Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Journey Begins

Ammon all ready to go into Shriner's Hospital.
Today Ammon had to go to Shriner's and Primary Children's Medical Center (now known as PCMC) for some Pre-op work. It was a busy day but I (Mom) was greatly relieved and feel much easier about what's going to happen after taking a tour of Shriners and meeting a 12 year old girl that has had her 2nd halo on for a week now. She was smiling, giggling and doing fairly well. They will be there when we get there so I'm sure we will have some support from the mother and the girl, Tina.

We received some disturbing news on Monday saying that the 2nd surgery had been pushed back to Aug. 29 - two weeks more in traction. The only reason is because the surgery coordinator blew it and didn't check Dr. D'Astou's schedule. He will be out of the country on Aug. 15th. We met with the head surgery coordinator to discuss options and the possiblity of moving the 2nd one up by at least a week. She is going to talk to Dr. D'Astou when he gets back next week and will discuss all possibilities.

Ammon didn't like some of the stretching he had to do with a piece of cloth they fix under his chin and then I grab his legs and pull and they grab the cloth and pull on his chin/head. He cried through that and then grabbed his head and said, "This gave me a nauseating headache!" I'll bet it did. They x-ray him before they do the stretching and then while they are stretching him. It's amazing how much bigger he is when he is all stretched out.

They also took photos of his body without his shirt on - and they will do "after" photos when he is all healed up.

The people at Shriner's gave us a tour of the unit where he will stay - it is a small hospital but it's a wonderful facility. Here are a few photos of the people that will and do work with Ammon.

Here is the X-ray technician who calls herself "Peaches."

Here is Ammon with the "nauseating headache after the stretching. He wasn't a happy camper here, but he was an absolute trooper!

Angie Livingston, Dr. Jaques D'Astou's assistant.

One of our favorite people of all time -- Ken Cozal - he is the head wheelchair engineeer and he is great! This is the guy that has a name tag that simply says: Ken, OTRL/BSME. Put those last letters together and Ammon thought he knew his last name: Oteralbesme. It's been a joke and source of laughter for everybody at Shriner's for the past several years.
Ammon took this photo himself as we left the hospital.

PCMC was the next stop. We went there to do some bloodwork and get a urinalysis.

When the phlebotomists called us back into the lab room, the tall, dark handsome one looked at us and his face lit up. He said, "I know you guys!" Instantly I knew who he was, too. He had volunteered at the Special Needs Institute where Adrianne was a teacher and got to know her. He offered to help Ammon learn to swim so we met with him every week at the BYU swimming pool until he left for his mission to Russia. He just graduated from BYU and is waiting to get into medical school. He has been married for about 2 years and they are expecting their first little girl. The dark handsome one on the left here is Justin Robison and the guy on the right is named Patrick - only he doesn't know how to talk like Patrick from Spongebob Square Pants. We asked.
It always helps when we see how many caring people there are that act like guardian angels for Ammon. We got the blood drawn with minimal tears - the expectation of pain was much greater than the actual stick and once the needle was in, Ammon could joke and laugh about it all.
Now we wait to hear what time we need to be at the hospital on the 21st - unless, of course, the dates change again. :)


Mike and Adrianne said...

We love you Ammon! We are praying every day for you that your surgery will go well. I am so sad that I can't be there to see you the minute you get out of surgery. I am going to ask Mike's family to pray for you too. Good luck bud!

Jess and Jen said...

Ammon, you are such a tough, brave kid! I'm glad there are so many great people at the hospitals that love you! You sure look handsome in that top picture! -Jen

chelsey said...

Ammon dear! Good luck with the upcoming days and weeks! I know there will be difficult times for you, but don't forget we're ALWAYS thinking of you and you're never alone. There are so many of us praying for you and of course there's mom, dad, Katy and Gilly there to keep you smiling! We love you and we're glad you got through the stretching part yesterday. I know that's not fun for you! Hang in there!

Lokodi said...

Hi Ammon! Even though we're far away, we are paying attention to what happens to you and praying for you. We hope they treat you well in the hospital and that you even get to have a little fun.

Be strong,