Laughter Through Tears

“Laughter through tears is the best kind of emotion.”  -Dolly Parton’s character, Truvy, in “Steel Magnolias”.   I LOVE this quote because it is sooooo true…and it’s for this reason that I’m so thankful for Rolf in times like these…he has always made me laugh but in our months with Rudy, Rolf’s humor has been downright therapeutic.  Yesterday was no exception…After a sleepless night in the hospital with Rudy, I headed home to Santa Barbara to pack a bag and get things organized for another indefinite stay in L.A.  Rolf was home when I arrived so we were able to debrief what happened together and talk through our plan for the next few days.  At one point, we just stopped talking about the details, looked at each other with tears in our eyes and gave each other a reassuring hug when Rolf quietly whispered in my ear “You’re kind of sticky”.  I burst out laughing…not quite the sentiment I was expecting but it sure was true!!!!  After a full day of appointments at UCLA the day before, discovering Rudy’s bleeding trach in the parking lot as we were getting ready to head home, running with Rudy in arm to the nearby ER, sitting and pacing and sitting some more in the ER from 3:30pm – 2:30am, getting Rudy settled in his PICU room and consulting with the team in the  unit upon our “middle-of-the-night” arrivial and then making the 2 hour car ride back home all without a shower or outfit change, I WAS kind of sticky.  Although yesterday and the night before were filled with great concern and disappointment, my theory of “fresh undies, fresh outlook” held true as a shower and hugs from my family helped me put Rudy’s latest hiccup in perspective.

We’re still not quite sure what happened on Wednesday with Rudy’s trach.  The general concensus is that the airway got excessively dry and began to bleed much like a bloody nose.  Initial tests show that the area is infection-free but we are still waiting on a few cultures to come back.  As Rolf already explained, what ended up getting us admitted was low oxygen saturations.  When I returned to Rudy’s bedside yesterday evening, he was not well.  He was battling a 103 degree fever, a heart rate over 200 for an extended period of time and he hadn’t slept or stooled in over 8 hours.  I was worried and pretty heartbroken for him.  Today, however, has been a new day.  Exhausted from nearly 36 hours with very little sleep, he has had long stretches of rest, he has been eating and stooling consistently and they dialed the vent down to pressure support so he is now initiating all his breaths again.  So, we just need to keep him as comfortable as possible and wait to see what the cultures show, hopefully, tomorrow.  If they come back negative for an infection, then we are looking most likely at something virul which we’ll just have to wait out.  Cardiac concerns have been ruled out and there is no plan to move forward with the Glenn at this point.  I’ll stay with Rudy through tomorrow and Rolf will come take his turn Sunday and Monday.  Hopefully, we’ll have a clearer idea of what our timeline will be for this hospitalization by Monday and we can plan accordingly.  We’re probably just dealing with a nasty bug but in “Rudy’s World” that can translate into serious concerns pretty quick and this experience reiterates to me how careful we need to be when he’s home and “out & about”.  It has been comforting to be with a team we are so familiar with and who know Rudy so well.  Word of our return to the PICU spread fast and we have had many visitors come by to share a hug and well wishes!  So sweet…

Thank you for your prayers over the past couple of days especially…we have felt covered and we are blessed.

Where we are today...
Where we are today...
Where Rudy wants to be...:-)
Where Rudy wants to be...:-)

20 thoughts on “Laughter Through Tears

  1. Sheesh, it’s amazing you weren’t STUCK. All in all, it sounds like a sticky kind of 36 hours or so – I thank God regularly for hot water and showers. So glad to read that things are stable for the moment and will continue to pray that this episode will resolve itself easily and well. You know, underneath all that fragility – that kid of yours is amazingly tough! Wonder where he gets that….

    Blessings of rest, peace and good news.

  2. I am praying that soon Rudy will be back home with your family and able to snooze with Rolf in the recliner. I hope you rest this evening, Trish!

  3. sooooo….you want us to experience “laughter through the tears” with you? can do that. just did…and can pray, too. just did…and will continue, as you ride that roller coaster…

    xoxo Linda

  4. Praying that little Rudy will be back home with you soon. Laughter through tears…the best kind. Even when I am unable to read about Rudy daily, I just can’t get that little guy out of my mind. I know God keeps Rudy in my thoughts so I stop and say a prayer. Love, Cousin Dianna

  5. Looking forward to Rudi getting back to where he wants to be. I’m a bit large to disenfect to Rudi’s standards, but I have to admit, I would love to share a Sunday in church with your family. You can email me through my blog if you would like some company. Anyway, I’ll be thinking positive thoughts.

  6. How about that…I just borrowed that movie from the library!!! What a ko-inky-dinky! Laughter through tears. I just don’t want you guys to have to cry any more!! And that Rudy doesn’t have to suffer so much…. But we’ll just have to wait for that!

    Meanwhile… hang tough dears. You’re loved.

  7. /fortunatly I only live 2 minutes from my daughter….however, as she traveled to the nearest er at one night with her son, the plan was to let Grandma know in the morning….did she know, they would then go by ambulance to the nearest big hospital with her HLHS son{who also has lung problems} with ammonia……not really major….But…as we know……it really can be major with these little guys…….only saying…you never over-react…..nothing is really just the average viral bug….without big concern………..wish we were all closer, so we could get in on those sticky hugs…..Dawn’s Mom

  8. This grandma was droopy after just hearing about your trip to L.A. I don’t know how you do it, sweet girl. No, correct that–I do know how you do it: With strength from God, commitment to everything you do, and a strong will to do everything to which you commit yourself. Thank God you have Rolf and dear, dear Kathy to hold you up. I know how difficult it is for you to “let go” of all you do — it is ok. How I yearn to be with you.

    Rudy, babe, you are such a fighter. We pray for the day when you can have health and peace and fun and know how much you are loved.

  9. wish I could write as so many day….you guys do a wonderful job in expressing your feelings and updates…..never correct spelling, etc. laugh a little when I reread it….hope it puts a smile on your faces…..peace, Dawn’s Mom

  10. All I can say is that I’m crying and praying all at once…oh, and that I love you guys.

  11. Oh dear ones, we continue to pray with you through each and every peak and valley on this journey. If other things were not so important and we could add an hour or two per week to the clock we might look into sending Rolf back to “sweet nothings” school. Indeed laughter through tears is sweet. Aren’t we fearfully and wonderfully made? May the Lord smooth your paths and may you know He (and we) walk with you.

  12. Hey you guys! Just a little detour…but I know Rudy will be back on track shortly.

    I know how disappointed you must be to be back at UCLA again…after such a sweet but short homecoming…but this set-back is likely to yield something positive. Funny how that works!

    Know that you are all in our prayers and constant thoughts. Rudy will be home soon, I’m sure! The Lord is in control, and God is Good (all the time!). Isn’t it amazing that if Rudy needed a little extra care right now, that it all became obvious while you were still on the UCLA grounds?

    Much Love (& many prayers)!

  13. Hi Guys! I was away a few day with 5 “lovely” teenage girls, but was sad to see that Rudy was indeed in the hospital again. Well, at least Rolf was nice and said you were “sticky” and not “stinky” Trish!! I look at the date and your post was a couple days ago, so perhaps this will find you close to going home again. Rudy sure looks comfortable sleeping on the couch with his dad! All my prayers and well wishes are going out to you! Special prayers for those big brothers and sister…it can be tough and sometimes you don’t know it until later! Just remember that you’re doing the best you can do…you can’t expect more from yourselves.

    Love and Prayers,
    Dawn Bettencourt

  14. Rolf, Trish and family,

    As always, I send my love, hugs, kisses and zillions of prayers to you!!! My email ‘divas’ list at work is praying for you too!! My mom has her prayer chain going for Rudy and all of you as well!

    God bless, stay positive and be strong (God KNOWS you have!!!)

    P. S. Please let me know if you need anything. I have the bus route down really well to UCLA! Smile!


  15. Keeping Rudy in our prayers! He’s been such a trooper…we’ll pray that he’s back laying on top of Rolf in no time. 🙂 Hugs to you!

  16. I love that picture of Rolf and Rudy. I pray that everything goes well and Rudy gets to come home on Monday.

    Yep, that Rolf sure is a sweet talker isn’t he…..he just swept you right off of your feet with that smooth “You’re kind of Sticky” line. 🙂

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