I do have some more fun posts drafted but this one is being impressed upon my heart at the moment for obvious reasons. Tomorrow (Thursday), we will once again head down to Texas Children's Med Center for a three-part MRI of Quinn's heart. I talked about it here. Bottom line, they saw a couple of potential "issues" in her last echo and want to check them out more intensively. When you say MRI, you picture a big tube and you are slid in and out, and you are on your way. Not so much with this one. It's a lengthy procedure, lasting 2-4 hours, and requires full anesthesia. Let me disclaim: It's nothing like open-heart surgery (twice), but anytime you send your baby under, it's disconcerting to say the least. And the results that may come - well, I can't even go there yet. The unknown is the worst. Heart kids are deceptive. If you had seen my child playing with her brother and their closest friend in freezing temperatures at the playground the other day, you would have a very hard time believing that a "different" heart lies beneath. It's pretty incredible.
That being said, I wanted to share a couple of amazing experiences as of late with Quinn. I know there will be cynics, but I know God, and I know His Power. I know His Healing and I know His Comfort.
A couple of weeks ago, I brought up the appointment to Quinn. Nothing graphic or even mentioning the word "hospital". Just letting her know that soon we will head to the heart doctor and have an appointment. She took it all in stride, nodded, and ran off to play.
A couple of days later, I was laying in her bed at naptime finishing up her story. Out of the blue, she said, "Momma, look at my stand up line." So I replied, "Yes, baby, I see the line. Remember, that's where they worked on your special heart." She nodded and then said, "Momma, sometimes I go to the hospital. And I take a nap there. And whenever I wake up, you are there. Then we go home and I feel good again."
It took everything for me not to bawl right there but I agreed, "Yes, honey. That sometimes happens. And God is always with you too."
Fast forward to this morning and I was about to help her change for school. By help, I mean toss the clothes to her while she decides what she wants to wear :) My fashionista.
As we were sitting on the couch, we talked again about the appointment. Again, no mention of tests or hospital. At this point, I'm still trying to figure out how to prepare her without scaring her or overloading her with info. So I just try to do the basics and cross my fingers. And I promised her that after school today I would paint her nails a very special color so they would look pretty for the doctor. (She loves fingernail polish and this is a pretty good reason to have a special treat)
She looked at me with a dead serious look and said, "Mommy, I know. I will go inside something that sounds like a washing machine. But it's not scary. It just sounds like a washing machine. And then I take a nap." I questioned her and asked her what she meant about the washing machine because I thought she may be confused. I asked her if she was talking about our washing machine (I mean, why would she be, but she's 3 so who knows???) and she literally almost rolled her eyes at me and said emphatically, "NOOOO, Mommy. The washing machine. At the hospital. That washing machine."
Friends - the last time Quinn had an MRI or any sort of procedure was in October 2012. She was barely 2 years old. They put her to sleep with me before she even saw the "washing machine". How this child knows this and has PEACE about her nap is beyond my understanding.
This much I know. Somehow she has recollection and that Jesus was holding her through that last experience and calming any fear she was having at that moment. I can't tell you the tears I shed this morning (privately) just recounting those simple words from a child that is 3 1/2 years old.
And I can't tell you the comfort that I feel now just knowing that she has this underlying sense of peace. She knows it will be okay. What a blessing. Our God is so good.
Will you join Team Quinn in prayer tomorrow at 9am? Will you pray that Quinn has a peace that surpasses all understanding and that her little 3 1/2 year old mind will process the test and the confusion the best it can? Will you pray for us as we once again entrust her little precious heart with the professionals? Most importantly, will you pray that the findings will allow us more time before intervention. And may I be so bold as to request that her heart function is unchanged?
We love you all and thank you for continuing to wrap your arms around us on this journey. As we head into CHD Awareness Week (Feb. 7th-14th), please pray for all those other families who are on this ride with us: the rollercoaster that is being a heart family. Many blessings to you all.
We'll update you after we get the results from the "washing machine" : )