs. Make Pancakes!" A few nights of that, and you won't see straight, either. And after dealing with babies for two years straight, (5) doesn't surprise anyone either.

But when all those things happen at once, and don't get better after lots of sleep and several days where David's balls and Carmen's hammer are put away, then it means that there is something more serious than that. Last week, it meant that a weak blood vessel (an "AVM") had burst in Joyce's head. It wasn't a big event as these things go, but it was in exactly the wrong place, affecting both language and vision.

Major surgery and five CAT scans later (and some angiograms and MRIs for good measure), Joyce is still with us and recovering well. She has some trouble focusing her vision and sometimes trouble finding the right words, but the doctors claim that even these relatively minor impacts will eventually pass. Importantly, her wit, wisdom, memory, and personality are still intact, and she is looking forward to getting back to her babies - and this blog.

We're still trying to make sense of this whole affair. The day that the AVM burst Joyce and her mother had a wonderful morning together with the babies. From that strange afternoon--during baby nap--to a few days later, Thursday in the ER, wondering if she would be able to talk again, to see again after this was all over. How one seemingly small thing can switch everything in your life - there must be some lesson and perspective to be learned from that, but we're not quite ready yet to think it all through.

And the kindness and humanity of everyone around us, from the family members taking care of our babies to the nurse who sat and cried with us as we understood the situation and our options to the medical student who held Joyce's hand as she fell asleep on the operating table, wondering if she would wake up the same person the next morning, or even at all. Thank you for the smiles, the hugs, the ice packs, laughing at Joyce's jokes (though a little slow on the delivery), and, most importantly, the prayers on wings that remind us that people love Joyce.

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