BMT Day +99 (Part 1): Lion's Embrace

This is one of my favorite pictures of ‪#‎LukaTheLion‬. He’s happy, wearing his tiny baby Arsenal onesie, and it perfectly sums but his adorable little personality – peaking out from behind me to say, “Hi!”

Today is very different from when this picture was taken over a year ago. Our brave lion had a long day with a CT of his brain (normal results thank goodness) and a lumbar puncture (LP) so that his spinal fluid can be analyzed for viruses, bacteria, etc. He’s just not quite right and it can’t be explained completely, mainly he’s lethargic and not really standing, talking, making eye contact, having a hard time breastfeeding, etc. We’re waiting for the results, but it could a few days or more. We do know he has very low sodium which is being remedied by more fluids, and could be part (or maybe all) of this. For now we wait, pray, and meditate on getting him back to his sweet, silly lion personality. Or, at least we know what’s going on with him so he can get a treatment that helps. We’re waiting for an IVIG infusion to start which may hopefully give him a boost. And a late night.

One thing remains the same — despite all of this, you can certainly tell he’s fighting through it and has shown some glimpses that are positive. A reach for a cracker – the first solid food in days, a drink of milk from a straw, a little wave to a familiar nurse. I wish there was a photo of one moment in particular, so in the absence of one here is the story. Dr. Philip has been on service this week (different doctors on the team take turns), and has been running around all week to check on Luka (and I’m sure many others), order tests, make calls to the lab, look at scans, you name it. Somehow, he achieved a creative solution to getting the LP done in a timely manner as he got two anesthesiologists to go to the clinic on the complete other end of the hospital so our lion could be sedated during the lumbar puncture while he performed it. From the moment he decided it was necessary to do the CT and LP to the moment it was over, was about 1 1/2 hours which is lightening speed in hospital time. Stars aligned and this creative solution to get it done quickly and as easily as possible actually worked. While we waited for Luka to come out of sedation, we talked about his case and other life-important-meditations only to have our lion come out of sedation to give Dr. Philip a long and deep embrace. The moment lasted for probably a few minutes and was pure joy to witness. I think it was Luka’s way of showing that he hears us and that everything in the world is going to be OK. Amen.

Now let’s pray for our lion, world peace, and that the Cubbies ‪#‎FlyTheW‬!