Sunday, February 5, 2017

But first I will make you strong

My baby boy turns 12 years old today!

We spent the last ten days in the hospital, keeping Brennen comfortable with pain medication and going through all of the pre-op assessment and tests required before his surgery next week.

They did blood test after blood test to check his white blood cell count and hemoglobin levels. He had to be gradually weaned off of his seizure medication because it posed a bleeding risk for surgery, and he was started on a new one that seems to be working well with no negative effects, so far. We met with the anesthesiologist who will prepare him for the procedure, and the team from the PICU, who will be ready and waiting for him afterwards.

He had multiple x-rays and was injected with a radioactive dye for a bone scan in nuclear medicine. He had an echo-cardiogram as well as an EKG, which showed that his heart is good and strong (and full of love and life, which we already knew!)

We were able to take Brennen home for the weekend, to celebrate his birthday and to enjoy spending some quality time with him before his surgery. He will be readmitted on Monday, and surgery is scheduled for Tuesday.

Today we will celebrate our boy. Not with the biggest party or the most elaborate decorations, but by surrounding him with so much love that he never ever questions his place in this world. He will know that we are beyond overwhelmed with gratitude for the day that he was born, and he will feel how immense and deep the love of our family is for him.

We will hold him close and thank our lucky stars that he is here and he is ours. The next couple of weeks will be challenging, and Brennen will be in the fight of his life, but he is strong, and he will make it through. Brennen's disability has become second nature to us. It is a part of our lives that has become so intricately woven that it is impossible to separate from anything else, and we like it that way. We can handle it. But at times like this, the fear takes hold and brings back all of the feelings and emotions from when he was first diagnosed, and it's fucking terrifying.

My heart breaks because he has to go through this. The worry and sadness are suffocating at times, but I know that he is in the best of hands and will be back to himself before we know it. He needs this surgery, there is no question. He is extremely uncomfortable, and sitting has become impossible for him. The curve in his spine is severe, and poses a risk to his internal organs if left uncorrected, so we really have no other option.

I am so thankful to our family and friends who have been so supportive and helpful these past few weeks. I am thankful that we have so many people to count on and who are looking out for us right now, and I am thankful for my beautiful boy, who despite tough circumstances, still has a sparkle in his eye.

Happy Birthday, Brennen. I love you, I love you, I love you.

"You're gonna be happy," said life, "but first I will make you strong."

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