Embracing Life

Lou's third hospitalization brought despair, crises of faith, and decisions to be made. The doctors were at a loss. She grew sick from a hospital virus. She had no more easy veins with which to get IVs. She stopped eating. She was too weak to have another major surgery. And, if there was to be another surgery it would be to remove her lung. What to do?

Just before she had gotten sick, we had taken down her crib in preparation for a "big bed." She had no bed in our home. She had been gone for so long at home that it almost felt natural. And with those feelings, I felt as though I was losing faith and that it would somehow impact her. Thank goodness for our minister who helped me through these feelings and for our friends who swooped down and set up a bed.

H began to seriously feel the impact of all this as well. For her, even with lots of attention and gifts, it was clear to her that she was on the sidelines. We added some therapy for her to our routine and we to this day talk and reassure her that she is loved and special too.

The end did come and it was good. After testing and questioning, we decided to allow the doctors to inject glucose into her chest tube which would create such scarring that her lung would be sealed to her pleural cavity for good. It was one of those forever decisions with no going back. We did it. It worked. And after a few days of recovery, we finally went home.

It was Easter.

N and I have cherished and relished life and our family just a bit more fiercely ever since. But it is Lou who shines. She is our dancer. Our optimist. The member of our family who most embraces life at every turn and we embrace it with her.

Tara  – (February 13, 2008 at 9:06 AM)  

Happy Birthday week to Lou and to you all!

Dawn  – (February 13, 2008 at 10:37 AM)  

Thank you so much for sharing this story. I have admired your outlook on life since I started reading this blog and now I know a little more about where that great attitude was really shaped and strengthened. What a happy ending!

Anonymous –   – (February 13, 2008 at 11:25 AM)  

That's something you never want to hear, that the doctors are at a loss. With my son, they told me ECMO was his last chance. Thank God it worked.

What are the long-term repercussions of Lou's lung being sealed to her pleura?

And, of course, Happy Birthday Lou!

patience  – (February 13, 2008 at 2:39 PM)  

What a scary decision to have to make.Thank God everything is okay now.

thegoodwitch  – (February 14, 2008 at 5:32 AM)  

Thank you for sharing your amazing story of strength and teamwork; I hope it was as healing for you as it was inspiring for us. Happy birthday to a strong, happy, well-loved child. And great big hugs for the equally cherished sibling who supported you all during such a trying time in your family life.

Tracy  – (February 14, 2008 at 4:22 PM)  

What a Lenten trial! Dawn words my thoughts exactly - what an experience that has shaped your look on life!

So, what's the term for her diagnosis?

ilse –   – (February 15, 2008 at 8:00 AM)  

I've also been reading Lou's story. you have walked a difficult road as a family. I'm glad this road brought a good health for Lou.
I admirre the way you walked this road as a family, the way you see life.
Thank you for sharing.

Happy birthday Lou.

the little travelers  – (February 7, 2009 at 11:58 AM)  

These are our come-back kids! They get that life is meaningful and it really gives me hope for the future thinking someday they'll be in charge!

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