Monday, May 24, 2010

Memorial Box Monday

I don't usually post a "MBM" but today I have something on my heart -


I have such a hard time remembering things!  I was once able to recall every phone number I had ever had as a child;  I could recall every medication and dosage I had ever give my children;  I knew people's names quite well - now I'm not sure of my own name.  My husband says my head is too full!  I'm always thinking, organiing, planning.  So, maybe he's right.

But I want to always Remember God's Grace.

So - after Sis's last surgery, it took 9 days and countless phone calls to foreign lands to get the correct crutches for her.  She cannot use traditional under-the-arm crutches because of her left hand, so she must use forearm crutches.  They healthcare company brought a Child's Size to the hospital - it was for a toddler.  She is 11.  They were 21" tall at their full extension.  She is 56" tall.   So they sent us home with adult-size and promised they would be there on Saturday am.  Nope. 

Monday.  Nope.  Tuesday.  Nope.

It took 9 days for the correct crutches to arrive.  Cute and purple and perfect. They will grow with her if she needs any further surgeries - which is likely.  Of course, she only needed one by the time they arrived and only used it for a few days.

Where's the blessing?  My friend Kr*sten has a rare bone disorder.  As a child, her bones  suddenly turned 90 degrees and began to grow.  Her hips dislocate easily.  She is in alot of pain.  As our Girl Scout leader, I've seen her at camps taking morphine to function;  her hips have dislocated and she had us put the tent flaps down so the girls wouldn't see - such pain!  And then, she hiked 5 miles!  Basically on her hands with forearm crutches.

After years of constant use, she could use a new pair.  But  they are expensive.

But our insurnace didn't ask for the "wrong" ones back!  they said to keep them!  And we gifted them.

I am reminded that our ways our not God's ways.

I was so upset with the  nameless Healthcare company.  I was in tears.  I fought on the phone and then got eerily quiet with them (yeah, freaked us both out!).  I wrote emails.

Finally, God said, "why are you fighting this?  You can't control them.  Let it go."  And I did.

And God provided Kristen a new set of crutches.  We were just a conduit.

I am ashamed for being so upset.  I will remember that He is working ALL things for the good of His children - even when, no especially when I don't see it.

So in my box, I am putting a list.  I make lots of lifsts.  They are my way of making order in my life.   But I want to be reminded that my order and God's Ways are not the same - I must let go.

A song:  Let Go and Let Jesus take Over / and I know He will make a way for you!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Now, the Neurologist's Report

It has taken a few days - okay a week - to gain perspective on the past month.  Thanks for all the prayers, dear friends.

So, the Neurologist's report.  Dr. Abigail Collins - our second favorite Pediatric Neuro (Dr. G Steve Miller will always be first!) came face-to-face with a miracle.  Her PA met with us first for all the basics.  Then he took his report and a copy of Ashley's CT Scans and new MRI to consult with Dr. Collins.

On stage

As they returned to the room, Dr Collins was saying, "Amazing!  This is just amazing!  Have you seen her MRI?  It is so Amazing!"   We had not had a detailed explanation in years and, frankly, memorizing MRI reports is no longer a priority.  I had decided that a new priority was empowering Ashley to make informed decisions on her healthcare.  She needed to hear and see what her brain was doing and how it had survived.

With her Cousin - Children love her

Dr. Collins then pulled up the images on the computer.  She indicated the primary point of the stroke, the arterial branches that were affected and then explained what the missing parts of her brain controlled: inference, muscle coordination and other things that got lost in the translation.  "Amazing" kept being interjected - "amazing she walks and talks;  amazing how can accomplish so  many tasks;  amazing how she reads." 

4-wheeling in the San Juan Nat'l Forest

And we heard once again: "if she had been an Adult, she would be either vegetative or dead."

At Disney World

After being home just a few days, the printed Neurologist report came.  It is filled with basic stuff and then words like, "nondysmorphic, normocephalic, atraumatic with anicertic, noninjected sclerae."  Huh?   I was relieved she read she had normal mucous membrances.  And bowel sounds.  Then bunches of numbers about reflexes and coordination testing and future plans.

I read the report - dry reading for sure - and all I could hear in my soul, "Amazing!  Just Amazing!  How her brain has rewired!  Amazing!"

Going into Surgery

Yup.  Amazing.  Amazing, she is alive.  Amazing, she walks.  Amazing, she talks.  Amazing that the original diagnosis was so wrong.  Amazing that man is so limited in their foresight.

I learned lately that Hope is the most important gift you can ever give a person.  Hope that God hears them.  Hope that things will be better.  Hope for tomorrow.  Hope that what they see today is not the end.  I watched Ashley look at her MRI and I saw hope.  She understood her brain damage.  But not once, not for one second did she hear "disabled", she heard the most beautiful word:


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Denver Driving

There is a very wise saying:
             "Somedays are a waste of lipstick."

I know those days.  Maybe if I had put some on, that trip would have gone better.

Last Tuesday evening we left for Denver to take Ashley to see multiple doctors and for surgery.  Our friend Marilyn went with us.  There's always lots of laughter on our trip and this one was no exception, yet some laughter had to wait until time had separated us from the situation!

Our first stop was in Monte Vista, CO for the restroom.  Ashley was nauseated and we both needed to use facilities.  When I saw a locally-owned gas chain that I was familiar with and stopped.  Ashley did indeed need to throw up (Note:  no fish sticks and fried potaotes before Wolf Creek pass).   We bought some snacks, Sprite and loaded back into the car.    Several blocks later, a wedding dress in a store window caught my eye?  Hadn't we passed that before?

Dadgumit!  We were going the wrong way!  Had to turn around.

This shoulda been a sign.

We spent the night in the last available room in Alamosa.  Next door to the breakfast room which started to fill with truck drivers about 5:30 am.  We were on the road early that day.  Going the wrong way again, but this time, on purpose so we could eat at McDonald's.    Our next stop was in Monument - ahh, Kohl's!  After an hour we traveled on to Denver to meet our friends at the American Girl Store.  We were all excited.

Hmmmm.  Three miles to Colfax?  I think we passed our exit.  Called David.  Chris looked it up on the computer.   We had passed the mall about 25 minutes earlier!  So, off 25 we skipped;  back on going the other way and we soon arrived.  Lunch was great - Cheesecake Factory - then shopping!

Then we left to go to the Colorado Mills Mall.  Now Sommer was in charge of directions via Ryan.  Did you know that Colfax does not have an Exit off of C470?  We do.  We then saw Golden, CO and the Coors Factory, I70 and then off the highway.  Sommer is frustrated.  Ryan is, well, his mood is undertermined and don't ask Sommer!  I went into a shoe store and got help.  We were close.  Turned around, but close.

Super Target!  Pei Wei's!  The Mall!  On to their apartment.  There we made it without turning around once!  We had a lovely evening visiting and the kids playing.  Their apartment is so nice!

The next morning we awoke to snow and a fresh-made quiche.  We allowed an hour for travel.  I listened carefully and repeated the directions back to Sommer on how to get to Colfax.  One major problem - which way do you turn on Colfax?  I thought I knew.  I was turned around.  Let's blame it on arriving after sunset, okay?  And the snow.  The visibility was low, too.

My first clue should have been hearing myself say:  "I have never driven East in Denver and seen a Mountain."   Uhhhh, duh!   In all our wondering the day before, I just assumed we had gone further west than I knew and we had to go around a mountain.  Uh, no. 

I got on I70 going East.  But I was so turned around, I knew we were headed the wrong way.  At some point (okay, maybe more than once) I heard myself saying, "Stupid State!  They mark the highways where you are coming from not going to!"   Marilyn was overwhelmed and said nothing.  I just kept going "East".  Until we hit Morrison, CO.  Yes, nestled in the mountains, quaint little Morrison.  The guy inside gave me directions, which I again messed up!

So, if ever in Morrison, heading to Aurora and you miss the 70 exit - Take C470 south to Santa Fe;  Santa Fe north to Bellevue;  Bellevue east to 25 north;  25 to 225;  225 to Colfax exit and you are there!  Our 40 minutes drive took 90 minutes!

We had called ahead and the Dr was waiting for us.  THanks, Dr. Collins. More on that appointment later, but I will say that it lead to more phone calls and scheduling.

After the visit, we were getting gas and I called David to get an update.  I was, ummm, a little on edge.  I felt like a complete idiot (no, we weren't laughing too much yet).  I wanted my husband to say, "Darling, love of my life, it could happen to anyone.  You are such a good mom.  You've taken good care of our kids.  I know this is hard, taking Sis to surgery and doctors appointments.  Anyone could get lost!  And you have only driven in this town 3 times in your entire life!  In fact, it's wonderful how well you've done!  You have such great directional sense, it was just a fluke because you are tired and worried.  I love you."

Instead, I heard, "One would think if you are on the South side of Colfax, you would turn left."  I replied, "that would be assuming one knew WHICH side of Colfax they were on to begin with."  And then I said bye.  The doctors' office was calling and I had to do more scheduling while I pumped gas, fought tears and fatigue.

We went straight to a  Chipotle's and ate in honor of Kayle's birthday.  I went to the bathroom and cried.

I have this mental picture of God leaning over a cloud in heaven saying, "Seriously?   SERIOUSLY?  The State marked the highway signs wrong?  And you're the first, in history, to notice it?  Really?  I'm right here, Kim.  I've put up an entire MOUNTAIN RANGE to give you direction.  You can't see it?  (by this time, God is laying on his stomach, stretching over the edge of that cloud, waving his hand in front of my face)   KIMBERLY!   Look up!  Woo hoo!  See me!

We all have stresses and life-highways we are trying to navigate.  Sometimes the stress keeps us from sleeping.  It forms a knot in our stomach.  And, unfortunately, it puts tunnel-vision goggles on our face.  We only see the road immediately ahead.  No signs are marked.  We can't hear good advice.   All we can see is that darn Mountain that's in the wrong place.  And that Mountain is God.

Stop today and look around.  Where are you?  What roadsign had God put in front of you?  Quit trying to get around that Mountain and ask directions!