Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Hot Fudge Sundaes For The Fever Boy

Pablo made a visit to the E.R. today. While he was hanging with Polly, a fever came on, and she brought him to CHLA, where Jo Ann and I had just finshed a two-hour meeting. Jo Ann was in the lower depths of the building getting pathology reports and a DVD of Pablo's second CT scan. So Polly reached me on the mobile. Within 10 minutes, P and Jo Ann had reached one another, and Jo Ann recommended that she bring Pablo to the hospital.

What brought Jo Ann and I to CHLA this morning was a meeting with the development (read: fundraising) team. As part of our work on the Los Feliz/Silverlake development committee, we were invited to a lunch with the architects of the new CHLA hospital. The focus of the lunch (other than really good sandwiches and the same cookies you eat after donating blood) was the interior colors and finishes of the new hospital. It was awesome to see what the new joint is going to look like. The current buildings are old. The newest one was built in the '70s. Based on the hours and days we've spent in those buildings, I can only assume that architects back then borrowed from the space and form of horse barns when considering how to house the ill and their loved ones. The good part of that is the appreciation and excitement we have for the new facility. As we reach out to friends, colleagues and corportations we're friendly with to donate to the Pablove Foundation / CHLA, it's helpful for us to have a vision of where the money will end up.

The consideration and forethought that the planners of the new CHLA have put into the new hospital is astounding. Starting with a huge jump in size–the current building is around 80,000 square feet, while the new spot is something like 480,000 square feet–everything from a full HEPA ventilation system on the entire building to hand-painted child-designed tiles laid in throughout the building to natural light and views in every possible space has been the focus of not only the architects but CHLA family focus groups and staffers. It sounds like we missed the arguments on all that stuff–fine by us!

After the lunch, we checked out actual size models of the new rooms. AMAZING! 85% of the new hospital will be single patient rooms. With flat-panel TVs, a digital video library, and room service you can order on TV. Plus, there'll be internet throughout the building, and family lounges on each floor. Each of those will have books, computers, semi-private banks of sofas and NO TV! They did a study that determined TVs to be a major source of inter- and intrafamily fighting in hospitals. It's true. Plus, those damn communal TVs are invariably tuned to Jerry Springer or Spanish QVC with the volume cranked–not exactly the kinda ambience you want when your child is in an O.R.

This evening, I got home from a string of meetings in Venice at around 8:45. Jo Ann, Grady and Pablo were eating dinner, having returned home from the ER at 7:30. After dinner, I made the boys hot fudge sundaes. They really wanted Baskin-Robbins, but, you know, I was sick of driving. As Pablo began to voice his dismay over this, I told him that I was famous for my hot fudge sundaes, and hadn't he read about it on the web? 'Nooooo, I've never read that.' He didn't believe it. But when I busted out of the mint choco-chip ice cream, we all screamed for ice cream, and he forgot about the crying. As he ate his last McLovin' spoonful, he exclaimed, 'Papa, your sundaes are good!'

Somewhere, in a nearby town, a young man is turning 10. Someday, that young man will go to school, read lots of books, and become a therapist. And during one hour of his long career, he will hear a story from a college student named Pablo–something about 'My dad' ... 'all I wanted was Baskin-Robbins'... 'he told me a fake story about being internet famous for making his own hot fudge sundaes' ... 'i never did see the article' ... 'i have spent 15 years meta-searching and still haven't found it' ... 'he lied.'

Chemo is at 9 a.m. Tuesday. Time for bed.

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