Kitty Bones, Crow’s Disease, and Too Much Pudding

Goldie

Kitty Bones, Crow’s Disease, and Too Much Pudding

Goldie
I stood by the window, looking out at the exquisite night view of the city from my daughter's 6th floor room at the hospital. At least we were on the side facing the mountains. As I stared at the lights, I found myself going back in time, almost exactly 24 years ago, when we brought her home from the hospital for the first time. Then, like now, she was too small, too fragile. We were so happy to finally bring her home after two months in the newborn intensive care unit. Her weight had gone from 2 lbs 3 oz to 4 lbs 2 oz, her breathing had stabilized, she could drink from a bottle and nurse, and maintain her body temperature. I was terrified.

This morning I brought my daughter home again. She weighs 79.6 lbs. At 5'4" tall, this is more than a little scary.

Emma was admitted to the hospital 17 days ago with abdominal pain, fever, anemia, and intense fatigue. What another emergency room doctor had decided was just an intestinal bug combined with anxiety, turned out to be advanced Crohn's disease. She had surgery 9 days ago to remove the diseased portion of her small intestine. The 6 inch incision looks gigantic on her tiny belly. She is doing well, despite my fears. (I try not to let on how rattled I really am.) She has stayed positive, most of the time, asked good questions, advocated for herself, and ended up being the favorite patient on the floor.

There's more to the story than will fit in one post, but before logging off on this one, I'd better explain the title. I'll start at the end and work back.

Too much pudding - In the stage version of "Hello Dolly", the two apprentices make their way to London for an adventure. The younger one asks how will he know if they're on a real adventure? They come up with a code word: Pudding. When it's a real adventure, the older one would say "pudding". Over the years, we've used this code word for our own adventures. Get lost driving? Pudding! Agree to do something which ends up to be much more work than we thought? Pudding!

Crow's disease - Crohn's sounds like crones, like gnarled old witches with humped backs and warts on their noses. Emma likes crows. She thinks this sounds better.

Kitty bones - I've spent a lot of nights at hospitals with this young woman. When she was 4, she had kidney stones. Her preschool classmate called them kitty bones. I told her she's been scaring the bejeezus out of me since before she was born.

It's a new caregiving adventure - I mean pudding.