Friday 3 October 2014

Breaking down

The commercial warns that it's not just old people who get strokes.

"I'm 38," the woman says.

She's lucky she can talk. My son's not even two.

When we noticed that Dominic wasn't using his right hand as well and had stopped climbing the stairs at home we presumed it was no more than some expected regression from everything he's been through. All along we'd been warned it could happen, so it didn't seem like the end of the world when it did.

In Calgary for his regular Tuesday appointment, Trish told the doctors expecting little more than "oh, OK, we'll keep watching it to see if it gets worse."

Nope. Suddenly he's undergoing a barrage of extra tests, he's admitted to the hospital again, right back in Room 1110 where we spent months on end.

The tests showed bleeding in his brain. Strokes. A dozen little ones that could've been caused by something as simple as him sneezing - which he's been doing a lot lately as a result of the virus that remains in his system.

Doctors believe all of the drugs he's had in the past year have weakened his blood vessels. Combine that with a low platelet count and strokes are a major possibility.

When Trish told me about it Thursday she tried to put a positive spin on it. "At least it's not cancer," she said.

Well sure but it's not Ebola either. And nobody's properly convinced me yet it couldn't be this enterovirus D68 which is causing paralysis in some kids.

Knowing how resilient the brain is I'm not worried about these strokes leaving long-term damage. What I am worried about is if his blood vessels are so damaged, what's to prevent a stroke that kills him? One bad sneeze and poof, he's a vegetable? Suddenly the cancer he's fighting seems secondary. We hope to get more answers today.

The odds were stacking against him already. It feels like this stacks them even more.

And yet he smiles on. I wish I could say the same.


  1. Poor little guy! Poor parents too. I sure hope it's related to something that can be treated, or will just go away. Praying for all of you.

  2. What a trooper he is.
    He smiles on like it's no big deal.
    He is such a SUPERMAN.
    You guys, you are all on my mind. I don't have the right words.

  3. Donna, Milton Ontario4 October 2014 at 07:50

    My heart literally breaks...I have so much faith in you young are truly amazing.