In the days after Beau’s diagnosis, Josh and I would deliver a laundry list of questions and clarifications to the doctors when they came by our hospital room on their daily rounds. One day in particular, Josh asked about the Lumbar Punctures (LP’s) that Beau would be getting throughout the course of his treatment. LP’s, also known as Spinal Taps, felt so scary and invasive to us. A needle into his spine must be uncharted and terribly dangerous. The doctor doing rounds that particular day, Dr. Luna Fineman, was an older lady whom we hadn’t met yet. And by older, I mean experienced, unlike our much loved, but baby-faced primary doctor who doesn’t look a day over 30.
She introduced herself and told us that she works with hard walled tumors and so, aside from rounds when we were inpatient, we wouldn’t have her on our care plan moving forward. She then explained that Beau would get around 25 LP’s throughout the duration of treatment, and while Josh and I deflated at that high of a number, she assured us, “Well, consider this, I have done, myself, probably 20,000 LP’s in my career.”
Ohhh, hi perspective.
Not to say that 25 LP’s still isn’t 25 more than I want Beau to have, but when she assured her confidence and experience in the procedure, my fear and panic lost a little bit of ground.
Once rounds ended, Josh said, “I like that doctor,” and I just nodded because I knew what he meant was, “When she said that thing about her having down 20,000 LP’s it gave me a sense of calm. It was like, ‘oh, ok, this isn’t the most horrific thing that could happen to our child, infact, in this space, it’s routine’ She was direct and to the point, but also not fear mongering. It was just like a fact- I’ve don’t 20,000 LP’s. Which kind of translated to, ‘Beau will be fine with 25,’ even though that’s not exact math. I felt more comfortable having met her.” That’s what he meant, but all he said was, “I like that doctor.” and I nodded, “I agree.” But I meant a lot more.
Fast forward to this week, our clinic appointment to start maintenance began with a LP. As the nurse rolled Beau into the procedure room, I caught a glimpse of the doctor performing the LP and started to weep. It was Dr. Luna Fineman. “Oh, so now he is an old pro, huh? No sedation! I knew you were brave from the start!” She exclaimed and through tear filled eyes I nodded, “I agree.” But I meant a lot more.
*note, the picture is not of Dr. Luna Fineman, but of a lovely nurse named Sarah whom we also adore.*