Friday, February 27, 2009

This and That

As most of you know, soon after we got to Riley's on Monday we discovered Breanna needed surgery immediately. They ran three different hearing screenings on her, and discovered she is partially deaf in her right ear, and she had negative pressure in both ears. Which basically means she was at high risk for the ear drums rupturing and it affecting her hearing even more.

Dr. Agostino spoke with me about the obstruction in her airways, and how if this problem was not taken care of immediately, Breanna would indeed need her second open heart surgery sooner than later. Her not having appropriate SpO(2) levels could/would speed up the progression of her pulmonary stenosis.

When he said, "surgery ASAP" I was thinking, ok, sometime in the next month. OH NO! We walked out of the consult room, and he had me sign a consent for surgery form, and told the nurse he wanted surgery scheduled immediately. Talk about anxiety!!! I called Chris at work, and told him they wanted to do the surgery the next day, as long as they could get clearance from her cardiologist. Because she is such high risk for anesthesia...because she is a cardiac patient, and because she is only 16 months and still under 20 pounds...her cardiologist had to clear the surgery. So, Breanna and I waited around Riley's for 6 hours before the ENT department called to confirm the surgery time. 7:30 a.m. We would need to be at the hospital at 6 a.m. for them to get her ready. They also said there was a good possibility she would need to stay at Riley's for several days post-op.

I went and got us a hotel room, and my friends Evan and Kendra met me and Breanna at the hotel so we could go get some dinner, and keep our my mind off of everything for awhile. We went to Buffalo Wild Wings, and Breanna ate SOOO much food. Maybe she sensed she wouldn't be able to eat normal food for a few day. haha. Anyways, Evan left once we got back to the hotel, but Kendra stayed until Chris arrived, so she could visit with him for awhile too.

Before bed, we got a call from the hospital saying they had changed Breanna's surgery time to 9:30, so we didn't have to be at the hospital until 8 a.m. We were glad we were going to be able to get a little more sleep, but dreading it at the same time, because we knew it was going to be hard on Breanna because she couldn't eat anything.

We got the hospital right at 8, and got her all checked in. We were on the second floor, so she got to walk around and see all the Disney stuffed animals they have around the outside of the glass and she loved it.

A little before 9 we went back in the Pre-Op room, and got her changed into her hospital gown, talked with the surgeon, the anesthesologist, and a few other people. Around 9:30 a.m. they came in and gave her some meds to make her 'relaxed' so she wouldn't have so much anxiety when the nurse came to take her from us to take her to the operating room. Boy, did it ever make her out of it. She could not stop giggling, or keep her eyes open for that matter. Finally, around 10:15 the nurse came to get her, and she only fussed a little bit when I handed her to the nurse.

We went and checked in with the registar in the waiting area, and then went downstairs to get some breakfast. By time we got back up there, I spoke with my mom and dad on the phone to tell them they had taken her back for surgery, and the nurse came walking around to give everyone their updates on how their children's surgeries were going. Our report: Well, the tonsilectomy and adnoidectomy are both complete, they are finishing up putting her tubes in her ears now. And then the surgeon will be up to speak with you. WOW! We were told the surgery would take 2-3 has been like an hour. About another twenty minutes goes by and the surgeon comes to speak with us. He said,"We had a little bit of a shock. When they went in to look at her voicebox (they thought they might have to take part of it out) they saw that a lobe in her right lung is undeveloped. But other than that surgery exceptionally well. That she was breathing unassisted so they weren't going to put her in a post-op ICU room like originally planned. They were just going to put her in an observation room, and if she did fine throughout the night, we could take her home on Wednesday. " He went on about how large her adnoids were...courtesy of the medication -prostagladin- she was on pre-open heart surgery. Then he chuckled, and said, she's a trooper. Did so much better than we anticipated....but I bet you two are used to that with her, aren't you? Well, at least as used to it as you can be with having a child who has health problems.

We got to go back to recovery about 20 minutes later, and she was awake when we got back there. I held her and she went back to sleep. They even let me carry her from the recovery room to her observation room. Which made me happy, because truthfully, I didn't want to put her down. About an hour after they moved her to observation...she was sleeping comfortably, so Chris and I decided to go back to the hotel and take a nap. When we woke up he left to go home, since he had to go back to work the next day. And I went back to the hospital. When I got there she was just waking up, and they were trying to get her to drink. Thankfully, I had brought her favorite sippy cause she would not drink out of the cup they gave her. As soon as they put her juice in 'her sippy' she drank two full cups~16 ounces. They said if she kept that up, they would take her IV out.

We sat for about an hour, and she was ready to go. She crawled out of my lap and tried taking off out the door...attached to the IV still. The nurse came in and disconnected her, and she and I went for a walk around the hospital. We rode the elevator up and down nearly a dozen times. It is glass and you can see the fountain from it....and she loves it. Needless to say, I was feeling a little sick by time we stopped riding it. But whatever, it was making her happy. We got a wagon and I pulled her around, and she loved that too. I think anything that kept her from being couped up in that room.

Around 9 p.m. I left to go get some dinner and go back to the hotel. I called the hospital to check on her, and they said she had woke back up and the nurse had taken her for another wagon ride around the hall. She fell asleep in the wagon, so they left her there so they wouldn't disturb her, so she was sleeping in her wagon at the nurses station. I'm convinced her nurse just loved her that much that she didn't want to have her out of sight. :)

I got back over to the hospital around 6:30 and the doctor came in not long after. He talked to me about her discharge, managing her pain, etc. and said she was free to go after she ate regular food and held it down. So, around 8 they brought her some scrambled eggs, and she did really well with them. By 8:30 a.m. we were on our way home.

This girl never ceases to amaze me!!!

She did phenominal on the car ride home. She has been a little cranky at times, but nothing like I would have expected her to be considering everything she had done. She has been running around the house, playing with the kids, and laughing like usual.

On a lighter note, I received my Uppercase Living Products I ordered last week. I got them all put up last night, and I couldn't be more pleased with the way they turned I thought I would share them.

This is above our bed. It is Italian for "Love is Beautiful"

This is on the wall you see when you look in my utility room

Growth Chart in Breann's room

My front door

Above my back door

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Shock Absorbers

One passage that I think we, as Christians, hear often is Do to others as you would have them do to you. I've struggled with this verse alot over the past few years. I try to be a good be a good mom, wife, friend, etc. I try to help people whenever they as for help. But how can you continue be nice to a person who constantly attacks you? Who says things about not only you, but your children? Who openly admits to being jealous of things you have...and constantly complains to my spouse about how exhausted they are. We are exhausted too....I mean, Chris works 60 hours a week plus an hour commute each day, and we have four little kids, I stay home because of Breanna's medical problems because it is simply not a wise decision to put her in daycare. We struggle just like everyone else. And are constantly telling this person this, even though really, it is none of their business.

It seems like everytime I let things go, and try to move on, something else happens. Something else gets said. And it is truly the only time in my life where I have struggled to just walk away and not say anything back. I guess I just really don't understand how someone can sit there and claim they are so happy with their life, themself, etc. but constantly try and bring grief to my life...and then play the scenario off like they are the 'VICTIM'. Maybe I will never understand it. But I know I am tired of letting it eat at me all the time. I'm tired of giving this person my time and energy trying to understand why they can't just spend the time and energy they spend focusing on mine and my husband's life, on their own life.

I have been praying for some time that God will give me the strength to come at this situation from a different angle. That no matter what this person says to or about me, that I can turn the other cheek, so to speak. I came across some scripture this morning that spoke to me about what I have been dealing with. It's Luke 6:27-31, and the devotional reading is exactly what I needed to read.

(27) But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, (28) bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. (29) If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes you cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. (30) Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs you to, do not demand it back. (31) Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Here's the devotional reading:

Considering the increasing violence around us, what our society needs is some good, heavy-duty shock absorbers. If only we could wrap everybody in felt pads before they went out for the day! Unfortunately.....we are enormously complicated creatures. We feel injuries not only in our bodies but also in our emotions. And sometimes deep wounds in our inner selves fester for years, causing us to reach out and hurt anyone who comes near us. One painful blow to our psyche can create the motive for innumerable blows outward in the years to come.

The Old Testament law was very explicit: an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. Harsh as it seems to us now, this principle was a vast improvement. Before then, a person's life might have been demanded for that eye or tooth, or two eyes might have been put out in exchange for the loss of one. Again and again our human nature wants to 'teach people a lesson' or make things worse for them than they made it for us. We see revenge as a way of getting back, of making ourselves whole again. But it never works.

The solution Jesus offers is radical. There is no question of revenge or even bare restitution. He suggests simply that we become the shock absorbers of the world.

To receive a blow and to refuse to pass it on is an act that requires extraordinary generosity. For most people, it does not come naturally. We are too hard and resistant to be able to absorb the effect of an injury before we pass it on to a neighbor. We must become softer, gentler, more loving people, receiving a blow but unable by the fabric of our lives to transmit the force of it.

Love and forgiveness are the special vocation of the Christian, and when we exercise them we are able to find healing for our own wounds and offer balm for the healing of others.

Please pray for me that I can become a better shock absorber. That I won't let this negativity continue to bring me down. That I can see that this person is lashing out because of their own struggles, and that I will have the strength to turn to God and pray for this persons troubled heart, instead of wanting to attack them back.


Lately, there have been some things in my life that have been weighing heavily on me. I will not go into details...but tonight as I was reading my Bible I stumbled across I Corinthians 12. I think the devotional reading that went along with it speaks volumes, and I'd like to share it.

It's called...Being Our Best

for most of our life, I think we fight God. we keep trying to show him what we were made for. we keep giving him better ideas. we keep working for something bigger and greater than anything he seems to have in mind. for many of us, by the time we are in mid-life, we feel we somehow missed out on some of the great things we were born for. we fight with God over this.

God made me with special ideas in mind, but I wish I could have been in on the skin would have been more olive-colored & flawless, my hair more coarse, with some curl in it. my shoulders broader. my eyes wider-spaced. i would have completely removed the lazy part in me that I have to fight with all the time.

I come to you, however, knowing God made me not to impress you. not to be on book covers. not to be an authority. not to be perfect or a genius. not to make a million dollars!

God made me to be uncomplicated in my faith. to watch my children & kites & sunsets & rainbows & enjoy them. to take your hand regardless of who you are or how you look. to listen to you. to accept you right where you are. to love you unconditionally.

God made me to be real. to be honest. to be open. to never compare myself to you, but to strive to become my own best person. to have character & dignity.

The additional scripture reading to go along with this is: Job 5: 6-9(6)For hardship does not spring from the soil, nor does trouble sprout from the ground. (7) Yet man is born to trouble surely as sparks fly upwards. (8) But if it were I, I would appeal to God; I would lay my cause before him. (9) He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.

When Breanna was getting ready to have her open heart surgery, my family pastor drove to Indy to be with us & to pray with us during the surgery. He referred to that very verse....'God performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.' We witnessed that every hour they came out during the 11 hour surgery telling us how smoothly her surgery was going. Everyone was praying that He would give me the peace to make it through the surgery...and very few people know this...but except for the times they would come out to update us throughout the surgery...I slept. He eased my heart...and healed my child! What an awesome God we serve!!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Are there ever times when you wonder why God does the things he does?

I know His plan is perfect, but sometimes I still wonder...'God, are you sure?' I have several people I am praying for right now, and I'd like to share a few details about each one of them.

My friend, Chelsa, is burying her child today. And I can not begin to imagine how bad her heart hurts. She's a strong Christian woman, and has been so courageous during the difficult time. But I find myself asking God...why her? Why is this Your plan??? Why would You take her sweet, precious boy, the one it took You so long to give her? Why take this child from THIS mother? It just doesn't seem fair. I pray for Chelsa to have the strength to make it through this most difficult day. It's been raining all day.... I know God is crying with her today. Mourning the loss of her sweet angel.

My ex-sister in law, is now about 33 weeks pregnant, as well, with her third child. She's a labor and delivery nurse...three boys at home, all 8 and under ( 2 are her biological sons and 1 is her step-son who she has full-time bc his mother is passed)...and her husband is in Iraq. She has been having a TON of complications with this pregnancy. The baby has failed the last two NST, and she is having alot of contractions. I pray if they have to deliver, she will have the strength to handle having a baby in the NICU. She sees this everyday at work, but you can't understand what it does to a person until you have a child in there.

One of my best friends dad...he adopted her as an basically turning his back on her once again. They have had alot of problems in the past, but she continually tries to work on their relationship, so that he can have one with her children. He has never met her youngest child, and it tears her up inside. But everytime she tries to confront him about the issues they have had, and how it has impacted her, he backs away. He calls himself her 'step-dad' and tells her he can only be in her life as a friend. This is very heart-breaking for her....but I know at this point the only thing we can do is pray for his heart.

My sweet Breanna....I'm pretty nervous about her upcoming surgery. Sometimes it just doesn't seem fair that she has been through some much during the short time she has been with us. But I know, we are more lucky than most. She could have been at Riley's for much, much longer than she was after her open heart surgery. We could have already had to have the second procedure. Right now, we are dealing with sleep apnea. That seems pretty minor compared to what we could be facing right now. But it is still scary. I just pray God gives her the comfort to be able to breathe right when she sleeps, so that she can get a good nights rest.

Please...take a moment to say a silent prayer with me.

I haven't posted any recent pictures of the friend, Amanda, is supposed to be making me a header with all the kids pictures, so I am anxious to see how 'cool' it turns out.