*If you did not read the title of this post in the Carmen Sandiego tv show theme song tune please do so now. Word of advice: you need to add an extra syllable somewhere- you choose. If you do not know the tune of said show off hand then you're 'an ignorant scoundrel; I disapprove of your very existence.' Doc Holliday's words, not mine. Thank you. Enjoy the show.
It's morning and I'm just getting settled in the PICU. I hear a small commotion in the corner by the door. I look up to see none other than Sylvester Stallone himself. Mr. Stallone is asking for the baby child Rambo and his wonderful dedicated mother. The nurses, all staring in wonder now, direct him my way. He starts walking toward me, I look up from my book and see him coming. Fidgeting with my hair and cursing myself for not putting on makeup today, I do my best to act comfortable and nonchalant (inside I'm DYING), yet also the appropriate amount of surprised and honored. Sylvester finally makes his way to me after what feels like 10 1/2 hours, because of course he's moving in slow motion as he walks across the room. He reaches me, introductions are done, I'm shaking Rambo's hand!, and Rambo finally meets Rambo. This, of course, is only the beginning of a beautiful friendship. We instantly hit it off and Sylvester Stallone is not only a very active part of our lives but he is now also Rambo's godfather.
.... or so it goes in my head.
In reality, Rambo doesn't yet know his namesake, Sylvester Stallone still has not graced us with his presence, and I have yet to go a day at the hospital with no makeup :)
The sad thing? There was a TINY part of me that actually believed it was going to happen. Stallone would, through a series of random events, become aware of our situation and would feel the need to meet the baby whose mother actually named Rambo. Like, actually legally named him Rambo (middle name, not first - don't worry). I'm thinking now those were high hopes. Maybe.
I still love you, Sylvester. No hard feelings. I'm sure you're a busy man.
But now let's get down to business. I have something to show you that you have never seen before. Or should I say 'heard'? You can believe your ears this time. It IS what you think it is:
Can you believe it?? We finally know what he sounds like! And it feels so good :) He has the best little cry! Poor guy. He hates the speaking valve but that is what allows us to hear him. Its a little one way valve that we put on the end of his trach. It allows him to breathe in through the trach but not out of it. All the air has to go up through the vocal cords and out his mouth or nose. Not something he's used to. We only do it about once a week - we want him to get used to it, but we don't want to stress him and we don't do it when he's sick.
The first time we put it on I can't even tell you how neat it was. I, of course, cried because I couldn't remember the last time I heard him do something other than gurgle out of his trach. He's upset, non stop crying, I'm crying and saying "Take it off! No, leave it on!" and Ben is holding us together while rolling his eyes at how easily we all lose control. (He will try to insert a certain power outage story here, but don't believe him. It's all lies.)
I definitely look forward to the day where he no longer needs trach, speaking valve or any other external device to be self sufficient. He's amazing. Also, I look forward to the day Sylvester Stallone is standing at my door.