Monday brought the end to Magic week and the beginning of our next 12 weeks in cast world. We woke at a not so nice 4:30 a.m. in our home away from home, The Carleton of Oak Park. I started my morning with a text from fellow Lucky Cast Club mom, Sarah from Manhatten,IL. The message was simple and true, “Just think of today as a coffee date with a friend.”
My message back, “Bring Bailey’s for our coffee.”
We loaded up the troops, Daddy, Nana, Big Brother, precious Iron Will and headed to Shriner’s Hospital for Children,Chicagofor cast number 10. For all the dread that existed Sunday, my mood was surprisingly upbeat as we entered the all too familiar corridor at our haven. Familiarity has its privileges this far into the game. I know exactly what to expect and so does Iron Will. We were for all intensive purposes home again. The day continued at a fevered pace. The hospital staff knows the drill as well as we do and they are a well oiled machine when it comes to keeping us all on task. I have to say after 10 casts this finally felt routine. There were shining stars on this trip that I have to take just a moment to recognize some of our fan favorites. First, the fabulous families we shared our day with. Tracy a fellow Lucky Cast Club mommy took time out of her busy work day to sit with all of us and lend her support. Grace and her mommy Katrina are beyond words fabulous. Grace a tiny little princess was kissed by angels on her entry to this world. She is the very definition of her name small, sweet and oh so loving, she is Grace. Sarah, Ryan and our Giana were next into our room. What to say about this family I have grown to love as if they were my own. William’s first request when he stopped screaming coming out of post op was “where is Giana, I want to color?” Of Course his Giana had entered the OR herself at this point. There is love between those two. Unimaginable love for a 2 & 4 year old whose only interaction has been 1 playdate and 4 cast dates. That is remarkable.
Our Shriner’s stars for the day are some new faces to our cast family and those who are mentioned always when we speak of our loving home. Our nurse was Sandy. She was kind and funny. She asked the questions required by law and somehow put us completely at ease when she asked the ones that we find stupid. Maxine came in to take vitals and really worked with our scared crew. I still don’t know why are thermometer is the scariest part of pre-op workup. Mila in Pre-Op holding is a hoot. We have had her so many times and she never changes her beautiful disposition. She is one of those people who you know loves their job. Tom, as always, is just a tremendous man. He is hope. No matter what your child’s film looks like he is going to point out the positive. We love our Tom. Laura our PACU nurse took the time to come tell us William was indeed the screaming maniac from down the hall but he was fine, just mad. She then came back out 10 minutes later carrying said screaming, mad child. Let’s just say he wasn’t kidding when he said he wanted his mommy. Rael and Katie the dynamic taping duo were up next! YOU GUYS ROCK! You fought the Iron Will and lived to tell the tale. I haven’t seen taping like that since Gwen hitched the cruise to Hawaii! No cast day would be complete without Linda and Dr. Hammerberg. Linda is our one true North in all things scoliosis. She is there for the good and bad of any situation. If you don’t have an advocate for your family like our friend Linda, then you need to ask your hospital why not. She makes everything a little easier. She brought us a special gift this day when she brought Nancy, her husband, and their daughter, our beautiful new cast friend Lauren, to visit us. What a wonderful gift to meet another family you have spent so much time talking to over the past few weeks. Thank you Linda! No cast day star re-cap would be complete without Dr. H. You are a peach and I know you get embarrassed by the attention, but we adore you. When the PACU nurses told me you suggested they sing Iron Will the Notre Dame fight song to calm him down I about died. You have the heart the size of the world and aren’t fooling anyone. We wouldn’t trust our child to just any hands, only the best for our boy!
For all the stars inside the hospital there are just as many who were supporting from afar. They were the friends and family who kept us all afloat this week and every week. Saturday as I was packing for my trip I reached out to two special people in my life. I was having a moment and honestly didn’t know how to grasp what I was feeling. I wanted to run and hide. I wanted to make the trip go away and I wanted Scoliosis to hold on a damn minute. I was tired of the 12 week yoyo and Saturday was my breaking point. As bad as Saturday was Sunday and Monday were filled with so much love and fun. The Brookfield Zoo is fantastic! It provided us with respite. Respite with family is such a blessing to distract the soul. My friends filled my facebook page with so many blessings and messages of support. When I finally took the time to read them yesterday, they were too numerous to respond individually. You all are strength in a storm. Although this journey is long and every so tiresome we all survive with a little help from our friends. Scoliosis has knocked us all down a time or two or ten but we have come out the other side and said SUCK IT! Until next time, Keep it Curvy.
Catie (Scoliosis Sucks) D.