The picture worth a thousand words!!!

After the week Rudy had, I was eager to get back to UCLA to see him.  We’ve written before how it’s usually much harder to be the parent in Santa Barbara than at the hospital when significant procedures are going down, so there were several people who encountered me this week who made mention of the fact that I appeared distracted.  There’s no denying that a trach takes some getting used to, but when viewed in terms of all the other things Rudy’s had sticking out of him, it can be taken in stride.  It is neat to see his face with only the small tape holding the NG tube in place instead of the vent wrap.  Without the hoses coming out of his mouth, he can move around quite a bit more, so we’ve enjoyed making eye contact and having fun today.  He sat on my lap for about four hours this afternoon and things were calm enough to the point where we wondered aloud how Stanford could blow a 20-point lead and lose to Cal–ugh.

Rudy had two stretches off the vent today totaling close to five hours.  He does this with a small oxygen hose pumping some vapor around the hole as his breath doesn’t get the normal humidity we get from breathing through our upper airways, where saliva creates humidity.  (Betcha didn’t know that–who needs the Discovery Channel when you have Rudy’s Beat?)  He got really mad at RT Oscar when he came to put him back on the vent, so I think he’s ready for more.

We did have a consult from Dr. Dunn, the Pediatric Surgeon who is going to be addressing Rudy’s stomache issues.  I’ve spent much time educating myself on cardiac and respiratory issues, but I don’t know yet how to speak Gastro-Intestinal, so that’s tonight’s internet lesson.  The imagery reports we got yesterday indicated that Rudy’s stomache is a bit more horizontal than normal and also has some reflux issues, but there was comfort in Dr. Dunn’s assessment that these were common issues for cardiac babies.  A number of big words were introduced to me which Nurse Amy has been kind enough to repeat several times so I know where to start my education.  It’s looking like Rudy will have surgery on Wednesday where some of this might be addressed and a GJ tube placed–the team will confer on the appropriate game plan in the meantime.

Many procedures have been attempted on Rudy, but today Nurse Amy attempted the most daunting yet.  She came back from her lunch break with hair product and great intentions to try to tame his mane.  It worked quite well for a bit but I don’t think they’ve created a substance with holding power sufficient to keep things in check.  A couple hours later he looked like Heat Miser again.  But Amy should be applauded, because somewhere in the middle of all the primping, Rudy did seem pleased and I was able to snap a picture we’ve been waiting quite some time for:

The best Valentine ever--RUDY'S FIRST SMILE!!!!!!
The best Valentine ever--RUDY'S FIRST SMILE!!!!!!
My little boy is a champ.  Keep smiling, buddy!

30 thoughts on “The picture worth a thousand words!!!

  1. If that is not a picture of all that is good and beautiful and right in this crazy, fallen world, I don’t know what is. Thank you so much, Rudy, for the perfect smile and thank you, Rolf, for posting it. An absolutely perfect way to close out Valentine’s Day 2009.

    Sleep well,

    Diana T.

  2. Oh my goodness, where’s the baby bedhead!? This picture is beautiful! And I love the vent monitor in the back….it reads Stand BY…”Watch out world, Rudy’s on his way!”

    Continued prayers from CT

  3. I love this little guy and I don’t even know him………the circle of love, HLHS familes can make…….he is one very special handsome fellow………God Bless Rudy……{his little fist, says I am a fighter, yea……for Rudy}Diana, a HLHS grandma

  4. What a little charmer!!

    P.S. I vote to leave the bedhead as it is…that little faux-hawk is Rudy’s signature ‘do, you can’t mess with tress perfection!

  5. What a picture to awaken to this morning! Rudy, you ARE precious. All of you folks in our network from the Land of Oz–this is our 11th grandchild plus two great-grandchildren — are we blessed? YES! (And they are all handsome or beautiful!) Thanks for keeping those prayers soaring for Rudy and his family. God hears them!

  6. Rudy’s smile is priceless! He looks like he’s giving you a little giggle, too. Sure is fun to see his chubby cheeks. 🙂
    We’ll be praying for the surgeons as they make decisions for his tummy and move forward with the surgery. Hugs to all!

  7. When I saw this picture I fought the tears of joy… have made such a difference in this world!! By the way…I dreamed about your first smile the day before your dad posted the pic..what a blessing!!

  8. Happy to see his sweet face again. Prayers for the future. But with a face like that.. Trying to think of the right thing to say on your decision to spend time with the older children, but what is there to say? Your choice, sisters and brothers, I’m glad you all found your way through together.

    Lovely family and I can’t wait for the day, you all stop the commuting.

  9. That is such a beautiful smile. Thank you Jesus for Precious little Rudy. My gosh he is so handsome.To see him smile after all he has been through is blessing and also reminds me that our trial are so little compared to his. God bless your day with his love………

  10. He is too dang cute. Great smile and eyes. Will continue praying for him and all of you. Maybe Rudy should get a “faux-hawk”? THat would be a great photo! 🙂

  11. RUDY!! You are a heart throb!! Wow!! You are getting too darn handsome, babykins!

    Rolf, it looks like Rudy’s left shoulder is a mass of bruises…. What’s going on there?? I hope you might address that in a future post.

    Prayers and love, Little One! I think you are doing SO great!!

    Much love!!

  12. This picture should be the new one for the top of the page. You are a handsome child Rudy. It does a heart good to see those smiling eyes.

  13. We LOVE that handsome smile and we LOVE YOU, Rudy!! your Boston cousins and auntie send you big Valentine’s hugs!

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