Update 14: March 19, 2007

Scorecard: (as of this update): 324 days; 27719 miles (Car: 12187, RV: 15532); 36 states; 31 National Parks; 11814 photos.

Update on Zane

For the most part, Zane continues to do well and is tolerating our nomadic lifestyle. He is a lot of work sometimes, but it's worth it to have him traveling with us. We had a few days of concern during our stays in northern Florida and Hot Springs National Park, when his seizures were acting up considerably. Calls to the hospice nurse and doctor who treated him in Florida helped us relax a little, but there was one day in particular that really had us worried.

Zane has had three types of seizures that we've witnessed since getting back on the road. During our stay near Hot Springs, he was having the most mild of the seizures we've seen. They may have been mild, but they were virtually non-stop. Susan estimates on that particular day, Zane had at least 100 seizures. We discussed (again) taking him to the ER, but we are opposed to hooking him up to a bunch of monitors and medicating him unless we have evidence that he is in pain. We even talked about postponing or aborting the next leg of our trip and heading straight to Phoenix to have him looked at. Because it seemed like he was starting to go downhill, we thought that perhaps he wouldn't make it through the night. But true to form, just when we feared the worst, our little guy rallied and had a period of several days where there was no seizure activity at all.

As of this update, Zane's seizures are back, but they are not as frequent. However, some of them cause him to turn blue, which is always a scary sight until he comes out of them and starts breathing normally again. Other times the seizures make him throw up, so we have to make sure we suction out his mouth to keep him from breathing it into his lungs. He's also having increased instances of reflux, which also make him throw up. We never know how he'll be from one day to the next, so there is always some level of worry that accompanies us as we travel.

Justin continues being a great big brother to his little "Zaner", and usually wants to help out with Zane's care and feeding. When Zane cries, Justin will ask him what's wrong, then put his hand on Zane's head or talk to him to help calm him down. Justin even held his hand under Zane's mouth once, telling Zane it was okay to throw up in his hand if he needed to. No doubt that offer would have immediately been rescinded if Zane had gone through with it, but it was neat seeing Justin showing such compassion for his little brother.

Because these updates are not very frequent, and because so many people want to know how Zane is doing in a more timely manner, Susan set up a website with an organization called Caring Bridge. To see Zane's journal and photos, and stay updated on how he's doing, please visit: www.caringbridge.org/visit/zanemichaelhatfield. (Opens in a new window). Susan hopes to update it at least weekly, if not several times per week.

Hatfield Law of Natural Attraction

On a different note, we've been working on a law that will describe one of the unfortunate realities we've witnessed during our travels. We call it the Hatfield Law of Natural Attraction, and so far the only exceptions have been remotely-located National Parks that require boat travel to get to there.

The Hatfield Law of Natural Attraction states that any significant feature of natural beauty in the United States will attract one or more of the following diversions:

a) Water park
b) Amusement park
c) Outlet mall
d) Wal-Mart Supercenter

Further, this law stipulates that in order for the average American to be attracted to such a natural feature, these diversions must exist within a driving distance of not more than 30- minutes.


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