Friday, June 22, 2007

Even a Hole in her Head Can't Stop Her

I know I've raved about my new baby granddaughter before, and I know there's a good chance you're all tired of hearing about her, but I hope you'll indulge me for a minute. You see, it was just one week ago that we found out Abigail had to have brain surgery. As brain surgeries go, this one isn't too bad, I guess. Abigail has a cyst that, so far, isn't bothering her at all, but the neurosurgeon has decided that it's growing quickly enough to be a problem in the future. Last week, he told my daughter and her husband that Abigail needed surgery. Since Ian's going to be sent off to Mississippi by the Air Force for training in just a couple of weeks, the doctor scheduled Abigail's surgery for Monday -- as in this past Monday, the 18th. We barely had time to catch our breath before it was time to check her into the hospital. More than once, I thanked our lucky stars that we live near one of the best children's hospitals in the nation -- maybe even the world. That didn't help a lot when we saw Mom carrying our tiny 16 pound baby down the hall in her hospital jammies, but it was the one thing I had to hang onto. I mean really! The doctor was about to drill a hole in the baby's skull! So we settled in to wait -- but we didn't have to wait long. In fact, the surgery was over so quickly that when we saw the doctor come into the waiting room, we all thought he'd run into some massive complication and had to stop operating. But the surgery went well, he said, and Abigail was recovering nicely. Mom got to go into the recovery room and hold her while she held up. Dad, Auntie Val and Grandmom stayed in the waiting room for a while longer. Then we were summoned and we met the intern wheeling Abigail from recovery to her room. We didn't know what to expect, so when she saw us and smiled, we all nearly fell over. And when she held up her tiny little hand, bandaged up to hold the IV, to her Auntie Val for a high five . . . well, at least two of us lost it. But don't tell Ian. He thinks I cry too easily, for some reason. Abigail was released the following day, and on Wednesday I drove up to the Base to spend my usual afternoon with her. I expected taking care of her to be a little difficult, you know. I thought she might be fussy. Uncomfortable. Even in a little pain. I didn't expect the difficulty to come from the fact that she was running at full power and grabbing, reaching, stretching, pulling (grandmom's hair) and playing as if she'd never even heard of the hospital. In fact, what she really wanted was for me to hold her upside-down, which is one of her favorite games. (I didn't, of course. She might not notice the hole the doctor drilled her in skull, but I can't forget it's there!) All I can say is that kids and modern medicine are amazing!

Sunday, June 17, 2007


I have a new obsession. Well, not obsession, really. I'm not actually obsessed. I'm fascinated by the show "Deadliest Catch". While I could never, ever put myself on a fishing vessel out in the middle of the Bering Sea (or anywhere else, for that matter) I watch eagerly (and a bit breathlessly) while the good captains and their hearty crews risk life and limb every Tuesday night. The show is narrated by Mike Rowe (of "Dirtiest Jobs" fame) and features several ships each season, highlighting their trials with the weather, the hard work, and greenhorn deckhands. I can't say that I have a favorite from among the captains. They all have different personalities and management styles, but I have to admit that I smile at the series of bleeps each time they cut to Captain Phil's boat, F/V Cornelia Marie. Jonathan and Andy on F/V Time Bandit, take their fishing very seriously, but it seems that they also love to laugh at life. Sig (F/V Northwestern) is a hard-nosed Norwegian captain, who runs his ship with an iron fist, but he also knows how to have fun when the time is right. I'm not sure what it is that draws me to the show -- the personalities of the men who put to sea or the never-ending challenges created by the weather. Maybe it's a bit of both. All I know is, it's the one show currently on my "can't miss" list.