Friday, December 06, 2002

Henry once again cheats death. and again it is laurie who has to save his life -- in a hospital. This morning at 7 am, Laurie called me at the Ronald McDonald house and asked that I rush to the hospital to be with her and Henry. When I got here, Henry was as you see him here.

Last night, Laurie, Jack, Joe and I went to a Hannukah party and performance by Jack's school at a synagogue northwest of the city. It was fun and we actually saw some people there we know. Jack was awesome and it was nice to be altogether as a family, albeit minus one.

We decided to leave a little early and Laurie went to the hospital (after tucking in me, Joe and Jack) to relieve her mom and stay overnight with Henry. Before I went to sleep Laurie had called to let me know they were taking Henry for a chest x-ray because she noticed his breathing was very labored. All night long no-one could get Henry comfortable. He had an oxygen mask on but he was still in trouble By this morning, Henry took a precipitous downturn. His blood gasses were drawn and it was obvious to the PICU doctors who were being consulted by the Peds staff that he needed to be intubated. They rushed him to the Intensive Care side of the floor. Before they could get the breathing tube into him, his pulse went faint, and his heart stopped beating and he stopped breathing. CPR was done and adrenaline was administered. They got his heart functioning again and proceeded to intubate him. He is now on a ventilator. In addition to the tube down his throat, a new central line was placed in his groin going up to his heart. Henry has been given medication to paralyze him, so his body can focus on essential life sustaining functions.

The preliminary judgment of the doctors is that Henry has an infection and when they administered antibiotics to treat that infection, toxins were released into his body. I think this is called sepsis or septic shock. There is a mass of fluid in his lung which they now are draining. He is in very critical condition. My sister flew in immediately. Laurie's sister, dad and my best friend Bill are all in transit. Henry isn't going to die. In fact, if the infection is pneumonia and they can treat it successfully, then hopefully the pain in his shoulder will be resolved. Whenever Henry has pnuemonia, his shoulder hurts him terribly.

Right now he is laying catatonic on the bed with a plastic pillow of warm air bringing up his body temp, which is kinda low. I am holding his hand (when not typing) and I talk to him a little bit, though I know he cannot hear me. I was just telling Laurie how a day or two ago, I told Henry that my goal was for him to feel well enough for me to give him a big hug. His body's fragility has robbed us of the physical contact that I love so much. Laurie said last night he sat on her lap on the wheelchair ride to radiology and she was in heaven. We're waiting for a blood transfusion, but in a snafu the blood bank hasn't readied any. He is stable. This is sad.