Monday, May 21, 2007

Day +75: An Apology to Cavemen

In reading the abundant comments from last night's post I feel I must right a wrong. I surely didn’t mean my entry to be interpreted as it was, demeaning and condescending to a segment of society that already suffers the pains and indignities of relentless prejudice and stigmatization. So an apology is in order. I sincerely regret any slights that may have inadvertently been cast through this forum. From this point forward I shall do my best to foster an unbiased understanding of this all-too-often misunderstood and undervalued segment of our population – Cavemen.

C’mon, let’s give ‘em a break.

With that out of the way, let’s get back to the focus of this blog - Keith. I don’t suppose too many people look forward to surgery – certainly none in our household do. Keith cleverly did everything he could to delay the inevitable like trying to stay up extra late the night before and resisting getting out of bed this morning. Aside from these gestures he offered up little vocal or physical resistance to the inevitable rendezvous with the day hospital at Children’s Oakland. We arrived at the appointed hour for his physical exam and blood draw but found ourselves sitting in the waiting area longer than Keith was able to endure with his respirator mask on. Finally we asked if we could wait in an exam room instead and, sure enough, we were led into one pronto. Doh! - Why didn’t we ask sooner? Once Keith was able to remove his mask and breathe again he felt much better.

In preparation for the possibility of enrolling in an open clinical trial for ongoing therapy, several special lab tests needed to be completed and because this is a rare or possibly unique circumstance for Children’s Oakland they have been working closely with Stanford to coordinate this staging and ‘work up’. This may have been a factor in why it took much longer to get through the procedures today than we had foreseen.

Around mid-day Keith walked down the long hall and into the operating suite under his own power and climbed up onto the procedure table. In an effort to relax everyone including himself he made a point to mention to the doctors not to ‘steal’ his shoes while he was sleeping (we actually did lose his shoes back in August in the ER when he was first admitted). Everyone laughed as he lay down on his side acknowledging permission for the anesthesiologist to do her magic. I watched in fascination as a milky white anesthetic liquid called Propofol coursed its way from the injection site on his IV line and down through the long clear tubing leading to Keith’s chest, finally disappearing beneath the white blanket covering him. It took only a few more seconds for his eyes to tell us that he was in dreamland.

We met up with him as we always do in the recovery room. He took a relatively long time to shake off the effects of the anesthesia but eventually he did and we were back in the car heading home again. Apart from taking his time to wake up this morning, he handled himself with great composure. As usual we were struck by his bravery and mental fortitude.

Not bad for a caveman….

Oh, and thanks for all the comments - it's what makes writing this feel like it's worth the effort.


Anonymous said...

What a day that was for you yesterday! Great job, as always! Hopefully you were able to sleep in this morning.

J.J. could use Keith's expertise on Pokemon cards - as a friend in his class was principal for the day and has deemed that one day soon will be Pokemon day and kids will be allow to bring in their cards if they so desire. Needless to say J.J. was sorting through his last night but the number he has doesn't come close to what Keith (and I suspect Scott as well) has collected!! I also think we don't really have a clue how they play that game - I just tell him to guard his few foil cards... is there a crash course we could take?

Also, we feel like caveman as we cannot remember our google password so we have to post anonymous for now until we get it sorted...

Three J's and a G

Anonymous said...

Glad yesterday's test is over, Keith. I think I have finally passed my test of trying to get onto this site. We shall see. Old dog does learn new trick.

Nancy Lierle

Anonymous said...

Dear Keith,
I too had surgery at children's hospital in August,(but I was lucky enough to keep my shoes). I still can't believe how brave you are. Everyone is rooting for you!

-Mollie F.

Annie said...

Hi Keith,
It's a beautiful day here in Charlevoix! Grandpa Don and I just finished our lunch while sitting on the porch and gazing at the lake! Very, very peaceful. Wish we could transport you here to sit beside us.

Please give Mom, Dad and Scott a hug from us, but save the biggest hug for yourself.

Cabbage! ..... (inside joke) :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Keith,

It's me, Anne Bovoso, one of the producers from last year's Honk!

I'm sure you know this year's play is Cinderella. The performances are coming up, which of course reminds me of last spring and watching you sing and wave your mixing spoon as Drake. If I think really hard, I can actually hear you hitting the high note at the end of "plucked and oven ready." Considering what a foodie you are, it makes sense Mr. Pickett would have cast you in that role.

Anyway, I've been reading your journal all year. You are such a trooper and a jokester. I'm very proud to know you and can't wait to see you on stage again, maybe at OIS. Maybe the muscial will be the Muppet Movie and you can play the Swedish Chef!

All right. I think I'm going to run down to Safeway to buy the ingredients for Keith-style Garlic Bread.

You keep up the good work!

Lots of love to you and your family,

Anonymous said...

Hi Keith and company! Josie was right - I've had problems writing messages - sometimes they get posted without a problem, but other times I type a work of staggering genius, only to have it disappear off the face of the earth when I try to publish it. I'm sure it's probably operator error!

But anyway, we still appreciate your writing enormously, Steve, and read your postings with relish (and ketchup and mustard) - lots of info, humor, and heart! And we always want to know how our buddy Keith is doing! Now that he's home, we hoped he would be free of medical poking and prodding for a while, but it sounds like there's no hiatus. We hope you all are holding up well and that it's good to be home, even if the treatments and tests continue unabated!

Holden sends big greetings to Keith and would love to get together whenever it works for you guys. We're all thinking of you and sending our love!

Toodle-loo! Cynthia, Ben, Holden, and Haley

Chris Kelley said...

Hi Keith, Scott, Josie and Steve! Just writing to let you know we're thinking of you every day! Keep up the great work. And, completely out of nowhere, happy International Day for Biological Diversity!