Charlotte's Journey Home

Just a Regular Kid, Sort Of


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Children’s Memorial (New) Hospital Update: Heliport Needs Your Help

As most of my local friends have heard, Children’s Memorial Hospital is getting set to build a new state-of-the-art facility in downtown Chicago, adjacent to Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Prentice Women’s Hospital.

This is terribly exciting for so many reasons. To mention just two: Women like me would be only a wheelchair ride from their child in special care, as opposed to the 3 mile separation I suffered for several days after Charlotte was born. And, as children with diseases like spina bifida and CF live into adulthood, the pediatric specialists can work with the adult specialists on research and care. As we like to say in pediatric philanthropy, it’s a “terrible” and exciting problem to have–children living into adulthood with diseases that formerly killed at young ages.

Children’s is a trauma center as well as the finest pediatric hospital in Illinois. Our heliport helps us save lives of children who need our services by allowing their quick, safe, critical transport to the hospital.

Neighbors of our new location are protesting and blocking the heliport. Some of their objections?
Noise at night. CMH receives on average 6 heliport transports a month. Most of them arrive during daylight hours. Think about it–many critical injuries are due to school sports and daytime events.

Helicopter accidents. Of course, given the Michigan organ transplant accident this summer, we appreciate this concern. However, the Children’s Service Board Children’s Memorial Hospital Transport Team has never had an accident. Medical transport accidents are rare.

What would you want to do if it were your sick/injured child or grandchild? Rely on an ambulance or a helicopter to get her the best help as quickly as possible.

Sadly, Chicago politicians are more focused on the location of our Children’s Museum right now.

Please, help us refocus their attention. Take a moment to click here and read the brief page at the CMH website about the heliport. You can download a customizable letter to send to your local alderman, city council, or legislator.

I ask not for me and Charlotte, but for your children and grandchildren, your kids’ playmates, and any child in Illinois. They all deserve the best medical attention we can give them and they deserve to receive it in a timely fashion.

Thank you.

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Reflux Chronicle: Losing Count

I have officially lost count of the number of days without vomit. We’ve definitely broken Charlotte’s world record. We’re not counting little bitty urps (wet burps, really).

Yesterday we did not use the feeding tube at all. If I remember correctly, we didn’t use it on Saturday either. And I cannot remember the last time we took the Zevex pump out of the cabinet.

Dare I say that the reflux is behind us?


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Go Red Sox!

Here in Chicago we cheer for the Red Sox. Not because our Cubbies disappoint, oh no. At the Geyskens-Goldman household, we cheer for the Red Sox because we were born to do it. As my brother said when he eulogized my dad, we have Gomez to thank for the curse of the Bambino. So, for Hal, for Dad, for Cousin Eric, and all the extended Goldman and Dorfman clans in the Boston area, Charlotte has this to say.

And, in case you’re wondering. We have not washed her Red Sox socks since last week.


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Eating, Singing, Growing: A Charlotte Chronicle

Eating: Charlotte is still drinking the same amount as last reported, anywhere form 75% to 100% of all of her Pediasure. She’s increased her solid intake significantly, taking as much as 4, even 6 ounces of solid food at a meal. Recently, she’s begun to ask for “chewy” food. She has begun to realize that her food is pureed and she wants to eat Mommy and Daddy’s food or the “chewy” version of her food. Today it was sphagettios, last week hot dogs. We are loving this development. It does, however, present a challenge: She chews very, very slowly and simply cant take in any volume this way so it is an inefficient way to assure her caloric needs are met.

She knows how proud we are when she eats. A few days ago she told me to take her picture because she was feeding herself (I’ll post video here tomorrow.)

An eating anecdote: Last week Charlotte and I didn’t feel well so we had a very slow morning, pajamas until 10:00 a.m., no breakfast, etc. At 10:30 we went to brunch around the corner. Charlotte, whom I’d had on a liquid diet for a few hours, was HUNGRY. She practically grabbed the yogurt out of my hand and had shoveled most of it into her mouth by the time I got my coffee. Then she continued to nibble at toast and drink her milk while I ate my breakfast. She chatted, flirted with the server and bus boy, and burst into song. She was an absolutely dreamy date.

It’s hard to remember where we were with feeding a year ago. Here’s a flashback link.

For the record, she’s vomited maybe 3 to 4 times in the past 23 days. Last week it was due to either a cold or tummy bug and was hours away from any meal (so it doesn’t count in my book!). Prior to that, she’d eaten so much (voluntarily) that I think she simply had too much in her tummy.

Singing: Charlotte loves to sing. She wakes up singing. She sings all day long. She knows the tunes to all her favorite songs and will sometimes make up the words. She has a little repertoire of songs for which she knows some words and that she asks for by name (Mamma Mia, Elmo’s ladybug song, Hippo Hippopotome).

This past week she started singing words to songs she’s only hummed before: Old McDonald, Au Clair de la Lune, and Momma Mia (“mommy mia, here I go again”). Simply too funny.

Growing: At last weight check (Her flu shot on 9/29. By the way, she’d want me to tell you that she didn’t cry for the flu shot. Her daddy says she did. You decide) Charlotte weighed 30 lbs. She’s either holding steady or fluctuating plus/minus 100mg. Dr. Salem, pediatrician extraordinaire, seems unconcerned. We’ll see in 3 weeks what the CHOW team thinks.

My giant baby is more than 37″ tall. And as she tells me daily, “‘Harlotte not a baby anymore. ‘Harlotte a big, big girl.”