Today the girls met up to enjoy some Dutch pancakes before heading to the hospital. For those new to this cuisine, Dutch Pancakes are crepe-like and served with a choice of ingredients mixed in, like an omelet (savory) or American pancake (sweet) or a combination of both if you choose. Quite delicious and hardy which was great because it ended up sustaining us past visiting hours at the hospital, we got to stay until 10pm today! The sweet nurse (Katy) had arranged for a private room and some “snuggle time” for Alex and Todd during her weekend shift. She kept her promise and so everyone got an extra dose today. Jaime and Julie gave Alex and Todd equal amounts of alone time and family time. It was sweet and wonderful and hard to say goodbye when 10pm did come around. Todd was busy busy today and awake for a good portion of the day. No more feeding tube!, he is eating on his own and did so three times today. Todd is also bringing the sponge to his mouth for a drink on his own, you can see the determination and drive as he does so, go Todd! Todd was quiet with the speech today only sharing some thoughts during his time with Alex. He also still has the drain, but only because the doctor came to remove it during snuggle time and said he would wait and do it in the morning. The doctor again told us that we will just “wait and see” about having the shunt. Lots of “wait and see” going on here, so we do, prayerfully making our own requests (no shunt, fluid gone, lets get these two home…). . During the family time, later in the evening, the mood called for song beginning with John Denver “Country Roads, take me home!”…and some Elton John and others. Todd was a good sport as we stumbled through some of his favorite likes Tiny Dancer and Julie’s personal favorite Crocodile Rock.
In addition to the sweet nurses that care for Todd and his visitors, there is a wonderful Suriname family also sharing the room and the care. This family, we all have a large crush on them, has watched out for Todd and Alex and promises to do so the same when we leave. They also brought us food today, wanting us to try their Surinamese bami goreng (fried noodles) which are delicious. It was so sweet to bring and share with us. We did have to eat on the sly because Todd was watching longingly, when the room’s smells of this delightful food, it was obvious the desire is there to also enjoy, after a bite he asked if it was good? Ah yes, good and you too will be enjoying it soon, for now it is yogurt and pudding…

Today was a good day and Todd worked hard, we are all very proud of him. Hugs and Kisses

A: Without a doubt today had a very different tone. The combination of surgery, botox, smells of delicious food, time, love, and intensely great family power are all coming together. Like the girls said, today was a lot of work for Todd but he really is working to move forward. He told (whispered really) the doc “We are trying everything!” It is without a doubt one of the kind of days we have been waiting for and with more to come. Todd was able to speak when we were alone, and in the silent room I could hear most of what he said to me. “Independence” This is something we talked about. He really wants that, of course! Each day we will gain more power and independence. “Shunt?” He wants to know the doctors are telling him everything. It was great because one of the lead residents did come in shortly after and explained the things we are waiting for to us. Here is a funny Todd question today. “Why do they call it AMC and you call it the hospital?” Love it. Lastly, he also told the doc “Everyone is waiting for him to come home!”

Moving on to logistical things. Our stay is of course looking like we will remain into December and we have a few things with which to resolve. First of all company for Todd and I. Looks like Zander and Yuksel may hopefully be here Thanksgiving week. Suzee is imagining coming then. I truly believe after all those two have been through already (with Tim) this would be an empowering time for them both! In order for her to do that we need to pull two things together: (1) Accumulate the miles out there that have been offered and (2) figure out who could potentially stay at her place with Trista for approx. ten days. So Let’s see, dear people what we can do to get our lovely Suzee by Todd’s side. We will know more in about a week about the length of our stay, after the cat scans determine whether or not Todd needs an additional procedure. Can’t tell you how many times we hear “wait and see”. This is the ultimate test in patience. I know those of you who have known me for many years understand this is a big challenge for me (I bet you are occasionally amused). It is character building, eh! I remind myself often that my struggles are small in comparison to the mountains our dear Todd must climb….. And Climbing he is!

Thank you.
Love to you.
T&A, and Jaime and Julie.