I know this post says "August 20" but in my mind it's still August 19. Exactly one year after I posted The Final Straw. I was just thinking about that a few days ago when someone me asked how I could be so calm with Ellen's wedding just days away. I thought then, "God prepared me a year ago so I could take things in stride now." Little did I know what I was really in for.
I took Gabe in to the pediatrician this afternoon (19th) to have his incision site looked at. It just hasn't closed at the top and it's been a little red, but nothing to be concerned about. Until yesterday afternoon. It looked redder and the red was bigger. I emailed my Downs Heart friends who've been through this and asked for experiences and advice. I listened.
This morning the site was just as red if not a little more so and the area was warm. I made an appointment.
The doctor was not comfortable evaluating it and called in a surgeon. The surgeon was not comfortable dealing with it and called the cardiac surgeon and primary cardiologist.
It was determined that Gabe needed to head to the cardiologist. Tests were run and an antibiotic injection given and I packed up, prepared to spend the night, and drove with Gabe to Marshfield.
We got there at 8pm. The cardiologist looked, poked, pressed, measured, asked questions and ran it all by the cardiac surgeon again. They decided that Gabe should go back into surgery to have the area explored to determine the source/depth of the infection. I was told we have an 80% possibility of at least a 7-10 day hospital stay. It could be as long as 6 weeks.
So, at 10:15pm we were on our way to meet Keith so that he and I could switch places. He would take Gabe to Milwaukee while I headed home to continue with the wedding plans.
I drove out of that hospital fighting back tears and losing. I tried telling myself that crying wouldn't help and it is what it is, but that didn't help. I tried telling myself that God has all things in His hands and, while I couldn't see the whole picture, it would all work out in His glorious sovereign will. I still cried. I tried to think of benefits to this happening now. I even came up with one. My tears dried up and I even chuckled a little as I thought how very easy the final wedding preparations would be without Gabe there to get into everything. And then I immediately burst into tears. I took a deep breath and called my sister and cried with her.
It was then that I saw flashing lights in my mirror. I could only think, "What's there to pull me over for? I'm only going 20 and there's no traffic anywhere around me."
I quickly hung up, pulled over, and started to sob. Mr. Officer-Who-Just-Finished-Officer-School didn't know what to do. He was completely unprepared for me. He tried to be consoling, "Everything's going to be OK ma'am. Really. You're just missing a tail light."
I tried to compose myself and stammered, "It's...not...that. My...baby's sick and I'm...taking him to....Milwaukee where he has to be in the....hospital for 1 to 6 weeks and my....daughter's getting....married on Saturday. This just...put me over...the....edge."
He still did his officerly duty and took my license and gave me a warning.
I made it through my trials a year ago. And this will be OK, too. I think I'm out of tears (OK, probably not quite) and can begin to get practical enough to prepare myself for the scenarios and logistics of getting both Keith and myself to the wedding. I'm not making plans for "and beyond" until there is a clearer diagnosis.
Would you please make time to pray for Gabe? When I think of my sweet boy I cry again. I feel so guilty for not taking him in sooner. The cardiologist tried to convince me that it may not have mattered. The area isn't tender, there's no fever, he seem so fine, but I should have worried over that open spot.
I would appreciate you filling in words of prayer for me, I am only able to offer cries and groanings. I especially want to be able to put Gabe in God's hands so I can give my precious daughter my full attention on her day.
My heart is full of emotions that seem not to belong in the same place together.
UPDATE: 6 am Thursday, August 20. I called the hospital to talk to the floor nurse and get an update. Gabe came in sometime after 2:30. He'd received an IV in the ER and was groggy and sleepy when he got to his room. However, seeing the new surroundings he "perked right up and is busy exploring and pulling everything off that he can". He sounds so good! I think Daddy will have a hard day. She said he was on the couch resting while Gabe was in his enclosed crib/bed with a TV. This picture, taken 5 weeks ago, probably gives us all a good idea of what Gabe is up to early this fine morning.