Sunday, March 22, 2009

Haunting Numbers

9 more days.

I'm not a gloom and doom sort of person. Perhaps I used to be before I landed in the the lap of Jesus. He doesn't teach negativity or fear or failure. He doesn't teach anxiety or stress. He teaches that even in trials and trouble, there is joy.

Until the day after Shawn was born, we had no idea that he had Down syndrome. This was God being extra thoughtful. He knows how I have a tendency to worry, toss scenerios around in my head, play the "what if" game, and he knows how I lose sleep. For the first 14 hours that I held my son, he was a perfect specimen with all the hope in the world for a bright future. He would compete and play with his brother, Asher. They would be similar but different. They would grow strong and smart. They would follow their dreams and passions. They would be educated, have careers, marry sweet girls, and give me lots of grandbabies.

Day 2, age 14 hours, we learned Shawn's future would be different. He would need therapies by a host of professionals. He might have severe heart problems. He might have eating and digestive problems. He may or may not walk. He may or may not talk. He may or may not ever be able to go to the bathroom independently. He would most likely never go to school beyond 12th grade, and the liklihood of him getting married is slim. He will never be a father. He may have a job, but not a career, and he will never support himself. Shawn is still a perfect specimen, a prize, a joy, a thrill, a gift, and a blessing......just all wrapped up in an enexpected package.

Of all of the things in the list from Day 2, the only one that crushed me was, "he might have severe heart problems". To me, a heart defect could mean death. I told the doctors several times.....I'm not sure they believed me.... "all i care about is his heart....we have to make sure his heart is okay and if it is not we have to fix it!" I couldn't stand the looming possibility that we could lose this child. I still can't. Everything else.....I can handle.

The first review of his heart revealed nothing for us to be concerned about. There was but a tiny hole that should close on its own, and is very common. Year 1....I didn't worry. The beginning of year 2 revealed the hole is still there, and relatively significant in size. Year 2 would involve multipe EKG's and Echo's only to reveal time after time, the hole is not closing on its own. Surgery is necessary.

Of the heart conditions that are consistently present in children with Ds, this one is the least severe. It's just a little hole right....? The surgeons do this all the time. They can open him up and close the hole with their eyes closed, practically. It is one of the finest children's hospitals anywhere...they specialize in operating on babies his the anestesia will go well. It will be unremarkable....pracitally a non-event. Mommy, Daddy, some other family and GOD GIVEN friends will be sitting a few feet away in a waiting area, just praying that nothing freakish happens. Shawn won't have an allergy to the medications....nothing foreign will fall into his chest cavity, the surgeon will not have had a fight with her spouse that morning, the surgical assistants will have had plenty of coffee, and in a perfect ideal situation, they all will have prayed for God to show up in their handiwork on this day.

I have known whis was coming for a year. I have been strong and had great faith and have not shed a tear. Since Friday, I've shed an ocean of tears, and not predicting the waves will receed. I need to get past this, through this, over this, and beyond it. It is very difficult. Because I know that God is not obligated to put a shield of protection around my son and our family. I have been devastated many times and grown from the pain. This is just one of those times that I'd rather pass on the devastation, Lord, and can we let this one go just exactly as I pray for it to?

9 days, then 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, is mental torture.

If you think about us, please pray for the unremarkable, non-event, piece of cake surgery, and a speedy recovery. And if you could pray for my mind to be flooded with peace in these days leading up to the surgery....I'd be so grateful. Prayer works.


sarah in the woods said...

praying for you all.

rfbryant said...

Remember the fourth man in the fire? He's been seen in hospital waiting rooms, too.

Sarah said...

Oh, I love what rfbryant said.

I am definitely praying for both you and Shawn, and all your family.

Monica said...

Melissa, I haven't been here in a while, I'm thinking it is not by chance I came tonight, I will bepraying for you, your beautiful little boy and for all the staff at the hospital that will be taking care of him. Blessings to you and your family, Monica

DEb said...

I have this date on my calendar...and WE WILL BE PRAYING SISTER!!!!!

Calfzilla said...

I am praying for you and your whole family. Wow, when I read your blog post that "flood of tears" came to me,too. I remember well how it felt when Jeremiah had his open heart surgery. I can't believe it's been two and a half years ago already! God WILL give you the grace and peace you need. He is soooo faithful! Shawn will do great. God has a huge plan for that young man! The Lord will guide the hands of everyone that will be working on him. And lots of people will be praying for him!
I wish I could be there for his surgery to give moral support. Just know there is a family in Kentucky that is thinking of you and praying for you!! Love, Elli