July 21, 2008

The Golden Child

She DOES look like a little Buddha, doesn’t she?

We are home now, after 26 days in the neurological ICU and 4 surgeries (3 brain and 1 abdomen). The last surgery, to place a new shunt, was something of a big miracle, and she came out of recovery with a big smile. Could there ever be anything so amazing as that?

It’s great to be home.

Molly Kate feels “fantastic” (such a relief for her, after so much pain) and is taking things slow. Well, slow for her. She already has been to Starbucks and freaked the barrista out with her train-wreck head. And she had a few bites of a carne asada burrito. And my ears are bleeding, cause she’s talking so much. The tremendous relief she feels translates into a motor mouth that just won’t quit….not that I’m complaining….but, dang! Take a breath, Molly Kate!!

I can’t wait to cook , bake, arrange spices obsessively, start annoying people again, and blog about random stuff. But right now I need to do about 22 loads of laundry, pay bills, make phone calls, get a pedicure (seriously - remember those raptors in Jurassic Park?) and just enjoy the sweet chirping sound of my daughter‘s voice, who doesn’t mind being bald with big ol’ nasty looking scars all over….she is just so relieved to be home and feeling great. It will take some time to gain all her strength back, but this is such a terrific outcome. Brain surgery rocks!

Thanks, everyone, for your sweet thoughts and prayers, your offers of help and food, and all the other wonderfulness that kept me afloat. I promise I’ll be back up and blogging away very soon - I’m thinking you all need some crazy ass post about hospital food.


catherine said...

Beautiful. Home, pain relief, chattiness, big smiles, your daughter, all just absolutely beautiful.

Peter M said...

Phew...that's one long, happy exhale from me.

Heather said...

OH. MY. GOD! I'm so glad everything's okay. I've been worried sick.

I love Molly Kate's sense of humor, showing off the Frankenstein all over the place. That's totally my style.

So you coming to visit, now, or what? ;)

mollykate_wilkinson@yahoo.com said...

Okay, so I know for sure that it's an insanely crazy time to even think about writing a post on my mommy's blog, but I gotta do it FOR THE TEAM! So, here I am at 0400 bright awake, reading some e-mails (doing my best to try to catch up on a bed-ridden 26 days in the Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit), and still try to be a "normal" 20 (almost 21 year old female). I have read all of the posts that you all have left on my mommy's blog, and I'm seldomly held my tears that I refuse to let out, (you catch my drift). Come on guys - I know that you got it in you! As many of you wrote, prayers are what help to pull us through the shit that some of us just have to deal with. Yea, BELIEVE ME, I know that it's a pain in the ass, but someone's gotta do it. Plus, if my having to go this kind of nonsense ever so often, keeps my loved ones and friends away from the drugs, away from surgeries, away from countless days listening to beaping machines every fifteen minutes, the same damn questions being asked to you every two hours (okay...you get my point), I'll do it in a heartbeat! I'm not sure if my mommy neglected or has told in past posting, but I've lived with hydrocephalus since birth, so I don't know totally what it's like to be on the other side. Please realize, I'm not saying that I'm in the dumps 24/7 and have no life outside of the medical loop - believe me, you, I gotta it all going great! This last hospital stay (the second longest stay I've had to endure in my entire life) - HELL, it's been almost a whooping 21 years - yeah, Arizona residents get ready for Molly Kate to hit the town and all of Arizona beginning July 31st! Oh yeah, babycakes!! I've gotta be honest here and tell you all just a lil slice into Molly Kate's wisdom. God gave me a "run for my money" but nonetheless, I've learned a lot from it all and I'm gonna give Him a lil run for His money. He always said and I wholeheartedly believe that God never gives you more than you can handle. He's made me a stronger, more inquisitive, upbeat, somewhat more mature, compassionate, calm individual. Well, lemme me tell you that in this Wilkinson family, it's damn near impossible to find that in us all at once, because we all have our corks (myself included). In my young life (although, on the edge of turning 21 - I'm kind of feeling old when I think of my cousins who call me an adult), I've learned a lot myself. I'll tell you all NOW, none of this posting has anything to do with food (or not entirely), because I'm a poor college student who just wants something easy and fast. The biggest lesson that I've learned, thus, this far is that it takes faith, courage, strength, a sense of humor (no doubt about it), compassion, patience, and a shit load of perseverance, if you're ever gonna muster up to some "bumps" and be all that you can be, in the journey called life! Okay, so I guess I do have a lil posting about food. As of now and for about the last week-and-a-half, I've been eating like a mouse that has a half dollar size stomach; it bums me out every time I try to enjoy a relatively decent meal, but nonetheless, I still keep trying. So, I'm in the hospital in pain and my mom's talking to me, trying her best to distract me and gets me thinking about the best meal and any meal (for that matter) that I want to eat when I get home. Honestly, I told her a few places and foods that I want to eat, but the best is an "old school" meal that us Wilkinson kids at on a daily basis growing up in grade school. I told my mommy that I wanted fish sticks, tator tots, and Mac-n-Chesse when I got home. I haven't had the meal yet, but I'm sure that when the time comes, it's going to be PARADISE! So my last part about food (then it's back to a lil more of reality and trying to get a lil more sleep). This Sunday morning, we got a call from my brother, Sergeant MacGregor Wilkinson from Iraq. He and I talked about various things from my 21st birthday to deer hunting in October to he and I living it up at Buffalo Wild Wings with his buddies, he and I when he gets home, and honestly, the list kind of goes on. Oh, but before I signed off, I got orders from my Marine. He said..."I order you from Iraq to go to Alfonso's (a Mexican food restuarant in Prescott), get a Carne Asada Burrito and eat one every day till your lil yellow ass gains some weight back on your skinny body." WOW that was a lot to hear, but by golly gosh darn it, I did what I was told to do (my brother's too strong, and he could literally kick my ass into the next decade - but he never would). So, there I was just before about 1400, purse and keys in hand and off on another Molly Kate endeavor. I went to Alfonso's, got the burrito (it smells damn near amazing), I get home, I'm all excited, I sit down at the table upstairs, mom's getting her camera to take a picture for my brother, and then, I take the first bite. Oh, my gosh - it was AMAZING and TASTY. So, I'm feeling good, I took a drink of water, and then went in for a second bite. I'm thinking to myself "OH NO!" I chew the most tasty bite up and swallow - "few, it's behind me now!" I sat at the table for a few more minutes than went in for another munch. Now, it's "OH GOD, HELP ME!" I feel my stomach telling me "don't you even think of trying to put another piece of food to be processed down here", but I did it anyways. Come on - I feel a lil pressure from my parents and just my pure stubborness. I threw the burrito back into my hands and said "Mom, I'm going in for another bite!" But this time, it was more like "OH SHIT! WHAT'D I DO THIS TIME!" I rewrapped the burrito, put it in a plastic baggie, and off to the refrigerator it went. Then, to my lovely surprise (NOT) for the next hour or so, I felt nausea. FUN TIMES, I'm telling you guys - if you ever get just a tad hair bored, go try my fun times out! I know that this will all be a vague, sketchy memory within four or five months time, but right now, I gotta say, it kind of sucks! Nonetheless, perseverance and a new goal in life is coming together; DAMN, I'm living LARGER THAN LIFE, right now. I've given my parents one of the greatest presents, I'm feeling better than I have in nearly six years (yea that's right), and just loving LIFE! Thank you all for your unfailing love, prayers, support, kind words, fighting half the battle (in the kitchen), and your unfailing best wishes to myself and to my family, especially my mother. I don't know what it feels like to be in her shoes (as she watches her baby girl go through all of this), but I know that it's gotta take a toll on her sometimes. She was such a TROOPER and UNBELIEVABLY AWESOME during my stay - I love you, Mommy!

Adam said...

Wow. I'm extremely happy that everything is going much better, what a huge relief.

Hey what's up Molly Kate? Your mom def wasn't kidding about you being a talker. I actually read the whole post, and I laughed a couple times :) You're brave for going with burritos... I can't even do them when my stomach is at full tilt strength :)

Happy early birthday for the big 21. I look back and remember how big of a deal that is. Try not to cause too much chaos.

Prudy said...

Gorgeous smile! So glad to hear the good news. Chattiness and burritos sound like life almost back to normal.

Prudy said...

Just read your comment and I'm awed by your strength-plus your burrito chewing tenacity! You sound just like your mom-wise and witty, tender and tough. Hang in there!

Catherine Wilkinson said...

it IS beautiful, bald and all! thank you.

well, my lovely Greek foodie, I am breathing right with ya! thanks!

chill, babe. It's all good. Don't know when we can come, kinda day by day right now, but soon, I hope! thanks, my radical cooking chiquita!

molly kate,
well, now everyone knows just how nuts you are and how much you talk and talk and talk! I love you, you little bald freak! I'm fixin' your mac and cheese tonight!

she's already down with the chaos!
thanks for the huge relief! I can feel it!

thank you so much! She's really much much stronger, wiser, and tougher than me. We do both talk a lot, tho...lol.

Jenny said...

Hi Catherine and Molly Kate,
I am so glad to see you both back home. I thoroughly enjoyed your post Molly Kate, you've got your mother's sense of humor! I look forward to more posts from the both of you! Love your picture too! Welcome home!

Nikki Miller-Ka said...

Catherine, you and your super cool family have a good rest the next few days. I KNOW you're so excited to get back in the kitchen. We all can't wait to see hwat you're doing ;)

Molly Kate, I talk a lot, too. I can't keep my mouth shut. I'm sure people think something's wrong with me. You got it going on, girl! ;) I know you'll put that burrito (and his companions that are sure to follow) in its place!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Wow, how cool we get to hear it all from the mouth of Molly Kate herself! Glad to see you are back to your old tricks! You Wilkinsons really sound like an awesome group of people - you'll all be good! You have each other! - sending hugs to everyone!!!

Happy Early birthday Molly Kate! Enjoy that mac n'cheese! :)

Emiline said...

Happy early birthday Molly Kate! And welcome home. You are a talker!

You should start your own blog. If I ever come out to Arizona, I'll give you a ring.

Deborah said...

Look at that smile!! And I read through Molly Kate's comment, and I couldn't help but laugh, smile and cry all at the same time. There sure are some words of wisdom in there for all of us!

Catherine Wilkinson said...

thanks, so much! Just gotta rest up and get back to normal asap!

yeah, I can't wait to feel inspired - might take a few days, I just want very easy stuff right now!

the Wilkinson bunch are completely insane, so don't get any ideas that we are something special! Thanks so much for the best wishes!

don't give her ideas! That's all we need, is her blogging and clogging up bandwidth! Come to AZ asap, and we'll all go out and cause a bunch of trouble!

thanks for those kind words...yeah, she has a lot to teach us!

Tracy said...

Catherine! I didn't connect you with Catherine on the CCC board. It took this story to realize, "hey, I heard this story before." That's Catherine from AZ! Duh!

I think Molly Kate needs her own blog. I like her spark.

And I get Molly Kate's craving for those childhood dishes. When I had a FAR LESS SERIOUS surgery a couple of weeks ago, they told me I had to eat something and keep it down before I could be released from the hospital. I looked at the hospital's lunch menu (yes, you can order lunch from a menu but forget seeing a nurse for hours) and everything looked like it wasn't going to stay put in the tummy. Finally I spotted what I wanted on the menu: Frosted Flakes. Haven't had them in years and they tasted great. So tell Molly Kate I recommend Frosted Flakes. They might be a tad easier on the tummy than a burrito.

Birdie said...

So glad your back and your daughter looks beautiful! She sounds alot like my niece. Come on Mom you gotta make the mac and cheese!

Lisa said...

Oh, thank God! So happy for you, Molly Kate and your family! By Molly Kate's post, I can tell you have one hell of a spunky daughter! Bless her!

Julie said...

Molly Kate looks wonderful and what an infectious smile, she's got me smiling at my computer.

Veronica said...

Glad all is well, Catherine.

Cheryl said...

Molly Kate, you are one AMAZING person! You are right, if God brings you to it, He'll bring you through it. Blessings to you and your family. Thank your brother, too, for all that he is doing for all of us! What a wonderful family!

Allie said...

Hope your daughter is doing better, I've kept ya'll in my prayers. She looks great and so happy!

I tagged you on my blog, so it might be something fun to give ya'll a break from all the stress.

Toni said...

Oh, Catherine - how fantastic is that? I've been out of town and just getting back to catching up. And Molly Kate? Well, you rock! I can see why a little brain surgery isn't going to get in YOUR way!

Tracy said...

Just checking in to say I hope you both are having a great summer!

Sue said...

Molly Kate,
You sound wonderful!

I'm sure you've been holding your breath for weeks!!! Take a deep breath and relax for a minute. Congratulations on having your baby home and recovering so well.

Birdie said...

Catherine? Are you ever coming back?

Your Nigerian Man has found me---Lucky me!

kittie said...

I'm so happy things went well - and Molly Kate sounds amazing!

We Are Never Full said...

somehow i linked to you and i was intrigued by the pic of the "golden child" that i started reading. even though i don't know you or the "G.C" I loved reading the post and am so glad everything is good with her! She really does sound like a golden child!! very heartwarming post (and comments!).

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"The Dish" by Catherine Wilkinson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.