Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Aquarium, Adventures, Atlanta...oh my!

We had to be at the hospital at 9:30 this morning, so we grabbed breakfast at the hotel (they actually had a healthy breakfast available!), and acquainted ourselves with Atlanta drivers. Oh my! It was just at the end of rush hour, and people were not ready to exhibit their southern hospitality. :) Needless to say, I was very glad to not be driving!

With only one u-turn, we made it to the hospital in one piece. The parking deck elevator actually takes you right to the surgical floor, so we found reception incredibly easily. Here, southern hospitality was once again evident, despite the cold temps outside. We filled in the paperwork ("My, he takes a lot of medications!"), registered with patient access, and met with the nurse practitioner. She was a great sport. Will was in rare form (he actually did a head stand on the bed!!!), showing that he is anxious about the impending procedures, but she hardly blinked an eye. She explained that they might take further precautions since they are looking for mitochondria disorders...Will might have to remain in recovery for additional time, or they might use different gases for the anesthesia, but she didn't appear to be overly concerned.

We left the hospital and headed for the Atlanta Aquarium. They were sealing a sidewalk outside of the museum with something incredibly foul smelling. Unfortunately, my lungs were still twitchy from last night's event, so I pulled out my handy dandy inhaler. Billy asked about the epi pen, but it was safely tucked away in my bag...which was in the car. :) My lungs did respond to the medication, so we were able to finally make it into the aquarium.

It was amazing! William ooh'ed and ah'd his way through the entire aquarium as he took pictures of almost everything. We sat and watched the tank with the whale sharks for a while...did you know that a saw-tooth shark is actually a ray? William does now. :) He was totally enthralled the entire time. We even watched Beluga whales being fed. One of the really cool aspects of this aquarium is how visible the fish are. There are tanks overhead where you can actually watch the fish swimming in their natural environment. It's pretty impressive to see a 20 foot whale shark swimming over your head! The manta ray is huge...and you can watch their gills open and close as they meander over you. This particular tank holds 6.3 million gallons of water! It's as large as a football field. Oh! And a cuttlefish released ink while we were standing there! That was very cool...

While we were meandering through the aquarium, Billy was beginning to feel rather unwell. As the afternoon wore on, he deteriorated. Finally, he sat in a chair while Will and I finished the last section and ate lunch. We were planning to head to the Coke museum, but Billy was feeling downright awful and needed to lay down. We decided to rearrange our schedule, and we're hoping to visit it tomorrow after the doctor's appointment.

We survived rush hour in Atlanta (these drivers are in a class by themselves!), and made it back to the hotel safely. Billy ensconced himself in our room while William and I chatted about what we were going to do... We chatted with the front desk (Have I mentioned how amazing these people are??? They sent a bowl of soup to Billy and are going to bake chocolate cookies sans nuts for William tomorrow!) and discovered a bowling alley just a couple of miles away. So, Will and I killed a couple of hours bowling really poorly but enjoying ourselves and then picked up a Chinese dinner to share. We played Farkle and ate, then William headed to bed....

William is obviously uncertain about the metabolic study tomorrow. He's really anxious about Thursday, but the day today was thoroughly enjoyable! It was such a welcome reprieve for him... It was truly a respite. We have obviously had one little adventure after another (a huge allergic reaction, an asthma attack, and a stomach virus), but the Lord has still provided a huge respite for William. He was so thankful today for the gift of the aquarium, something he would not normally be able to do. It was, simply put, a huge gift in the middle of the storm.

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