thank you easter bunny, bawk bawk

What a difference a year makes.

Last year, we spent most of Easter in the hospital. A week or so earlier, Wifey had a sense that something was wrong. Finley wasn't screaming her head off for hours on end (thanks, GERD!), rather she was remarkably calm. I, being a dumb-ass, thought we should be thankful for the break (I've since learned to NEVER doubt Mommy Sense, it puts Spidey Sense to shame). So off to the emergency room we went. I was convinced we'd be back in an hour, after the doctor told us this was all normal. She had a high temperature and was lethargic, and that was reason enough for the doctors to admit her. I was still thinking this was routine, until they said they would have to take a spinal tap to rule out a couple of things. Yikes. So now we started to worry. The next morning, my wife called me from the hospital. She could barely get the words out, but she was able to tell me that the her spinal tap seemed to indicate bacterial meningitis. After a quick Wikipedia search, I understood my wife's sobbing. So Finley stayed at the hospital for the next four days in the hospital, getting poked and prodded, hooked up to an IV, getting brain scans. Out of all the shitty things that have happened in my life, this was among the worst. So Easter morning was a sad one. But a charity had brought all the kids in the pediatric ward some Easter presents. Finley got a stuffed Easter Bunny, and for a brief moment we were able to pretend we were somewhere, anywhere else.

Later that morning, we got the results of some more tests. And as it turns out, she did not have bacterial meningitis, at all. She simply had a bladder infection. The bacteria from the spinal tap was a result of the spinal tap itself, as Finley wasn't cooperative, and they had to try a few times (I just got the shudders typing that) which allowed the possibility of contamination. The elation we had dwarfed any anger towards Kaiser (who, for the most part were fantastic). I can tell you I will never forget this moment: I was so happy I was almost skipping back to Finley's hospital room after getting some coffee while my wife wrapped up some of the discharge paperwork. On the way out of the elevator, I see a mother holding her obviously cancer-stricken child taking a walk around the ward. I felt like such an asshole. It took that for me to realize that most of the kids in the unit were not going to get the gift of a missed diagnosis. For most of them, this wasn't a temporary condition. I was as humbled as I've ever been.

On to brighter things. The year since last Easter has just gotten better and better. The GERD eventually went away. We were finally able to realize that beneath the GERD-related pain there was a sweet, goofy, happy little girl. This up-and-down year concluded with today, Easter 2012. A day where our baby girl was as happy as she has ever been.

What a difference a year makes.

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