Ian is in the hospital. It turns out he was born with a growth in his windpipe which has only recently gotten big enough to be a problem. He had been breathing through a pinhole, yet somehow he’s been able to get enough oxygen so far. On Thursday he had a tracheotomy, and he’ll be breathing through a hole in his neck until Monday, when the growth will be surgically removed. The surgeon says that although this is a rare condition (they see about one a year) the procedure is relatively simple and safe. He’s at Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis, which my dad says is one of the five best pediatric hospitals in the country.

Jordan spent the day with Ian, although he was asleep most of the time. I took care of Sylvia most of the day until my mom took her. Not long after I got to the hospital, Ian woke up crying silently. (The tube is below his vocal chords.) He was hungry. With a nurse helping to untangle the tubes and wires, Jordan was able to breast-feed him. He has a ventilating mask placed loosely over his neck to keep the air warm and moist, so she didn’t have to worry about suffocating him. I watched the computer screen with the heart rate, breathing rate, and blood oxygen levels. Afterward, Ian was all smiles.

After Monday’s surgery, he will be in the hospital for several days to recover. He might be home in time for Thanksgiving (which we were already planning on celebrating on Saturday instead of Thursday.)

If anyone asks on Thanksgiving what I’m thankful for, I’ll know what to say. I’m thankful I am surrounded by the best hospitals in the world, and I’m thankful I have health insurance. (Ian has a nurse assigned to him 24 hours a day for at least five days. I don’t want to know how much that costs.) I’m thankful I have parents in town who can help out. I’m thankful I have a job where I can take several days off to be with my family. And I’m thankful that we got a proper diagnosis in time.