August 13 9pm
There is the most adorable picture of Heather when she was about three years old that, in a round about way, sums up today's visit with the boys......okay....the term round about is used here pretty liberally.......it's actually the beginning of a tangent.....but come on......would you really have it any other way???? The picture: she's about three years old.....as blond as blond can be.......sitting on top of a picnic table in a park......she has on the cutest little homemade dress.....her hair is tossled and her face a bit dirty.....obviously the results of the kind of carefree play and child like magic that we all constantly strive to recapture as adults.......her smile is huge due to the utter and complete joy that she is feeling which is being created by the fact that she has her hand wrapped around the ultimate prize.......a hot dog.......the all American symbol of childhood.......there is no bun, no ketchup or mustard........there isn't even a napkin or plate to be found......just the pure and complete joy of the dog, in her hands......unobstructed by peripheral condiments or politically correct bread products.....it's just her and the dog.......and she literally couldn't be happier in that moment. The hot dog. Every red blooded American has feasted on hundreds of these in their lives......most of which were consumed prior to reaching the high school age.....see that's where this tangent is headed. I used to enjoy a good dog just as much as any other freckled face little boy. It is the quintessential staple of every cookout. I was an ordinary hot dog eating guy.......until Upton Sinclair ruined it for me forever. You see, like a lot of us, I had to read The Jungle by Upton Sinclair in high school. I've never been able to enjoy a hot dog the same way since. If you haven't read it.....don't.....savor these precious times that you still have to enjoy one of natures most simplistic yet delectable foods. In short, the book exposes, amongst many other things, the contents of a hot dog. I was fine living in my own ignorant world. It tasted good, it was easy to cook (by the way, did anyone else cook them by boiling them???? Of course at a cook out there is the grill, but most of my hot dog memories consist of them being boiled on the stove which of course allowed you to know when they were done by the big huge split in the side of them.....). The hot dog was a great staple of the diet. Knowing what is in them and how they are made has pretty much ruined them for me. I really enjoyed that aspect of ignorance and youth. That was until some sadistic teacher pried my eyes open.....all in the sake of education.......damn that education!!!! Well, I am happy to report that I learned my lesson and know what I don't want to know. Here's where the boys come in......I know.....I know....finally......but come on.....I've been away from the blog for two days and had to re enter in random fashion. Today we found the boys completely spent....totally exhausted and just wanting to sleep. You see today was their eye exam. This is a critical exam. With the boys requiring oxygen levels that have been as high as 90% at times there is risk of eye damage. Early on, we were under the impression that this damage would be permanent....which caused us a lot of stress. We were pleased to find out that even if there is some negative effects that they can fix a lot of them with laser surgery. They can actually come in and do laser surgery before they leave the NICU and solve a lot of the side effect damage that has been developing. Needless to say we were happy to hear this. To check for this damage......ahhhhh.....here in lies the title of this blog "Ignorance is Bliss". We have gotten somewhat cursory descriptions of the examination process.......and cursory is where we are going to stop that educational train in its tracks.....you see Heather and I have been "those parents".....the ones that ask a thousand questions and keep probing for more info......we need to know as much as we can.......most of the time........I can honestly say I don't ever want to know more and certainly don't ever want to witness this particular portion of their care. I completely respect the need for it and definitely want the boys to be the beneficiaries of this fantastic medical advancement......but I don't need to know the details of this particular diagnosis. I know that it requires their little eyes to be forced open and held open by some device and that there is enough agitation and trauma in the process that they are spent......completely spent for the next 24 hours. How they get to that point is not something I care to investigate further or will ever witness......I've seen them suffer in other ways that i should not have.....this is one necessary evil that I will choose not to be part of. I will comfort, soothe and console in the aftermath. That pretty much sums up their day. Both boys continue to make subtle advancements and continue to avoid any major pitfalls. Tomorrow we will get the results of the eye exams.....we have high hopes for good results. The boys have survived another battle, have survived another day, and are that much stronger for it.