For some reason the story of the Tortoise and the Hare has been on my mind for the last couple of days. I don’t remember it completely but I think it goes something like this: The Hare is an ego maniac. Adidas sweatband on his head with his rabbit ears pointing up, eyebrows on fleek, (“fleek” is a hip term and I am hip. Deal) So the eyebrows of the hare are fleeky, his tracksuit is from the Ralph Lauren Fall Collection 2015 because he has a reputation to uphold. (But we all know If you mean business, you are not going to sweat in a Ralph Lauren tracksuit) And he has his band new Kanye West, 2015, “Runnin’ for Prezident” hightops on. Not to judge, but the Hare is looking flashier than a tin pie plate in a garden. Next up to the line comes our beloved tortoise. He is a little slow but has this air of friendliness, kindness, and good heartiness about him that makes the crowd go crazy and want to root for him. Nothing fleeky or flashy. What you see is what you get. After about 5 minutes the tortoise has finally made it to the line. The elephant gives a mighty roar and the tortoise and the hare are off.
The hare of course is hopping a breakneck speed. He knows hands down that he has that tortoise beat and he is feeling very confident. But then something happens. Ralph Lauren doesn’t wick as well as Under Armour and the hare’s armpits start to get a little damp. He can’t be seen crossing the finish line with ring-around-the armpit! So he slides into Starbucks to take a break. “Wouldn’t it be awesome if I crossed the finish line looking all bae’ with a choca chocka mocha latte with a splash of non-fat carrot juice, hold the whip?” He thought. So that’s what he did. Slid into Starbucks. But he wasn’t counting on the free use of IPads and wi-fi. “I’ve got plenty of time” he thought……as he took a seat and fell into the rabbit hole called Pinterest.
Now our beloved tortoise knew he had a job to do. It was going to be a very hard and tough job. But he had patience, strength, courage, support, and love. And when one of those seemed to slip, his crew of other tortoises (just a little F.Y.I. right now. You will recognize the girl tortoises from the guys by their purple eyeliner) but the crew all had his back. And slowly, chunk by chunk the tortoise made his way to the finish line.
Back at Starbucks, the Hare was busy pinning DIY stain removal ideas when it occurred to him that he had lost track of time. He hopped with all his might, not worring about arm pit stains (Pinterest – you remember) But it was too late. Just as he rounded the corner, the tortoise was breaking through the banner the cheerleaders had made. The tortoise had won! So that’s the story of the Tortoise and the Hare. If you have a book or have heard an older version. It’s wrong. This is the way it really happened, I’m pretty sure. Chunk by chunk, bit by bit, the big problems get conquered . Try to remember that when you get overwhelmed. I know I will try my best. Tyler held steady today. They still have him pretty sedated but the nurse said he tried to open his eyes and he moved his mouth like he was trying to speak. Even though we didn’t have too much movement we had other areas of great improvement. Over the last 2 days he has lost about 25+ pounds of fluid. C-razy, I know! Remember, to stabilize him and get him where is he is now, he needed that fluid. But now we no longer need that fluid services and it must leave the mother ship. They have been taking the fluid out rather steadily and he has tolerated it very well. He still has more fluid to loose but we are very much making progress. He also had a broncostomy today to check his lungs. I am happy to report that the doctor said there were no signs of puss and he was able to get a good sample to have the lab culture for bacteria growth. That will be sent to the lab for growth to check for any signs of something brewing and if so, we can get a jump on it. On a great note, the doctor was able to get out a lot of gunga. Gunga, in case you were wondering, is the medical term for “any Atlantic Ocean water and food particles that remain in the lungs” You learn something new everyday don’t you? Tyler did fantastic. Wonderful news again, right? The doc may have to go back for some more “Gunga” later in the week, but removing it just gives Tyler’s lungs more room to heal. I believe tomorrow we may start backing off the ECMO machine but no promises.
My mom was finally able to see Tyler and she gave him a “grandma” talking to. She and Tyler are pretty close, and she was actually Tyler’s pre K teacher. She softly told him she loved him and how proud she was of him but then she gently BUT firmly told him “Tyler, you need to fight this. You need to dig your heals in and fight this Tyler!” Then softly, “I’m going to make you some soup when you are better.” I think I heard his stomach growl.
Keep those thoughts, prayers and good vibes coming. Say a little somethin’ somethin’ for tomorrow. Starting to ween of the ECMO is a huge deal.
Slow and steady wins the race,