There Once was a Very Long Story

Friday, March 27, 2009

It has been awhile since I've blogged any long, random stories. Yesterday's blog entry was a short story. Let's change it up a bit and go for a long, drawn-out, detailed story today, shall we?

Yesterday is just the perfect day to start with.

Cayman had a full schedule of doctor appointments in Ann Arbor. I was thinking how nice it is that these busy days do not occur as often as they use to. Daddy was able to get the day off work to join us.

Not far into the start of our early morning, I realized how out of practice I am at getting everyone and myself around for an all day trip to Ann Arbor.

{Cayman had to eat her shoe for breakfast, while Mommy ran around.}

I did manage to remember everything that we would need for the day. However, we did not leave as scheduled, making us arrive to Cayman's first appointment 20 minutes late. That is a bummer start to a back to back appointment filled day.

Oh well! Nothing we can't deal with!

The Doctor's office was very understanding and forgiving of our tardiness, especially upon the realization that we traveled 2 hour to get there.

Cayman's first appointment was with the Ophthalmologist. Even though this was the first time she has seen the eye doctor since the NICU, we found ourselves in a familiar situation--


So what does one do while waiting to hear your blessed name be called?

For starters, I learned how to spell Ophthalmologist.

Seriously, does anyone really know how to spell that word?

After spelling it out in my head until it was committed to memory, I came to the thought that it could lose a few letters. Drop one of the "H's" and maybe one less "L" and that would be perfect!

So once you have the spelling for Ophthalmologist figured out, what else can a person do?

I then watched two little girls {about the age of 5} flirt with Mike. They were playing in the fun house that had windows overlooking the waiting room. The girls would climb up to the highest level and knock on the window until Mike smiled and waved. They would return the wave and dash away from the window giggling. That was the unchanging routine of the girls for the the next several minutes until one of them came down out of the fun house and talked to Mike. Only one or two sentences is all she spoke and away she went, back into the fun house.

Obviously, the girls must have thought, once inside the house, no one in the waiting room would be able to hear their girly chatter.

The first little girl said to her friend, "I talked to that boy out there."

"That's not a boy, that's a guy!"

"You should go talk to him too!"

"No Way!"

"Because you're scared."

"I'm not scared. I'm just shy."

Once the fun of that wore off, Mike showed Cayman the fish tank. She stared but showed no expression. She was completely unamused by the fish swimming by. I guess we will not be working hard at winning her a fish at the carnival this year!

By this time, I am being completely occupied by a little boy with dilated pupils who is mistaking Cayman's baby blanket draped over the diaper bag, for containing a baby inside of it. He sits down next to me and we chat for a little bit. Apparently he becomes comfortable and decides to swing his legs up over the side of the chair so his feet are now dangling onto me.

His mom says, "Sorry, he must feel he knows you and he's settling in."

I smile, and pat his feet, and then realize his mom is not planning on unlocking me from the embrace of her son's feet. Timid me, sits there trying to figure out what to do with these feet that are sticking over into my territory. I look at Mike hoping he will rescue me from this predicament. Mike smiles at me and winks.

A wink? That's it?! That's cute, but that's not going to help me out very much!

Finally Mike stands up and passes Cayman to me!! Yes!! The perfect window of opportunity to remove myself from this situation. Mike proceeds to tell me he is going to find a restroom and he'll be back soon. When he returned he had with him snacks for me from the vending machine.

Total redemption for not helping me out with the dilated pupil boy's feet.

While sitting there, enjoying my snack, the little girl from the fun house returns. She takes the seat next to me. Thankfully she kept her feet to herself. She was quite pleasant to be with. She talked and sang us her ABC's.

"Cayman Stamm!"

Finally!! Our name was being called!! Of course, everyone always pronounces it wrong. The "a" has a short "o" sound. It's like "Stomp, but without the "p".
We received the best news that we were hoping to hear from the Ophthalmologist. His words regarding Cayman's eyes were:

"Minimal problems."

He did a thorough exam of Cayman's eyes which included dilating her pupils, viewing the front and backs of her eyes, and measuring the light reflection through many lenses that told him how clear her vision is.

He confirmed her Iris Colobomas as well as her Retina Colobomas. The Iris Colobomas do not pose any threat to her vision. It's the Retina ones we have been concerned about. Anytime dealing with defects in the back of the eye, vision problems are more likely to occur. However, it does not affect Cayman's central vision. We were happy to hear that! She sees and tracks objects at a normal distance for her age. The type of defect in the back of Cayman's eyes only effects her peripheral vision above her head. It's like she has an extra blind spot. At birthday parties she will not need to be blind-folded when playing a game of hit-the-pinata.

The only other issue the doctor brought to our attention was Cayman's eyes, only at times, tend to slightly cross. She uses both eyes evenly, so right now it's not a problem, but if one eye begins to get stronger than the other {which is what lazy-eye is} he would want to address that issue.

We walked out of the Ophthalmologist office feeling very happy with the overall report.

Onward to her next appointment:

CT scan of Cayman's head.

On our way to radiology, we walked passed a hospital volunteer who gave Mike a hard time for wearing Ohio State clothes to Michigan. Then it was my turn to harass him because I had told him to change clothes before we left. The original Buckeye sweatshirt he had on that morning appeared a bit over-worn, and to which I added that I did not think wearing Buckeye clothes from head to toe was the best choice anyways. In Mike's defense, he did change clothes but only into a better looking Buckeye sweatshirts {he has a closet full of them}. This is Mike's usual daily ensemble he wears so I guess it did not register with me what he was wearing until the hospital volunteer was friendlily harassing him.

At the Radiology department, the receptionist remembered Cayman from the many times she has been there before. She marveled at how well she is doing. That was a proud moment for us.

The wait was not long for Cayman's CT scan. Her Neurosurgeon had ordered the scan to be done without sedation in the hopes that Cayman would be cooperative and not need to be put through any extra procedures. I was a bit nervous about it and have been praying all week she would hold real still during the scan. I let Mike stay in the radiology room with Cayman. I knew he would do a great job of distracting Cayman and help her feel at ease, while I paced the floor outside the room.

It was a success! She did not hold perfectly still, but it was just enough for them to piece the clear pictures together. Cayman was very interested in the red light beam on the CT scan. In the past, as an infant, she stared at the traveling light in amazement, but was so little that usually swaddling and padded cushions were able to contain her. But now she's bigger and stronger, so when the red light traveled across her she moved her head in its direction to keep looking at it. The technician instructed Mike to hold musical, lighted toys in front of Cayman so her eyes would be fixed on something else other than the moving red light.

Once the scan was complete we went straight to the Neurosurgeon's office, of course, walking passed the hospital volunteer again and hearing a few more remarks about Mike's clothes.

This appointment was not typical of the time of day and week for the Neurosurgeon's office hours. We were told to stop by the clinic anyways, once the scan was done, and the nurse would page Dr. Maher. He was doing us a favor by squeezing us into his schedule so we would not have to make the trip up again.

When we arrived at the clinic, the receptionist told us that Dr. Maher was in the O.R. She said she would call the O.R. and check the status of the operation. Perhaps he would be finished soon. I was very impressed by how well everyone worked to accomidate us. We were not being pushy or demanding. It seemed almost self-ish to ask for Dr. Maher to see Cayman as soon as he got out of the O.R. The receptionist insisted it was not a problem as long as we would not mind waiting.

Sure, why not! Waiting builds character, right?

While waiting on Dr. Maher, we met with the financial coordinator that is just down the hall from the Neurosurgeon's clinic. This past week, we had received a rather large, unexpected hospital bill in my name from when Cayman was born. We thought it might be a mistake because we had my bills paid in full last year. Turns out, it's a lump sum that the insurance decided to unpay, after already paying it. I didn't know they could even do that! Apparently, the insurance company reviewed our policy and saw they had over paid our bills. It was a legitimate bill *pouty face*. Oh well, I will write the check, send it off, and not dwell.

We returned to the Neurosurgeon's office and were called back to a room almost immediately. Dr. Maher was out of surgery and was on his way up. While waiting in the check-up room, Mike pointed out to me the particular over sized chair he was sitting on. He thought it was made by a company that he use to work for.

I encouraged him to get down on his knees and look underneath of it for the company's logo {what was that I said about waiting builds character?}.

Mike had his own method though; he flipped the chair on its back and examined it that way.

Yeah, because that's way more innocent.

Just as he has the chair turned onto it's back, the nurse opens the door completely catching Mike in his silly search. The nurse tells us she needs to move us to another room. It was hilarious! She acted like she did not even notice the flipped over chair, so Mike went about his business, looked for the logo {which was not there, all that effort for nothing}, and then flipped the chair back over. I suppose the curiosity finally set in and the nurse asked, "What are you doing?"

Teasing Mike, I chimed in, "Yeah Mike, what are you doing?!" LOL!

For the rest of the time, we behaved while waiting for Dr. Maher to arrive. It had been over 3 months since we saw him last. It was nice to see him again. We have so much adoration and respect for this man. He's simply wonderful!

He reviewed the CT scan results and showed us the pictures from last June and the ones just done that day. What a beautiful site it was to see thicker brain tissue!! I wish I had the scans to share with you. I know you would feel excited too if you saw them! We did not have time yesterday to get to the records room and obtain them for ourselves. That is on my To-Do list now.

The scan also revealed that Cayman's skull bones have not prematurely fused together which is a risk when the bones overlap like they do in her head. This is great news!

When we were finished at the Neurosurgeon's office, we headed to the next appointment, which is the one I had been waiting for all day!!! We visited little Sofi and her mom Krissy, in the hospital! Krissy and I have been following each other's blogs {in her case, carepage} for months now. Yesterday was the first we met each other in person! We could only stay and visit for a short time, as we needed to make Cayman's next and last appointment of the day which was for her helmet!

At the Orthotics office, we discovered that the scheduler made a mistake and put Cayman's appointment down for next Thursday when it was suppose to be yesterday's Thursday. The clinician was very flexible and squeezed us in anyways. He tightened Cayman's helmet, looked things over, didn't see much of a difference with the bony ridge in her forehead, but thought maybe things felt smoother towards the back of her head. Not seeing significant changes yet does not necessarily mean the helmet is not helping, it just might be taking a little longer.

We stepped out of that last appointment feeling total freedom to enjoy the rest of our day together, which by then it was 5 p.m. and we were starving!! We ate at our favorite sushi restaurant! Mike and I tried it with raw fish this time {we liked it!}. I can eat that now since I am finished pumping *applause*. My goal was to make it one year pumping for Cayman and I did! I have to say how much easier a packed-filled day, like yesterday, is when I do not need to worry about that tedious task.

On our way out of Ann Arbor, we drove passed a red and gray house that is on the street just over from the Michigan stadium...we thought that was funny enough we had to get a picture!We did a little shopping, arrived home, I put Cayman to bed, and then snuggled up on the couch with my dearest husband.


The End.

13 Showin' Comment Love:

Sarah M said...

Yay for good new! If Cayman does end up with a lazy eye I can tell you from experience it isn't overly hard to fix. I had a lazy eye as a kid and just had to do some daily exercises at home for about a year. Not too bad, if she has the same kind of thing!

Hooray also for making it to the one year for pumping. I know that was a huge commitment for you and you did it!

Glad you had such a great time. Thanks for sharing the story!

Anonymous said...

That is one long day sister! I am so glad things went so well. I am very glad that everything looks good for Cayman. She is such a trooper.

I am glad you are done pumping. Freedom for you!

Stephanie said...

Wow what a busy day! Glad all the appointments went well. You are too funny! I bet people at my work think I am crazy. Sitting at my desk laughing at my phone. (everything is blocked on my work computer so I use my phone)

Lisa said...

What a day! Whew!

I was cracking up at the conversation between the two girls! So funny! I could see Alexandra doing that :)

Jennifer said...

LOVED reading about your day! I laughed when picturing Mike turning the chair over. Wait, I don't know Mike....anyway, you know what I mean. I'm so happy that everything looks good for her! She is getting so big!!

Carla said...

Oh I stand it when insurance chooses to "unpay" grrr. That is AWESOME that her sutures are still open!
I love the pic of her "eating" her shoe, too cute!

Tyler said...

What a great story. It sounds like a long exhuasting day but with some good news, with the exception of the insurance bill. I can't believe you pumped for a whole year. I tried and just couldn't do it, so way to go!!!

Diane, Tyler's mom

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a very long day, but a productive one!

I always find Violet's Opthamologist is a long appt too!

Glad to hear hear appt went well. She looks such a big girl sitting in the chair waiting for her eye exam! (even though the chair is huge)

My name is Sarah said...

Wow what a day. Sounds like Cayman is quite the girl. Yea Cayman!! Good job Mike wearing the ole scarlet and gray up into Ann Ar***.

The Soldatke family said...

Wow, what a big day!! I giggled through most of your post, the picture of Cayman eating her shoe is priceless!

So sorry to hear about your insurance bill, that S**KS!

The sushi looked SOO good; I wish I could convince my hubby to eat it, but alas, he is a burger and fries guy.

Pumping for a year, you ROCK! I am so glad you made your goal, are you just using whole milk now or do you have to buy formula. Formula is so stinkin expensive, it the #2 reason I'm still breastfeeding. (#1 being that it's the only thing Matthew allows to go past his lips--he's a true boy!)But you truly ROCK, I hate, hate, hate pumping and I can't imagine pumping on a big day like that!

All in all it sounds like you had a great day (even though it was exhausting) and all appointments were pretty positive. Here's to having a relaxing April!

P.S. you're husband CRACKS me up!

Kristen said...


I buy formula for Cayman now. You're right about the expensive part. For now I buy her Enfamil. I'll talk with her Naturopathic Doctor on her next appointment (which is Monday) and see if that is a decent formula for her to be on. I already know his thoughts on cow's milk. I will never put Cayman on it.

Nicole said...

This is all great news! Glad everything went well.

Mrs. Van Amberg said...

Hi there! I stumbled on your blog after searching when we got our baby's diagnosis of hydrocephalus. I have to tell you reading about Cayman is so inspiring and while we don't know anything really yet (I am 24 wks pregnant); your story is so reassuring. Your daughter is just beautiful and blessed to have such strong, wonderful parents!