Wonderful as it is, I have no intentions of Doernbecher Children's Hospital becoming "Payton's Place"!
Our adventure began late Monday night when Payton (better known as "Nunkie" or "Nunk" in our family) and I headed into the valley to stay with the in-laws. The intention was to leave in the early afternoon, but Zeke ended up needing to make a late afternoon trip to immediate care, so we left after dinner. Turns out he had a virus, but it was good to know that he didn't need antibiotics before I took the van and left town. Mr. Charming has been such a superstar of a companion, but that is a whole blog post on it's own. I heart him.
By the time we pulled into Corvallis, it was about 7:30pm. I stopped at McDonald's (I know; bad health coach!) to get Payton a treat and she told the cute young man behind the counter that she was going to Doernbecher. He whispered something to the young guy ringing us up and they both turned and set themselves to different tasks. A second later they came back with an ice cream cone and a huge bag of fries (waaaaaay more calories than intended, but the gesture was Oh so kind!). As the first young man leaned over the counter to hand Nunkie the delectable ice cream cone, he whispered, "I spent a lot of time at Doernbecher."
*insert mom tears
She thanked him and bounded happily out the door as I mouthed a "thank you" to both of them.
As we drove up the highway, I was watching for Nunk's reaction when I turned down the familiar drive on Walnut Blvd and into the Pepsi Co. Christmas light display! I wish I had a camera ready! She had ice cream on her face and nearly dropped the cone she had previously gripped so tightly, when she realized where we were! "Oh thank you! These are my most favorite Christmas lights!!" It was priceless.
A snapshot of some of the display and the great tree of lights
We stopped for a moment to see some family, then headed to Albany to spend the night with the cousins. It was probably 8:30 or 9pm by the time we got there. We were both pretty tired, but Payton had a great time playing with Coop and Corb until bedtime. I love that our kids have cousins that live close(ish)!
After a long, anxiety-filled night, I hit the alarm shortly after 5am Tuesday morning. We were on the road by 6:30am - off and running!
Our first stop at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) was the Pediatric Sedation Unit.
Payton has lidocaine on both wrists and both elbows to prepare her for the IV. It had to sit for an hour. Turns out that Peggy put the IV in her left wrist - first stick, no problem! Best. IV. Ever. The ladies there (Peggy & Michelle) were SOOO awesome!!
See her pretty pink-with-purple-hearts bandage? Here she is inside the sky bridge at the VA Hospital - one of the largest in the world.
Us being silly with our reflections in the sky bridge window
The view on the way down
After her ride, it was up to the Pediatric Urology Unit to visit her favorite N.P., Erin Anderson. The visit went well, nothing new as she hadn't had her scan yet.
One of the coolest things about the Peds floors is the art and activity cart that goes around for all of the kids in the waiting room. See Payton's little Rudolph ornament? Here she is listening to instructions on beading jewelry.
Making her necklace
More art supplies - the place was packed!
Here is Sean, the guy who was working the art cart. He was so fun - you could tell he really loved his job! I wish I had taken pictures of the other helpers. Payton really liked Dan, but I forgot to get a picture of them together. Such an amazing place with the most incredible staff - really, really incredible. It's a place where I could take all 5 kids (although I have no desire to) and know that they would be entertained and love every minute of it! We are so blessed to have a place like this close to us!
Payton went down to the basement (literally) to the Nuclear Medicine Unit for her DMSA Scan at 2:30pm. We had a fabulous anesthesiologist from Germany. Her name was Heika Gries and she was so dang good at what she does!! Payton talked to her and Lisa (the radiology nurse) like they were old friends. She even showed them pictures of her cat, Spaz. We love our Spazo!
Heika started to administer the sleeping drug called Propofol (yes, you have probably heard of this drug....two words...Michael. Jackson). When she told me the name of the drug and noted my eyebrow raise, she explained how it's used and what a good drug it is for sedation. Payton slipped peacefully to sleep and I stepped into the lobby to wait for the 40 min procedure to finish. Longest. Forty. Minutes. Ever!!
I am a worrier. If you're Mormon, that may be equated with a lack of faith. But I have a firm testimony of what happens after this life and I know where we are going (and it is so much better than where we are now)! But what parent wants to fathom the idea of losing a child (let alone actually going through it)? So I worry. I think about what life would be like if anything were to happen to any one of our children. I think about what I would do if anything were to happen to my Mr. Charming. All things that I hope to never. ever. to have to deal with, but things I think about none-the-less. So I hope you understand that when I get upset (ie: worried) about procedures or upcoming events, it's not because I'm afraid of the outcome, but because I'm afraid of change. I don't want to have to learn to live without a child or spouse or to have our lives altered unexpectedly, but I do know that IF something like that were to happen, it was for a reason that my Heavenly Father had planned and knew that I could handle. I just hope he has as little faith in my ability to handle that as I do. ;o)
Needless to say, Payton's scan went really well. She was an absolute doll to wake up on the table. She was happy and smiling, no nausea or vomiting. As she was waking up, her Auntie April came into the room to surprise her. It took her a little bit, but she was happy for the company.
After April helped me load Payton into the van, we said our goodbyes and headed back home to the coast. It was a long (like 3 1/2 hours long) drive, but it was so nice to come home that night! Payton was definitely in better spirits, albeit tired.
The next day, her N.P. called with the results of the scan:
Normal kidneys function with 50% of the work coming from each side (left and right). Payton's numbers are good:
52% on the right
48% on the left
She does have a defect on her left kidney that may need addressing. They are going to see how she does with taking her antibiotic every other day (instead of ever day) for 1 month. If she doesn't get an infection (fingers crossed), we will see if she can be weaned off even more of the antibiotic. If she does get an infection, it is recommended that she have a procedure called a cystoscopy. The theory being that she has reflux of the ureters. All of this remains to be seen, so for this month, we pray and wait.
Thank you so kindly for all of your wonderful comments and prayers. It is so comforting to know that others love her so much and pray for her well-being.
We love you all!