Update on Chloe

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Chloe Aurora Lowe, age 2 days

 

If you are ever having a really bad day and you want some cheering up, do not go to a pediatric intensive care doctor. Those people make me look positively googly-eyed optimistic by comparison. I always though oncologists were bad to paint an exceptionally bleak picture, but Chloe’s doctors make the most dire predictions of a cancer specialist seem cheerfully hopeful.

Don’t get me wrong; I understand their reasons. Hope is all fine and good, but it is also paralyzing and dangerous as well. When the doctors prepare us for the absolute worst, it makes anything above that seem like gravy. False hope doesn’t help anyone and I’ve actually seen it make matters worse.

Thankfully, though, we are dealing with real hope based on scientific test results now.Since Monday, Chloe has had an overnight brain wave test, a CAT scan, and an indepth MRI performed on her little brain. So far, every single test has come back completely normal. As of this moment, her brain shows no sign of tissue damage and her neurons and synapses seem to be firing just as they are supposed to. While the family and I see this as a tremendously positive sign, the doctors are warning everyone against overly optimistic predictions. Apparently, she is not out of the woods yet, but she’s moved considerably closer to the edge of the trees.

Danielle and Travis have been allowed to hold her and Danielle has bottle fed her. It even looks as if she may get to come home far ahead of earlier predictions of two months. She will have another MRI early next week to make certain nothing was missed in the first test, and then, once she shows she can eat four straight meals out of a bottle on her own, she’ll be headed to the house. Considering this time last week we hardly expected her to make it through the night, I’m taking this as a positive sign.

The doctors have warned us, as they are wont to do, that damage may still show up later on as she begins to use more of her brain for other tasks like speaking and walking. She will have to have a monthly MRI for the next two years or until she shows signs of an issue — whichever comes first. Still, even though we are taking the warning to heart, the family is very happy at this turn of events.

I don’t know what to call it. She was definitely not breathing for a documented five minutes. By all rights, something should show up damaged. Miracle? I’m not discounting the possibility. Lots of people today don’t believe in miracles anymore. Diehard atheists like the Richard Dawkins-es of the world discount everything they cannot see, touch, or at least measure. I admit that I no longer boast the blind, childlike faith of my youth, but then I don’t think God expects that of us. This is a real world with real issues. What I do know is this, my niece was born blue and not breathing and a week later she’s growing and responding normally. Medical folks might point to the fact that she was a hefty 9.5 pounds at birth and so had more blood with more oxygen in it to carry her little brain through those few critical minutes.

I don’t know. If I knew, I’d go to Vegas and get rich as a gambler. As it is, I’ll just be glad to see little Chloe leave the hospital.

Love y’all and keep those feet clean.

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