Thursday, September 04, 2003

Summer is over. This was summer last year.

This was summer this year. We had fun at the beach and in the mountains.

Mom dropped Jack off yesterday morning for the first day of school. He is now a first grader. It was just one year ago you started the first grade. You had survived almost dying and you started school on time. We made it.

This is you last year. The first day of first grade.

This is an email Mom sent to our friends one year ago today.

-----Original Message-----
From: Laurie Strongin
Sent: Wednesday, September 04, 2002 7:56 PM
To: Friends of Henry
Subject: Update

I don’t even know where to start. Most importantly, Henry was released from Georgetown Hospital on Monday at noon. Within moments of his arrival home, he and Jack insisted that I make good on an offer to take them to Attack of the Clones, so despite my general desire to crawl under the covers and stay there, that’s where we spent Monday late afternoon. Tuesday morning, Allen and I took Henry and Jack to school where they entered 1st grade and kindergarten respectively.

Part of me wants to tell you everything is fine. And in many ways, relatively speaking, it is. We’re all back home together after a 10-day juggling act made possible by the generous help of our parents, siblings and friends. By some miracle, Henry did not sustain any damage to his brain. I must have found him as things were unraveling and thankfully, we arrived at Georgetown’s ER just in time. A longer game of monopoly with Jack, one phone call, checking on Joe first, any one of those things would have resulted in the most horrible loss. Instead, we had a dress rehearsal of the nightmare we’ve been running from for 7 years.

Here is what we have learned. Henry does not have a seizure disorder. His brain works perfectly fine. He doesn’t have high blood pressure either. It is normal 99 % of the time and high the other 1%, but not in any predictable pattern. The doctors seem to believe that a combination of Henry’s medications caused an episode of extremely high blood pressure which caused a convulsion which caused Henry to stop breathing. So we have discontinued two of the drugs and decreased the dosage of two others. And we are the proud owners of a $3000 “hospital grade” blood pressure machine (thank goodness for insurance) so we can check his blood pressure throughout the day and night, just in case.

We cannot thank you enough for your supportive messages, visits and all the good food that fills our refrigerator. We haven’t had cereal for dinner in 10 whole days, perhaps a record since October 25, 1995. L’shana tovah.

Exhausted, worried, lucky and hopeful,

Laurie, Allen, Henry, Jack & Joe

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