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The Saga of Sam

The Saga of Sam

Thursday, March 24, 1994

The blood was drawn for the Wilson's Disease Laboratory in New York and Federal Expressed.  I brought the water in, but it never made the journey.  Dr. Sternlieb in New York refused to analyze it.  He said he had analyzed water from as far as France and it was never a factor in the treatment.  One small issue arose.  Friday was passover and no one would be in the lab in New York.  Dr. Schwarz used her feminine wiles (I think she yelled at them) and Dr. Sternlieb agreed to do the analysis even if he had to do it himself.  With blood samples gone, an almost certain diagnosis, Dr. Schwarz wrote a prescription for penicillamine and Vitamin B6 (depleted by penicillamine) and released us from the hospital.

It had been quite an experience.  From ER to laboratories, Hopkins did a great job.  The prognosis looked good, and we were comfortable with Dr. Schwarz.  Wilson's Disease was confirmed on Friday.  Mom had given you the first dose of Penicillamine on Thursday.  The weekend brought nothing new.  Your stomach was quite distended now.  We settled in for several months of de-coppering, clinic visits and recuperation.

In the midst of crisis, new heroes and friendships emerge.  Words cannot describe the comfort and security that Dr. Schwarz provided.  Her quiet dedication, knowledge, warm comfort and empathy was essential to two worried parents and an uncertain son.  She established an instant rapport with you.  We were a team and she was the coach.  Drs. Perman, Talusan, and Field were great comforts.  People at Westinghouse and Hopkins Home Care provided support and picked up the slack.  The Freigtags, Harnesses and Leos started the caretaking of Shaun that would be essential in the coming months.  And Sam, you started to emerge as my hero.  Your positive outlook, cooperative spirit, quiet perseverance, and love for life began to show.

Life returned to 'normal'.  Church, school and the routine of life were blessings.  We dropped the baseball program knowing your condition (hard liver, enlarged spleen, etc.) precluded the season.  Your team went on to win the championship, but then so did you.  You had maintained your schoolwork in the hospital and continued to do so now, despite the naps and fatigue.  Easter cam and we went to Aunt Ag's for the annual egg hunt.  I'm glad you guys could still be kids.  It would help all of us in the coming months.

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