AKA Our Big Fat Medical Vacation 2008.
We're baaack...and none too soon. We're exhausted. To begin at the beginning:
DAY 1 - TRAVEL, the plane ride from hell, with twins in car seats, I sat in the middle seat with Creed by the window. Evan sat behind me with Zelda near her window. Despite their espoused excitement over "Airplane, Caleefornah, and Beeech", the plane ride was not happenin' for them. Either they complained to be with the other parent or were just unhappy. Z-bomb lived up to her name by throwing a fit and kicking over the drink of the kind Korean man sitting next to me. I offered to pay for dry cleaning his Dockers but he declined by explaining he had small children of his own.
We happily arrived at our temporary home in Pasadena, the lovely Ronald MacDonald House, to find that our room was about 10x12ft complete with one double bed - for all 4 of us. We justified our accommodations by repeating over and over that there are people who raise entire families of 8 in places that small. The first night we slept all together in the bed - Evan and Z with their heads on the pillows and Creed and I with our heads at the foot of the bed. I kept urging him to go to sleep with "Let's nap near Daddy's feet". The next day we put a Pac-n-Play in the closet for Z and another in the room for Creed. Needless to say, we spent very little time in the room. Part of the beauty of the RMH in Pasadena is that they have an amazing yard with a play scape, a sandbox and real green grass - I add that for the benefit for those who live with the scratchiness of what they call a lawn in Texas.
DAY 2 - SURGERY, it started with a phone call. Thanks to a 2 hour time difference, the twins were awake at 4:30am. Yikes! But they had pushed up Zelda's time, so we rushed over to the hospital. The exam went well but half way through, Dr Tawansy came out to tell us that the scar tissue build up in Z's right eye was so great that it had continued to detach her retina. The right retina was only 1/3 attached. He went in and cleaned out the scar tissue and reattached the retina leaving her with stitches and oil to help it heal. Now, we'll do eye drops 4 times a day, gradually descending in quantity over the next 3 months.
Zelda did amazingly well. She woke up from the anesthesia all groggy and sweet - nothing like the fighting little animal from a year ago. We took it easy for the rest of the day.
So, what now? Oh, Tawansy wants us to come back once a year. Also, in a few months, he'd like Zelda to have an MRI of her skull and orbits to make sure that everything is growing symmetrically. We already know that she has micropthalmia - her eyes are tiny. But we need to make sure sure they are growing and to measure the difference in their size. And then what? If needed, we would take her to an ocular surgeon who would fit her for a prosthetic shell, a kind of clear lense that would keep her eye socket stretched so it would grow accordingly. So many things to learn...
DAY 3 - MUSEUM visit after an early morning follow up with Tawansy at his office. We went into LA to see the new building of contemporary art at the LAMOCA. Creed seemed to prefer the Ellsworth Kelly works but also enjoyed the giant blue balloon "puppy" by Jeff Koons. Zelda, on the other hand, liked Koons' sculpture of Jacko and Bubbles, the Chimp. I guess there's no accounting for the taste of your kids. They did have a grand ole' time in the Children's Gallery.
For dinner, Evan and I had the crazy notion that we could actually take the twins out for Mexican food. Ha! We quite desperately downed our margaritas as water spilled, chips went flying, Zelda jumped on the banquette and Creed ate under the table. And we really ARE attentive parents, I swear!
DAY 4 - GARDENS at the Huntington were in bloom - actually I think they always are...really, really lovely. There was an interesting exhibit of landscape/peoplescape photography of LA. And of course, there was a Children's Garden! Z and C enjoyed the water features and we enjoyed the balmy 85 degree sunny weather so different from the 100 degree hell of Texas.