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[Giagnocavo]Michael::Write()

# Tuesday, May 23, 2006
One year ago to the hour

This night, at around 23:30 we went to the hospital because Gaby was having contractions (3 months early). Exactly one year ago, to the hour, we went to the hospital for Mei. Fortunately, this time it wasn't as big a deal, a few injections and tests later and we're back home, everything ok for now... Just very... odd/coincidental/? that down to the hour we were going back to the hospital, one year later.

Mei | Personal
Tuesday, May 23, 2006 8:50:39 AM UTC  #    Comments [1]  |  Trackback

# Sunday, May 21, 2006
Happy Birthday, Mei!

Mei was born a year ago, on 19 May 2005. Happy Birthday, Mei!


We love you forever Mei

Mei
Sunday, May 21, 2006 5:17:09 PM UTC  #    Comments [2]  |  Trackback

# Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Yey!

Well, we found out that Gaby is pregant again -- due sometime around the end of July (near my birthday? ^_^).

It was really exciting seeing the test show the two lines -- unbelievable at first. Then, really sad , as it brings back so many memories (well, not like we don't re-live them every day anyways). I can see how parents have a hard time equally sharing among too kids. Sometimes I feel guilty getting so excited about this new one when I think about little Mei. I realise that Mei would want us to be happy for her sister, but it still feels sad.

Anyways, I'm sure as soon as I can start feeling her my outlook will pick up. Right now she's a little jumping grain of rice :) -- 146 heartbeats/minute.

Mei | Personal
Tuesday, December 27, 2005 1:49:35 AM UTC  #    Comments [3]  |  Trackback

# Friday, July 08, 2005
An update on us

Some people have wondered how things are going. Let me tell a little story.

When I was 14, I went to some fair and a friend of my father's was nice enough to subvert my parents wishes and purchased a sword for me. It wasn't a straight sword; it had a wicked little curve-point on the end. One day when I was off in fantasy-land in my room, playing with this “wonderful” item, the sword ended up going through my knee. It was all rather quite curious how it got there, and I'm still not 100% sure how it happened. But there I was, standing in my room, with a two-inch wound on one side of my knee, and a small exit wound on the other side.

Being deathly afraid of my parents desire to revoke my sword, I ran to the shower to let the blood pour out, and I preceeded to put a bandaid on it. It didn't hurt that much, so I figured if I just cleaned up the blood, this could be an incident that'd teach me a lesson and I could continue my fantasic adventures. Well, unfortunately I did not know of such things as “shock” and “adrenaline”, and over the next few hours discovered that a cut that goes through your knee in fact DOES require medical attention, and that a shower & bandaid do not count. In addition, it hurts like hell. Anytime I thought it was doing a bit better, the pain would just come back and wash over me. It took surgery, morphine, and quite some time.

Mei meant more to us than anything and everything in this world. Not a day goes by where I don't think of her or pray that I'd do anything to bring her back. The true pain and, to use a phrase from a well-known series, The Sorrow of Losing the Object of One's Dependence, the realization of great loss is finally hitting us both. For a while I thought I had gained some magic perspective and acceptance... but that was just my mind and body compensating via shock. It has become so much harder (and mainly why I haven't posted Mei's photos or written until today). A lot of the anger has just turned into sadness. A lot of my hope has just turned to wishes of nothingness. Most of my dreams are of just moving as far away as possible from everything and possibly finding a shred of peace somewhere. And most of my time is either spent working all day, and then playing whatever game to keep my mind busy at night. Or anything to keep me from despair. Hey, now that I've written this, I can think about worrying that I sound like the stereotypical teenage blogger -- whining about depression! Yey -- something to do! :)

Yes, if you're thinking it, you're right: I am more cynical and critical than I was before (and for those who know me, that's saying a lot). At least I'm not suicidal.

Gaby is doing... well... similar, I suppose. Supposedly grief works like that; it comes in chaotic cycles.

It's the simple issue that nothing can actualy fix anything. Suing the doctor -- who cares? I don't need his bloody money, and even if he loses his license, it doesn't bring Mei back. Nothing I can do can. It's not a failed business where you can say at least you got an education. The only education I got is that people are far more incompetent and evil than I believed (which again, is saying a lot), and that horrible things happen. Appreciation for life? Perhaps. At any rate, I'm just going to start rambling now... so time to end this post.

Finally, I do want to thank everyone for their support. Even though I might not always sound like it, it's definately made a difference. We got enough money to cover most of the costs, so that's one thing out of the way. Thanks again.

Mei
Friday, July 08, 2005 6:32:02 PM UTC  #    Comments [4]  |  Trackback

Photos of Mei

My first chance to touch Mei: My glasses were off since I was crying from such joy.

Mei's "awakening"

Looking around

Gaby finally holds Mei (the next morning)

A nap at our house

So cute! I love her eyes.

For some reason, her hand and face remind
me of John-Paul II.

I too sleep like this sometimes.

Mid-yawn

Such a silly-cute grin

One of the happiest moments of my life

At the final hospital. All that equipment was
hooked up to her. I almost passed out when I
saw my little one there.

Gaby and I stood there, just holding her feet or her hand, gently talking to her. We couldn't hold her in our arms.

My little girl's eyes. They had the gauze on top
to keep the light from bothering her. When I lifted
it up, she'd look at me and just keep looking at me.
Those eyes...
Mei
Friday, July 08, 2005 6:04:14 PM UTC  #    Comments [1]  |  Trackback

# Monday, June 06, 2005
Mei's Stone

I never understood what “live each day as if it was your last“ until now. While Mei was here, I wish I would have spent a bit more time with her, somehow. I wish I had more seconds of memory in my mind. Some things I'm glad I did, even though at the time it was hard. Like going to the burial and laying her box inside the chamber. Being there when the machine was shut down. Some things I didn't get to do. My wife closed Mei's eyes; the OB closed her mouth.

When I look at Mei's pictures, I still can't believe this has happened. Weeks before Mei was born, I kept saying she'd be born on the 19th. Even though Gaby and the OB said not, I still kept thinking yes. I went in at 5:30pm on the last day. The doctors told me I could only stay 20 minutes, and then they'd start the transfusion. But the blood arrived late, around 6:30pm. While I was annoyed then, I guess it was a way for me to say goodbye. I kissed Little Mei all over during that hour, said goodbye, and that'd I'd see her soon. Her eyes looked at me; her hand grasped me. Mei didn't leave until I had that hour with her. I like to think that that means something.

I get so sad thinking that Mei, well, not her, but even her little body, is sealed inside that box inside a chamber. That's probably because I'd find that quite terrifying if I were in there, and I just can't realise that she's gone. My friend Herbert Sandoval got Mei's Stone made. While the real one is white marble and engraved, he made a colour version too. I was thinking of it just saying “Mei“, but then we thought to leave a little last song and message to her. This is what I said to her before she left.

Mei
Monday, June 06, 2005 4:50:55 AM UTC  #    Comments [2]  |  Trackback

# Thursday, May 26, 2005
All of your support

I haven't had the chance to respond personally to everyone who has commented and emailed me. But let me tell you, each one of your letters has touched my wife and I, and has helped us in ways you can't know. Quite a few people have said that Mei had a purpose, that Mei has accomplished much, that this is how it was meant to be.

While my original reaction was “Ain't that swell. You have a kid, and that's great. She dies, and that's still great. What a load of crap.”, reading things people have written has changed my mind. I'm slowly, albeit painfully, coming to terms with that Mei was sent to do something, and she did that, and then had to go. It doesn't make sense. It pisses me off. Couldn't a lesson be taught without losing her?

Things seem to move so fast. I can't believe that Mei has come. I think that I'm going to wake up and hug her. I feel like someone will just come by and Mei will be with them. I remember kissing her goodbye, singing to her tomb, and it's so completely surreal. I feel guilty for not being hysterical all day long. I have a peace... but a feel bad that perhaps it's so soon. but I guess that's not true. I know Mei wants me to be happy. If I'm eating pizza, or watching a movie, if I'm smiling, she's happy I hope. Mei, please understand it's not that I have forgotten you, it's not that I am not terribly sad, I'm just trying to cope.

Gaby just got back from our house, cleaning Mei's stuff. I want to keep a few things to have of her, and the rest we'll keep for when she or her sister/brother comes along. She has a cute pink little pijama, with a little cat on it. We just bought that the day Mei was born, and it's SOO cute on her.

Anyways, I think I'm going in circles now, so I'll sign off for the night. I just want everyone to know that your comments, your letters, your words of support, even when there are no words, do help. I know there's nothing we can do, except support each other. Hearing that Mei has made an impact in some lives consoles me, knowing there was a reason.

Mei
Thursday, May 26, 2005 5:36:36 AM UTC  #    Comments [7]  |  Trackback

If you can help

I really didn't want to do this. I was hoping little Mei was gonna pull through, and I was just gonna get some good consulting job and so on... but reality sets in. I had saved just enough to handle Mei's delivery. Some will say I should have waited 'till I had a real good job (startups are fun, but don't necesarily keep you padded). Perhaps I should have. But we wanted a baby sooo badly. I don't expect anyone to donate, and I don't want to ask. But everyone has told me G-d will provide one way or another. So, if bychance someone landing on this page happens to have some money they can give, that'd be greatly appreciated. If that person is you, our Paypal address is hands-of-hope@usa.com. That will go through my parent's clinic, as they are handling it right now. I just am not ready to go back and sit down and now have to face Mei's hospital and burial bills.

Gaby and I are going to try to move to Toronto. I'm still not sure about work. I've got some possibilities, but nothing sure yet. I'm worried about getting a visa for Gaby, as the embassy can be a real pain. Well, all the Canadians there are really nice, but sometimes it's just hard.

The doctor? I'm not so sure that malpractice suits work here. Even if they did, it'd take so long as to be practically useless. Of course, if he does pay, I can send the donations back. I *want* to make that guy pay in so many ways. But apparently, forgiveness is a step. I wonder if I can forgive, and sue him into the dark ages as well as get rid of his license. I mean, he's a public threat, so it's only responsible of me to put him out of the medical profession, right?

Also, I can accept donations in some consulting work. If you have some .NET-related (or Asterisk-related) work, I'll take extra consulting jobs. Just give me a bit of time to collect myself and get an updated resume up. But feel free to drop me a line (mgg@atrevido.net) if you have any litte jobs you would like to me to consult on.

Again, I'm sorry to ask about money. I didn't intend to do this, I'm just getting a bit desperate. Everything I've written has come straight from my heart, and I'm certainly not trying to get money from people. Just hoping G-d's sent a person and this will be a signal to them. On the 'bright' side, the medical expenses in Guatemala are much less than they'd be in North America, probably by a factor of 8 or so, so any little bit goes somewhat further than it would in North America.

To everyone else, just ignore this one posting. Thank you.

Mei
Thursday, May 26, 2005 5:11:10 AM UTC  #    Comments [0]  |  Trackback

# Wednesday, May 25, 2005
The Burial

I went to the burial. It was a nice place, not ugly like most of Guatemala City. Everyone was at a little chapel, which scared me, cause I didn't want a funeral.

I looked inside, and at the altar was a tiny white box with tiny white flowers on it. I just walked towards it, every step welling up tears. I threw myself onto the little box, holding Mei inside, telling her how much I loved her.

I know I said I didn't believe in this, and wanted to not do anything, just maybe show up for 5 minutes, I had to see her again. My sweet precious girl. Someone checked her to make sure nothing was bad, and I opened her baby coffin and kissed her, told her I loved her so much, how sorry I was for this.

they took her to the tomb where we'd place her. I sang her song (Fly me to the moon) to her, kept my hand on her while the pastor spoke. I sang other little songs I made up; I just want her to know how much I love her, and always will.

Gaby and I held her head, ran our hands through her beautiful hair. I kissed her, hold her hand (it felt like she was still grabbing my finger), hugged my little Mei's body. Having to see your own little baby wrapped up and... not alive... I'm crying.

I picked up her tiny box, slid it into the tomb, said goodbye, that she'd be o.k. forever, and we'd always love her. They started laying the brick and I just wandered off. It's the first time I remember my dad crying in a long time. When they had the cement on, I wrote “We love you forever Mei“ in the cement. I'm going to get a little plaque that says Mei, and has her song lyrics on it, with little plum flowers around the edges.

I feel strongly that she's going to come back to us. That in a few months, I'll have great news that she's back inside Gaby's belly. I promised her we'd take the absolute best care of her this time, if she gives us a second chance. Or maybe, Mei is up there looking for a friend angel to send to us. Somehow, it will all be alright, sometime.

I sat on the edge of a cliff that's right alongside the cemetary, and I sang to her. The wind blew through the trees. I felt like she was flying around, sitting on the tombs, laughing at us cause we were kissing her old body. She is smiling and playing somewhere. She's the cutest, happiest, girl right now. Perhaps a mix of Sumomo (Chobits) and Mei from Totoro. That's where I first heard the name and liked it, “Tonari no Totoro”.

Somehow, everything will work out. Somehow, the shred of faith I have left will grow. Somehow, someway...

Mei
Wednesday, May 25, 2005 7:40:16 PM UTC  #    Comments [17]  |  Trackback

Thoughts...Why...If

Everything is in pieces. I think human minds in default configuration cannot process this kind of event.

Rene Ordoñez is an incompetent idiot. We called him, we even called the OB because we thought he might Rene might be a dick. I should have just taken her into the hospital right away. He said she was just colic, that's why she cried. But that wasn't it. Her poor body was so messed up. She fought all day before we went to the hospital, we just didn't know. Maybe it's my fault for not being a crazy protective parent and bringing her in for everything. If she would have gotten in earlier...

She fought for over a day in the hospital. With everyone working on her, she struggled and was so strong. How can such a precious creature be submitted to this?

My wife and I were waiting so long for this little one. Why to us? There's people every day that get knocked up and never want kids. There are morons who, for reasons I can never ever understand, have abortions. Why don't THEY have their kids die on them instead? Ever since we were dating Gaby and I wanted this little girl. I spoke to Mei almost every day. Gaby took the best care of herself. We did everything good parents should do. Mei was our whole life! Why do we get punished? There's enought shit parents out there with kids, why not take one of the?

Why out of all the doctors in the country, we get the one who didn't give a flying fuck? While I was at the hospital, I thought about how Rene would pay. Right after Mei died, I tried to go hunt him down (everyone stopped me). I wanted to see HIM on a breathing tube. Revenge is a dish best served cold? Right now, I don't care. Even if I could watch him die, even after we get his license stripped and never able to work in medicine again, there's no satisfaction. Nothing matters anymore. He's still going down, since who knows how many other people he will hurt. But that doesn't help me now.

A recruiter from Microsoft Consulting Services has been emailing me for the past while. If only I would have accepted her offer. Full health care, decent doctors. My only problem would have been my wife saying she wanted her family to see and hold little Mei. Right now I'd be on a webcam, holding mini Mei in my arms, showing her to family.

G-d be with you, they say. Well, that's great. He shoulda been there before. Now it's a bit too late, unless there's an 18th level cleric who can cast resurrection on her. I don't get it. If her getting sick is Stan's work, and G-d was going to do a miracle, then why is it all of a sudden G-d's magical plan now that Stan killed her?

They say these kinds of incidents make your faith grow. I'm not sure who they are, but I'd like to know what they're smoking. I flip back and forth: Believing, and giving up the shred of faith I had left. We had hundreds of people praying for her, and what good did it do?

Perhaps I'm not supposed to be bitter, sarcastic, questioning G-d. Perhaps it's His way of showing me something. It's quite a crappy way of going about it, if I may be so presumptuous. Having her in the hospital and being so sick was a big enough of a lesson.

Gaby says that Mei was a little angel, one of G-d's special angel. She says He got confused and accidentally sent us to her, but had to take her back. I think I'd like to believe that. Julie told me that Mei will come back to us in a different body (can't get any more perfect, scroll down and look at her beautiful face). I want to belive that too. So if anyone still believes in praying for us or whatever, that'd be my only request. Pray that I can believe in something beautiful and have peace.

We're going to her burial now. I didn't want to go. Last night, I went into the room after she had moved on. I gave her body a little kiss on the cheek. Her eyes were closed. That was the hardest thing. During the day, she was looking into my eyes, squeezing my finger. My little girl, with her darkest blue eyes, just staring around, glancing at me. And those eyes are closed. I was in the room when they turned off her oxygen machine. That was horrible.

I don't want to go the burial. I don't believe in it. Mei is not there anymore. but Gaby says we created and brought her in, and regardless if Mei is not there, her body is, and it's a perfect, beautiful body. I think that, just like going into the OR afterwards, it's something I will regret if I do not do it, even if it hurts.

I miss you so much Mei. I can never describe how happy I was when you were with us, and how sad I am now that you are not. I love you forever and always my perfect divine little one.

Mei
Wednesday, May 25, 2005 3:30:26 PM UTC  #    Comments [6]  |  Trackback

To Mei

Mei-chan dear, I love you so much. Your mommy and I care for you so much. Like we told you, whatever you had to do is ok, and we're going to love you forever. That last hour I spent with you was nice. I'm sure you were looking around and could see the angels with you. I tried to ask them to not take you, but I guess that didn't work out.

Your mommy and I had so many plans for you. We're going to miss you so much, every day. But we're not angry at you at all. You knew what was best, and if your little heart couldn't take it, I'm sure you made the right decision. I wanted to sing that song to you one more time:

Fly me to the moon
and let me play among the stars
Let me see what spring is like
on Jupiter and Mars
In other words, hold my hand
(you did, remember, your little hand held me. I had been waiting months for you to do that)
In other words, darling kiss me

Fill my heart with song
and let me sing forever more
You are all I long for
all I worship and adore
In other words, please be true
In other words, I love you. 
 I love you!

I guess you remembered me singing that to you a few times. I made up some songs for you too; I hope you liked them. I'm not much of a songwriter. That song, I got from the end of the episodes in EVA. But I think it's an old song.

Thank you for being so precious and beautiful. You were a shining gem, a pure angel to mommy and I. Those days here were just absolutely perfect. We loved every second. I never got to change one of your dirty diapers, but I really wanted to. I was waiting and waiting. I would do anything for you Mei.

I'm so sorry this happened. I was a fool to trust that idiot. I should have taken you in and not listened to him. I hope you can forgive me for not doing so. I'm gonna deal with him, don't worry. He'll never hurt another precious baby like you ever again.

There's so much I wanted to talk to you about. So many things. I wanted to take care of you growing up, watch you learn and play on your computer. I wanted to play games with you. Photograph you with our little rabbits. I was so excited that you'd be in school and we could study all the hanzi you would have had to memorize. I really would have gotten you on that NHK show. I'm not sure what it's called. I-nai-I-nai-I-nai-iway! Something like that. With elf girl and green dog. You would have been the cutest baby on the set. You'd have had to learn a bit of Japanese I guess, but we coulda done that together too.

Mei-chan, my dearest little girl, I love for you forever and always. Wherever you are out there, I hope you're ok. Everyone was there with your body, but I didn't want to be. I knew you had already moved on. I hope that's ok with you. Mommy and I are gonna move. Maybe Atlanta. We had a great time when we lived there. That was just a bit before you came along, my sweet angle. Mommy really can't go back to the house. It was supposed to be a surprise, but she painted your whole room. The had little Strawberry Shortcake strawberries on the wall, little flowers, all pink. Mommy was really worried about finishing it on time. She had done it with little Care Bears and clouds, but decided that pink flowers were prettier for you. I wish you would have seen it. Mommy's mom is going to clean out your stuff. I'm gonna keep a bit (and some photos I have of you), but Mommy doesn't wanna see them right now. Mom just wants to keep you in her memory. Please understand. One day we'll look at those things again, just not now. I'm gonna hold your little pijamas, the one with the pink cat on it. You were wearing that for the few days at our house. You were sooooo cute in it.

Te amo, y te quiero siempre, mi linda divina. I'll write to you again. I want to keep you so close to me, as you fill my heart. I know I've said my life's destroyed now, but it's not your fault at all. Mommy and I are gonna be ok, so you just go and enjoy everything you're doing now, ok? Right before they started the transfusion, I told you I was gonna go, and I'd see you soon. Let's just take “soon” as very loose, ok? But I so want to be with you again, someday, somewhere. I love you honey.

Mei
Wednesday, May 25, 2005 5:30:16 AM UTC  #    Comments [10]  |  Trackback

Mei died

That's all.
I wrote a letter to her. I don't know why. Maybe it helps “the process”. This blog is going to be rather dark and grim, so if you're having a nice life, don't come back for a while. If you want to share greif, then just keep reading here.

Mei
Wednesday, May 25, 2005 4:46:31 AM UTC  #    Comments [7]  |  Trackback

# Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Doctors deciding what to do

A quick update on Mei. Doctors have found she has some brain hemorrhage. Also, her kidneys are not doing so good. So, the doctors are having a meeting to decide how to proceed (whether to infiltrate her kidneys or not, etc).

Mei
Tuesday, May 24, 2005 4:21:26 PM UTC  #    Comments [9]  |  Trackback

How to contact us

Since we will allbe at the hospital all day and tomorrow, feel free to call us. My dad's cell phone is +011 (502) 5814-4878. My cell is +011 (502) 5215-8722. I have Miami number, 1-305-455-9823 that forwards to my cell.

Mei
Tuesday, May 24, 2005 3:56:45 PM UTC  #    Comments [0]  |  Trackback

Mei stopped breathing, having lung and kidney problem

Just got a phone call. Mei stopped breathing this morning. They got her going again, but she's having some liquid in her lungs and problems with her kidneys. Doctors are looking at putting a shunt in or something. I'm heading down now.

Mei
Tuesday, May 24, 2005 3:16:14 PM UTC  #    Comments [0]  |  Trackback

Made it through the night

Update: She stopped breathing this morning.

That is, all of got through the night. Very strange coming back, seeing all Mei's stuff, lying down, and she's not there. Plus the neighbours baby was crying this morning, so for a split second I thought perhaps Mei was back here. At any rate, Gaby and I feel a lot more...composed. Mei is doing fine according to the nurses. Gaby and the grandmothers are going there this morning.

A little bit of information on what Mei has:
http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/hirschsprungs_ez/

A lot of people have said “Buying blood, WTF?”... Well, I guess that's how they do it down here. As far as I can tell, each hospital keeps a bit of blood themselves, but rely on a bloodbank for {many|some|most} requests. However, the idea of pre-stocking is a completely foreign concept here. I think I wrote before on this blog, but we went to a store once, asked for soap. We were told there was no soap. “Well, shouldn't you buy more, since you already sold out and it's only the middle of the month?” “No, we only sell soap for the first half of the month.” Another time, shopping for an out-of-stock item, I was told ?(quite angrily) “We stock enough of the product, the problem is that people just buy it so fast.” I guess the same applies to blood?

Things are complicated by the fact that the donation requirements are absurd to say the least. Obviously you want healthy blood being donated, but they will deny someone from donating for any reason, such as having taken aspirin a day before. My wife's doctor was denied because... he's a doctor. Went I want to donate yesterday, the nurse said I couldn't because I was “scared”.

Then, throw in a good dose of inefficiency (really, I almost flipped on the receptionist when she said “receiving blood??” and seemed puzzled at how to handle our order), and there you go. When I was paying, the lady insisted on a national tax ID number and wouldn't let me say “no, I don't need a government-authorized invoice, just let me have the blood so I could go“. Fortunately the doctor was with me (I don't think I'd have been the best driver), so he gave his... crazy.

The whole blood issue is small however compared to the doctor who handled Mei. This should have been caught quickly, before it became a major issue, if he wasn't negligent. Probably doesn't help much to think about it, but it just infuriates me to know that this was so easily avoidable, and *should* have been avoided.

Mei
Tuesday, May 24, 2005 2:07:44 PM UTC  #    Comments [1]  |  Trackback

Blood transfusion, less sedatives

The kidney expert said that they needed to change Mei's blood to help fix her kidney, so they performed a blood transfusion on her. They also lowered her sedatives so she is slightly awake, but without any pain. Gaby's (my wife) is going to go there all day tomorrow and I'll show up later on at night (since Mei only wakes up at night anyways). I guess this is progress?

Mei
Tuesday, May 24, 2005 3:58:13 AM UTC  #    Comments [4]  |  Trackback

White blood cell count up a little, kidney still needs help

Just a short update, Mei's white blood cell count is now up to 2700, from 1300. It should be around 10,000. But at least this is good sign that she's making some leeway against the infection. At least, I'm guessing that's what it means.

Her kidney is still having some trouble. While she did pass a bit of urine, her kidney isn't at normal levels at all. A specialist is coming in this night to check it out.

Thanks to those who have emailed and left comments. Your prayers and messages are deeply appreciated.

Mei
Tuesday, May 24, 2005 2:31:02 AM UTC  #    Comments [0]  |  Trackback

# Monday, May 23, 2005
Please pray: My newborn daughter Mei is critical

Updates, click here.

I haven't written here for a long time, so I don't know how many subscribers there are... but anyways. Something personal. For those who want to skip the article, I just beg a second of your thoughts to Natasha Mei Giagnocavo, who's in intensive care. A prayer, short meditiation, positive thought, any little bit helps. 

Four days ago, my first daughter, Mei, was finally born. Perfect quick labor (< 2hrs, out of the hospital in 19 total), everything checked out just fine, we were home the next day.


That's me in scrubs with Mei, minutes after she was born

Having a baby is the the most awesome, most amazing experience I've ever had. She's pretty cute, and when your baby opens her eyes and just stares at you... it's something profound. But enough: People who haven't had children won't understand, and those who have, already do.

Anyways, two days later we were a bit worried as she hadn't had a BM at our house. So we called the pediatrician, and he assured us that she had had a BM at the hospital, and that everything was normal and fine.

Sunday night:
She cried a lot at night, making us think perhaps she was colic. Sunday night, same thing, she started crying a lot, mainly little cries as she exhaled. She started having green vomit come out, and her stomach was hard as rock. We called the pediatrician again, and he told us to give her a sedative. Not believing the quack, I called my mother, who is a registered nurse (RN). My parents drove down immediately, and when my mom saw Mei, she knew we had to leave for the hospital immediately.

Mei was coming up this green stuff, but barely crying. The whole evening, she had her eyes (dark dark blue) wide open, just staring at us, crying a bit. I had no clue what pain she was in, how bad things where.

At the ER, we got a tube down her nose to start bringing up all this green stuff. They tried to get an IV in, but weren't able because her veins were so small. All the time she just stared, calmed down when I spoke her name, looked so precious.


Newborn Mei

They X-ray'd her, found a large blockage under the stomach. What they were not able to find was that her intestines had actually already burst. Her body was filling with the material from inside her intestines, causing immense infection (hence her tummy being so hard). They hooked her up to an IV. Sometime early, say, 4am or so, they got her blood samples, and her white blood cell count was very very low. She had been fighting for almost two days already. Her heartrate was up to 210bps.

Then things got really bad, lots of pain, so they had to sedate her. They say they will definately need to go into surgery to clean things up and fix the broken intestine. Mr. Quack Doctor shows up (since I had told the nurses he was incompetent, and they in turn called him), asking why we didn't call him, then proceeds to get into an argument with my wife, trying to blame her. He also admits to not knowing what had happened to Mei at the hospital, and if she was really o.k. when she left.

At 6:30am, it was clear she needed more blood. However, they didn't do anything about that until 8:10am, at which point they sent me out to go buy blood. Guatemala City traffic is heavy, so it's utterly retarded how the blood banks work here. Instead of doing what any two year old would design and have trained people to deliver the blood on motorcycle or helicopter, they expect the buyer to drive through traffic, pick it up, and transport it back. The hospital doesn't do this, the patient's family has to do this. So you get a nervous person who knows nothing about blood transport driving around to buy blood. To make matters worse, when I got there, the person to “attend” me wasn't even sure how the procedure for buying blood went. Took over 15 minutes for them to give us the package (even though they already had the order in the computer). Inane.

Mei went into operation around 10am. They had to remove all the fecal matter from her. By that time, her kidney was also failing from infection. They had at least 10 different tubes and machines connected. The doctors told me it was a 50/50 shot, and that I needn't worry, as they had already baptized her. That did not have quite the calming effect that it was supposed to :\. Fortunately, we're at one of the best hospitals in the country, and have a very good team of doctors on her.

Praise God, she came out of the operation stable, but in critical condition. They cleaned her insides (I watched the video), and sewed up her intestine through an external intestine.

As of now (Monday, 5:40pm local time), she's in intensive care, sedated, with tons of monitor equipment and stuff. She responds a bit if I touch her hand, and I think one of the graphs on the machines changes when I talk to her.

Right now I need all the prayer, meditation, positive energy, etc. I can get directed towards little Mei. She's got a serious infection still, and she has to overcome that before they can continue with the other operation they need to do.

To family members and other interested parties: I'll be posting new articles in the Mei category to keep you updated as soon as I get more news.

Thanks.
Mei
Monday, May 23, 2005 11:43:34 PM UTC  #    Comments [0]  |  Trackback