I heard so much "New York has the best hospitals" and "North Carolina has the best" and "New York is good, but Boston is better" that my head was spinning. So many people pulling me towards what they thought was best for AJ, but what was best was for him to go to a doctor that his cardiologist trusts, and he happens to be in Boston.
Getting AJ ready was easy. All he needed was long sleeved black shirts and sweaters and some water-proof boots. Me, I needed everything since I only have summer clothes and two sweaters that have seen better days. Actually, they were bought over a decade ago, so I went to find something suitable. I got 3 on sale, and a trenchcoat (why are they called trench coats anyway?) and boots (very expensive, since I waited to buy some on the day before we left, so had no real choice on what to buy).
Boston was cold. Very cold. Extremely cold. And there were insane people all around me wearing only sweaters. What were they thinking?!!? I even had tights, leg warmers, socks, boots, and was still cold. Don't forget the sweater/blouse, sweater, and trench coat. And a hat. And a scarf. I think Bostonites are insane...
AJ: A nurse practitioner and 2 doctors saw him before Dr. Mark saw him. He's Dr. Mark Alexander, and has a sense of humor, very down-to-earth and we felt comfortable putting AJ in his hands. They explained the whole process to us, even drawing diagrams for us. AJ went to the OR *singing* of all things! Nurse Dima put something to relax him into his IV and AJ, who is a perfectionist, said, "How long until it takes effect?" "Immediately." "This feels good! Gimme another one!"
After half a second he said, "I wouldn't mind getting a bad grade with this stuff!" The nurse said that it's like Novocaine that dentists use, and AJ immediately said that it reminded him of a song by Green Day that ended with "Give me Novocaine!" and proceeded to sing it!!! It was hilarious. He was still singing when they rolled him out of the room to the OR.
The Boston Children's Hospital staff kept us updated on the hour of his status. The had to insert a tube through his left groin and explore, then his right one, the short circuit was beyond reach there, so they finally inserted one through his throat and found the "sweet spot." Very close to a delicate area, called a nodule, so they burned it with cold. It's called a "cryo-ablation" instead of using heat, which is called a radio frequency ablation. It was the safest way to go and the doctor assured me that if it were HIS son, he'd have done the same thing, so I felt satisfied. This condition has a 15 to 20 percent chance of recurrence, but as time goes by, the probability diminishes. They tested AJ to make sure, and even waited a little longer than usual, but it hadn't returned, so they were finally able to end the procedure, thanks to the Lord.
We had a lot of people praying for AJ and I thank God for each and every one of the friends and family who did. We had people calling to say they could not donate, but would pray, a lady who heard the announcement over the internet called Eddie to say that if we wanted to, we could go over there for dinner, a nice Puerto Rican dinner. A stranger, no one we knew, but the Lord God knows her, and I hope she receives a reward for that offer. It felt good, seeing how God has been taking care of us.
A strange thing: I was able to eat pizza, of all things, from Sbarro's. It didn't make me ill. We stayed at the Best Western Inn, and ate at their grill restaurant, and I ate Mini Burgers, which didn't make me ill, either. I even ate a Dunkin Donut munchkin, and still nothing. Au Bon Pain has a banana walnut pound cake which was easy on the allergies, too, so I ate a few breakfasts of that and coffee.
Then on Wednesday, of all things, my Boss shows up with KOSHER COCA COLA! Translation: no corn syrup, just sugar!!!! And bread, too, and chocolate! I could have kissed him, haha! Not really, but you know what I mean! :) He was like an angel! All that Coke! I immediately drank 3 cups of the stuff and spent the last days until the day we left drinking all the Coke I could. Oh, he brought apple juice, too. 100 percent juice, no citric acid, no ascorbic acid, just apple juice. Had that for breakfast, along with the cinnamon raisin bread he brought, which also does not have ANY corn product! I was so happy because I finally met him, after working for him for about a year and a half, and because he brought so many goodies! Yummy!
So, AJ is stable. He has to take it easy for a week and then can resume normal activities. I am aprehensive about him starting to mow the lawn or work out so quickly, but they, including the doctor, said nicely, you know, that I was fussing and there was nothing to fear, that even a man went back to playing hockey 4 or 5 days after one of these procedures. Not if I had been his mom, he wouldn't have!!
So, we are back to our warm and wonderful island of Puerto Rico. I am happy, I am tired, I am content, I am exhausted, I am blessed. Forgot to tell you that a wonderful friend came down from New Hampshire to visit. She prayed for me twice while AJ was in the OR and when she heard me crying after I received news that my cousin, whom I had been trying to contact for years, had died. She didn't say a word to me, just started to pray, and it was like God was hugging me and telling me that He understood, as if He Himself were holding me. I cannot describe that moment, except to say that I know my Savior lives and that He loves me. I really truly received comfort.
So, friends and family, this is the short version (haha!) of my trip to Boston. You'll never hear or read the long version, it's too personal, but suffice to say that I am so blessed, and I want to thank you all for your support, your notes, your prayers, your good wishes and for just being here for me, no questions asked.
P.S. AJ drove home from school today...