The furthest from home he’s ever been.

The title of this post should of course be read in the voice of Samwise Gamgee.

We packed up the big boy this morning and headed north to Boston for Liam’s eye doctor appointment. It was actually a momentous day because while travelling farther than he ever has this was also the longest amount of time that Liam has been away from the house since he’s come home from the hospital. There was a tremendous feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day as we not only survived, we thrived. We were prepared for anything, and we endured the stress of being that far from our comfort zone.

We started the day early because the Boston traffic can make the hour long drive take 2 and sometimes three hours long. Of course, its Boston and so you also have to factor in some “being lost time”. I have yet to drive in or out of Boston without getting lost and today would be no exception. Karin got Liam ready while I got all of the supplies into the car. His suction rig, extra cargo batteries for the vent, the go-bag (an emergency bag that always stays with Liam, which contains the spare trachs, ambu bag, syringes, vent tubing, gloves and other sterile supplies for a trach emergency) feeding pump and formula, diaper bag, medical paperwork bag and as much bottled oxygen as I could fit in the car with us. Add to that the stroller in the trunk and we were ready to get going. Until I realized that there wasn’t any room in the car for Karin. While not all of it was necassary today we have no way of knowing what equipment we may need at any given time. Everything needs a backup or two in case of some sort of equipment falure. I took everything out and repacked the car to make room and off the three of us went on our adventure.

Liam likes the car. I have heard many people talk about putting their kids in the car to get them to sleep but Liam usually stays awake and watches the world go by the windows. He doesn’t mind it at all and didn’t give us any problems today. We made our way into the city limits before I got really lost and started to panic about the fact that I had no idea where I was and only a vague idea of where I was headed. After a few lucky guesses and a call to the Children’s Hospital to have them help us get there we ended up only a half an hour late. Driving in Boston sucks and at one point I passed four sidestreets in a row all one-way streets going in the opposite direction I was heading. How do you have four blocks of one-ways going the same way??? Only in Boston.

After making it in to the hospital and finding the office things went very smoothly for the rest of the day. We weren’t forced to wait very long and all of the doctors we saw were helpful and compassionate and were very good with Liam. Liam’s vision is actually stronger than we were expecting and his eyes and vision will continue to develop until he is about three years old. Liam has severe eye damage but things are apparently not as terrible as Karin and I were prepared to hear. Which is nice. With most of Liam’s doctor visits the exam can take place no matter what his mood or alertness, but the eye doctor needs a fair amount of cooperation and while Liam is very quiet, polite, and well behaved when doing so, would prefer to do the opposite of what any doctor needs him to do. He spent much of the time during all today’s tests either closing his eyes or craning his neck to look anywhere but where they needed him to. I didn’t sit in traffic for two and a half hours to get incomplete data and he was going to sit there until he got it right! He eventually did and we are all quite pleased with the results.

The ride home was quick and uneventful. I got to listen to the radio broadcast of John Lackey’s press conference on becoming a member of the Red Sox which was cool and the three of us knew we were on the tail end of a long day. I would be leaving to go to work once we got home and unloaded but we made the best of it and when we returned home Karin and Liam both got to take naps. I can’t tell you how proud I am of my whole family. This could have been a tremendously trying day but since we were well prepared and because Liam is such a well-behaved little guy things went as smoothly as we could have hoped. Long trips and time spent away from our comfortable little shelter aren’t as intimidating any more. Watch out world, here come the Olsons!


  1. Ok, had to comment on this one Eric, other than obliterating any kind of complaint I might have about packing our crew for our trek from Florida to PA, I think it's not too late to ask Santa for a GPS if you haven't already;) Or do they not work in that insane maze that is Boston?

  2. Thanks for reading Abby! Yeah, Karin and I talked about how much we needed that GPS about three quarters of the way up to Boston. You know, right when such a conversation was absolutely too late to make a difference.

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