For years I considered joining the Army. Then, in 1981, the dream ended abruptly.
What happened, you ask?
Afraid of the impending invasion of Granada? Not hardly.
Concerned that I was only 7? Oh please. I’d lie about my age.
Give it all up for a woman? Charles, take Di off my hands. I have boots to shine.
All until I learned the dark truth of what they really do in the military. We all have our boundaries. This one was too much.
They get up before 9 A.M…regularly! Evidently they do more before that ungodly hour than most people do all day. At the time, getting up before the crack of noon was a chore. Army, I hardly knew ye.
Danger, however, might have a uniform in his future. Indeed, I think he’ll be in command.
There are 6,481,000,000 people on the planet, give or take a few hundred mil. Young Danger’s already on track to do one thing earlier than any one of them has ever done before: multiple in-utero surgeries to repair critical aortic stenosis.
Yes, that’s right. His first order has come down: get me some more O.R. time for Christmas right now. One heart surgery before my 0th birthday isn’t enough for me. Let’s make it two. (Interesting kid, right. He also doesn’t drink beer often, but when he does…)
Erica and I learned today that Danger won’t just be in utero aortic valvuloplasty surgery #90. He’s called dibs on #91. Same surgery, part deux.
With this particular surgery in unborn babies, the aortic valve tends to re-stenose progressively after the procedure. This can put life threatening pressure on the left ventricle…same problem we started with. Often this happens when the baby is approaching full term. In this case, instead of doing the surgery over again, they get the baby out and put a catheter in to widen the valve and improve the flow.
Danger, as we’ve established, likes to do things early. He had the first surgery early at 20 weeks. Average is 23-24 weeks. Now the valve is closing up early. At this rate, if we don’t do something, we’re right back in the same boat as we were 6 weeks ago: staring down the barrel of hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS).
Danger’s at 26 weeks in right now. Too early for the sunshine. He has to stay in his little Erica-hobbit-cave and chillax. If he can’t come out (and he can’t), and he wants the best chance at a functioning 2 ventricle heart (and he does), it’s back for repeat stay at the Brigham and Women’s Hotel. Frequent flyer rewards here he comes. All before birth.
And I thought 9 A.M. was early.
The dream team is ready to go, but still working out the schedule. There are about 12 people actively involved in this surgery, so it’s a calendar juggling act. As of now we don’t know which day, but the plan is to rally the troops and go in within the week.
How are we doing right now? There’s really not much of a way to spin it. It really sucks.
Stand up. Stick out head. Hold still. Accept crack in jaw from Pacquiao. Repeat
It would suck doubletime if Erica and I were going in there alone. But we’re not. We have an army of doctors and nurses, and an army of friends and family, ready to go into battle with us.
So here we are again. Action stations, action stations. Set condition one throughout the ship. This is no drill.
Troops, let’s rally.
But, note to Danger: this is it. We’re only going back for seconds. You won’t push us around at Hanukah time anymore. (Right…)