Saturday, March 29, 2008

Saturday Night Live

I love my life.

It's a Saturday night, and so far I have dusted and reorganized my cluttered office, folded and put away laundry, and sorted through the tubs of spring clothes creating piles to go to goodwill, friends, or the dumpster. Downstairs the girls and a friend, here for a sleepover, are squealing and laughing as they watch the Nickeoldeon Kid's Choice awards, and overdosing on popcorn and fudgesicles. Their conversation fascinates me as they worry about whether or not their favorite pop singer may be "going goth", and sympathize that she must not have had enough time to warm up, because "she isn't singing very well tonight"!

During commmercials I hear them playing games of chicken (what in the world that is, I don't know, but it sure is noisy!) and popping more popcorn. I can tell when they are announcing the finalists, because there is silence for a brief moment, and then sudden chatter again as they each shout out their favorite. As the winners are announced it is hilarious to listen to one sing along with the theme song, another critique the wardrobe choices, and another cheer if their choice won.

I never dreamed, back before I was a Mommy, that it would be so fun to stay home cleaning and enjoy the fun times of my girls on a Saturday night. Sweet times...

Oh, my, I have to join them- I hear Alvin And The Chipmunks!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Faith Allows No Room For Fear

Wow! What an exciting few days we have spent so far on our spring break vacation! This may or may not be interesting to anyone else, but I need a record of this trip, and since I haven't scrapbooked since the the girls were 1 and 2 years old, this is going to be my scrapbook until I get some time to sit down with paper and die cuts. (Do they even still use die cuts?)

Our trip began with me facing my lifelong terror of flying, and praising God as the plane took flight, and managed to remain airborn from Virginia to Texas. God bless the dear woman who chatted with me as we descended and landed. Had she not kept my mind off the bumping and banking, I may have allowed my nerves to flare up again. It was miracle enough that we were on the plane, as United oversold the flight and we boarded to a plane with only 3 seats vacant- as a family of 4! They worked it out, the girls sat together, and Rusty was within arm's reach of me- convenient when it occurred to me that we were " airborn, ohmyword I am in the air, what am I doing in the air!?" After a while I settled down and actually enjoyed the trip, truly praising God and rejoicing in the victory He had given me in an area of my life long controlled by fear. God is SO good, and faithful always. I truly love Him so much!
How like God to even bless me with a Beth Moore study where she is talking about flying in the homework, and the scriptures referenced were those about travel and God's protection of the Jews. I love the way He wants to take care of me in the smallest of details. To say that he delights me isn't even the tip of the iceberg!

(The picture above is of Cailin and I on the shuttle to board the plane. Only God's grace allowed me to appear so calm, and mean it. I have so much more to say, and so many fun pictures to post, but that will have to wait until my laptop is returned to me by the geek squad. It is holding my pictures hostage, and I am praying for a miraculous healing immediately.)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happies despite the germs.

I am deciding to count my blessings instead of whining about my week. In an effort to do this, I am going to list some Happies from today:

  • All bad germs have almost left the premises, after 6 consecutive days of high fevers and general yuckiness.
  • Today was the last day of school for 10 days- woohoo!
  • Nana and Papa are coming to watch the girls so I can do some last minute shopping.
  • Nana will help me get the house in order, and will help out tomorrow, too, if I still haven't found shoes for Easter.
  • Tomorrow I get a mani-pedi (so do the girls) and a spray tan. I may not have lost 30 pounds but a tan will take off at least 10, right?
  • Dinner is simmering in the crockpot.
  • In less than 48 hours we leave for 5 days of family fun time in San Antonio. Sea World- here we come!
  • Despite sickness, dwindling bank accounts, and falling behind in my work, I am incredibly blessed and know it! I am blessed with the knowledge that tomorrow marks the day my Savior died for me, and it makes everything else seem trivial in comparison. When I stop to think about all that tomorrow celebrates I want to just dance, and weep, because it is too good a gift to believe.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Catching Up

I'm not sure why, but I have felt extremely laid back about household chores recently. Typically my weekends are a revolving door of home improvement projects and organizing; nesting seems to be what energizes and restores me. Maybe it was the bout with the flu that slowed our household down, but recuperation has not returned my energy for putting the house back together after rearranging and painting two rooms.
Cassidy's old room, now the girls playroom, mocks me every time I pass by. Toys strewn everywhere, bags of clothes to sort through, cd's haphazardly boxed and spilling onto the shelves. Yuck! Since I can, I have been closing the door and pretending it is a closet... no messes here, everything in order folks. Ha! Finally I am admitting the truth- I have a "junk room". Something must be done.
So I am tackling it now, with the intention of at least putting things where they belong. I may still have to purge and paint some bookshelves another day, but for today my goal is to be able to walk into the room without fear of stepping on a plastic horse or barbie.
Wish me luck... I'm going in!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

A Great Place to Live

Today, as we were driving through beautiful hillsides, dotted with horse farms and miles of white fencing, Cailin and I were musing about our dream locations to live. She summed it up perfectly I think.

"Mommy, I want to live in a small, little town where nothing happens. And when something does happen, it's a big deal!".

Me, too!

Monday, March 03, 2008

The End...

We arrived at the hospital, where a team of specialists from the vascular department (I am extremely medically challenged so my terminology may not always be right!) waited to examine her. We quickly realized that when the doctors arrive in groups of 4-plus at a time, they are taking this seriously! They evaluated her, with the same concern that there was a clot, and were extremely concerned as to why this would develop in an otherwise perfectly healthy 10 year old girl. We were given the first of many, "this just doesn't happen" explanations of the weekend. After telling our story repeatedly, and being examined over and over (we seriously lost track at 13 doctors), they were ready to do the ct scan and locate the clots. First, though, they had to insert the IV which terrifies Cailin.

I finally was feeling like this was bigger than I was prepared for, as I started to grasp the potential consequences of breaking up a clot, and what it might do to her body. I had been prepared to face whatever battle came, and I trusted that she would be ok, but now I just didn't even want the fight. So I climbed up on the gurney with her, and wrapped my arms around her. I kissed her head until she started to fall asleep, and then I prayed.

We had been praising God all along, we had been claiming victory, and giving Him glory for what we knew He would do. But now I prayed and asked Him to just take this from her. I cried out to Him that I didn't want to do this, I wanted Him to just take it from us. As I said these words, I recalled Jesus begging God the same thing... if it was His Father's will, to take this cup from Him. I paused then, asking if this was what He expected of me? To accept this cup? Then clearly I felt the knowledge that He assured me, "No, Jesus accepted that task so you don't have to. He shed His blood to spare Cailins. She is fine."

As the nurse came in to administer the iv we tried to awaken Cailin, but she was out cold. This was the only sleep she would have until 3:00 when we were admitted to our patient room. When she finally awakened, after 10 minutes of rest, she wiggled her fingers and said, "Mommy, my hand doesn't hurt." She slowly made a fist, which she had not been able to do because of the swelling and pain, since Tuesday. She just kept slowly moving it and staring at it, amazed that she was able, and that the pain was gone. I felt her hand and it was warming up- the color was returning.

They gave her the iv, and then sent her for the CT. They found nothing. We watched as her hand continued to return to its normal color and size, and as she used it freely, pain free. The doctors were astonished. They could not explain it, but they did their best. They drew vial after vial of blood for testing, and the team studying her case included pediatric cardiologists, rheumatologists, neurologists, radiologist, hematologists, oncologists, vascular specialists, and all were baffled. They contacted colleagues around the country to see if anyone had experienced this phenomenon anywhere else. Nothing.

We explained to every person who entered her room that we believed God healed her, and while they couldn't agree that it was a miracle (except one doctor who I believe was a Christian), they also wouldn't say it wasn't. They admitted it shouldn't have happened, they had no idea how to explain it, and sometimes things are just unexplainable. They finally conceded they had done nothing and could do no more- she was well, and she could go home.

We were sent there to be admitted into the pediatric ICU for 24-48 hours (before we would even know if she was out of the woods). Instead we were admitted into the general peds unit, after she was well, for observation, and home in less than 24 hours. Sunday morning she awakened restored and refreshed, and went to church to praise God. Today she is back at school.

God is good. God is big. He is in the miracle business, and He is bigger and stronger than the one who seeks to devour and destroy.

Thank You Jesus. Thank You.

Long, but I have to share this.

Tuesday when Cailin came home from school she said her hand hurt and she couldn't use it even to write. Beginning mid-afternoon while in school, she described having shock pains shooting through her hand to her fingertips, and severe pain. From that point on, she held her hand in one position, whether sleeping or awake, and couldn't tolerate even the slightest brush of fingertips to the skin.

I assumed it was just something minor, but sent her to the school nurse just in case, Wednesday morning. She thought maybe a pinched nerve, suggested we see the Dr. if it still hurt Thursday. Now this is all going on while Rusty is out of town, so I am wondering if she is more sensitive since daddy is gone, and this is how it is manifesting itself. However, by Wednesday evening when she came home her hand was swollen and ice cold. There was no doubt something was wrong, but I was baffled as to what it could be. She hadn't injured it in anyway- it made no sense!

Thursday I took her to urgent care, where they x-rayed her and said basically there was nothing they could see wrong; just see if it got better over the weekend. By now I was really getting concerned, and so Friday morning we saw the pediatrician, who was immediately alarmed and began calling neurologists and vascular surgeons to see if anyone could see her Friday afternoon- HA! She referred us to see a pediatric specialist anyway, which would mean traveling to another hospital, and seemed as though would be the next week before arrangements could be made. She sent us to the ER so we could go ahead and start having some preliminary tests done, and so off we went.

After arriving there at noon, and learning that it would be sometime that evening before we were seen, I was really starting to feel overwhelmed, partly because I am so germophobic and ER waiting areas really freak me out, and partly because I was supposed to pick up Cailin's friend after riding for a sleepover while her mommy went to a charity function. How irrelevant those concerns would become....

As we sat there, a friend text messaged me, which is the first miracle, because I don't text message! I replied that we were in the ER and I would call her later. This friend was the first step in God's amazing plan, as she obeyed His prompting and came to be with us and see if we needed lunch. As we sat there, she scrolled through the list of doctors on her blackberry, saw the name of a surgeon she knew from church, and called his office. She described Cailin's symptoms to his nurse, who said she would have him call us with a suggestion on whom to see. He called back, said bring her to me immediately, and off we went- hallelujah!

He looked at her hand, and then listened to her pulse in her wrist on his doppler. Finding a pulse only on one side, I assumed his Doppler was broken, which is why he took us to a vascular surgeon to use his Doppler. Wrong! The Doppler was fine, her pulse was not to be found on the ulnar side, she had a blockage (meaning a clot somewhere) and we needed to find out where. As the two surgeons are conferring over my head, I began to see the seriousness in their expressions, and wondered out loud if we had time for my husband to arrive from work before we did the test. They explained, ever so gently, as we rushed back to the first office, that we would be transported to a medical center two hours away, because Cailin would need to be admitted to a pediatric unit while they administered "TPA's"- drugs given heart attack and stroke patients with such dangerous side effects they must be give in ICU. At this point I started to grasp the severity of the problem, and it is only through God's grace that I managed to remain semi calm while we waited for Rusty to arrive.

The surgeon prayed with us, and I sensed God's presence, and knew He was in control- I just wanted resolution, and fast! We were told it would be 24-48 hours in the PICU before we would know any outcome, and rushed to pack before heading to Charlottesville for the weekend. Again, God provided as Cassidy was staying with a friend and wouldn't need to know or worry about her sister; we saw a friend in the neighborhood who pulled over and prayed for Cailin on the spot; and as word spread, calls started pouring in of people praying for us. The doctor we were headed to see was previously the chief of the vascular dept. at the Mayo Clinic, one of the best in the country- we were going to be in the best of hands. God was overwhelming us with His provision of everything.

We enjoyed the drive, laughing and praising God, (Cailin still doesn't know how serious her situation was) and preparing for battle. satan was attacking and we were not giving in- as I told Rusty, "It's on!".


Right after I hit "post" on Friday morning, I rushed out the door to watch Cassidy's class sing at chapel. Part of my angst that morning had been due to Cailin suffering with a sore hand since Tuesday, and her inability to even write, because of the pain. I had been frustrated that she wouldn't be able to do her schoolwork and I didn't want her to fall behind at school, but I really wasn't sure what to do.

We already had x-rays taken at Prime Care, where they told me to watch her over the weekend, and if it still hurt on Monday to then call her pediatrician. I had a nagging sense that this wasn't right, and I felt such a burden about things that I called our doctor and scheduled an appointment for Friday at 10:45. As soon as I picked her up I felt such a sense of relief that I was doing the right thing for her. I had no idea at the time just how important it was that we see the doctor sooner, rather than later, but by the time school let out I would have the answer to her weeklong suffering.

I have so much to write, and the most amazing testimony to God's goodness and power in our lives, but I will have to do that in the morning. It is such a long story it will take some time to tell, but it most be told. It is a story that changed our lives, and hopefully created a ripple effect that will continue to influence lives around us eternally.

God is SO good.