One of the days I have been dreading is coming. We have been so very blessed with physicians to care for our son Caleb with Myelomenegecele Spina Bifida. These physicians have a great deal of experience and expertise. Unfortunately that means they will retire before Caleb is finished needing pediactric care. With that being said, the day I am dreading is the day that our first doctor will retire, Calebs nuerosurgeon, Dr. Kleiner.
This wonderful man has been with us through some of our toughest days with Caleb. We first met Dr. Kleiner in a state of devastation, confusion, and fear. I was 20 some weeks pregnant with our first pregnancy and had just found out that our sweet baby boy had Spina Bifida, along with Hydrocephalous and clubfoot. As terrifying as that was our specialty obgyn group who delivered that news did not give us much hope for Caleb's future. In fact we were advised several times to consider abortion. We firmly declined every time. Then we were referred to our local children's hospital to talk to the neurosurgeon in charge of the Spina Bifida clinic. When we arrived at the childrens hospital we met Dr. Kleiner. He was an older graying man with kind eyes and a soft voice. His voice still reminds me of olaf from Frozen. When we met with us he never acted as if Caleb's diagnosis was a tragedy. He only took charge of the situation and explained what Caleb would need after birth and assured us that he would do all he could do to give Caleb the best possible outcome. He was the first person that gave us hope about what kind of life Caleb would have. He gave us confidence that everything would be ok. He walked us through clinic and explained to us how awesome and resiliant these kids were. He truly made all thr difference to us and how we coped with Calebs diagnosis. We have been with Dr.Kleiner for four surgeries. Each time Dr. Kleiner was the face that was able to calm our storms of fear. He really cares about each of his patients and their families and has a great amount of skill. After one particular MRI Dr. Kleiner delivered some less than desirable news about a large cyst on Caleb's spinal cord. It was rare and LARGE! He called us at home during Christmastime and talked to me for an extremely long time. You see I was 8 months pregnant and an emotional mess trying to sort out how we were going to manage a new baby and a very complicated surgery for our 18 month old Caleb. He stayed on the phone with me while I cried and listened to my fears and explained/assured me that it was all going to be ok...and it was! Caleb is doing amazing at age 6! We are certainly going to miss Dr. Kleiner for so many reasons especially how he connects with Caleb and interacts with him. He has an incredible gift of making Caleb laugh in the scariest of situations. We are going to miss how he soothes each fear and brings calm to each scary moment. We were truly blessed to have him in our lives and hope that he has the very best retirement. Whoever takes his place will have very big shoes to fill but an even bigger place in our hearts to fill.