One of Brian's least favorite things about me is my tendency at certain times to be a little dramatic. I know, right? You can't imagine that. Rest assured, this is not one of those times.
So, the last day or so, or really the last few weeks, I've been trying to figure out how I would explain the emotions our family has been going through. I allow myself plenty of tears and emotions, but mostly in the privacy of my own home and not for the entire Internet or hospital to see. I'm not sure I need to just dump our entire thought processes over the blog, but I did want to make sure you understand something: we were very close to losing our little girl to this illness. I know it sounds more sterile when all I relay is percentages of oxygen and vent settings and feeding regimens and x-ray images. I have wanted to explain this for a while, but somehow while Livi was so dangerously sick seemed like an inopportune time. No one said "she might die" but we all knew that was a possibility and that fact has been highlighted even more now that she seems to be getting well.
When the ICU doctors walk by, lean in your kids room and smile two or three times an hour after she is off the ventilator, then offer to take a picture of you holding her with your phone (even though you're not supposed to have your phone on), you know something must have been up. The doctors are, of course, very kind; however, ICU doctors are kind of a whole different breed--not emotionless, but very composed. They have to be. Their joy at seeing Olivia well seems that it comes with a strand of surprise.
Also, I was informed by wound care that the pressure sore that has been on her back ( I don't remember if I've told you about that) is probably something other than a pressure sore. Wound care nurses from outside of the hospital were consulted about the sore and it seems that it is probably actually something called Kennedy Terminal Ulcer. Stop. Don't do it. I know you're going to want to google it. Don't. Its super depressing. Suffice it to say that when the body gets so sick it starts shutting down "less important" organ systems. Like the skin (also Livi's stomach had slowed way down and stopped doing its job). The most immediate organ systems need the energy, so certain things in the body kind of stand back. The ulcer, they think, was the skin organ beginning to turn off. The terminal part actually means that-- most patients end up dying--not FROM the ulcer, but what the ulcer says about the body's sickness. Could they be wrong? Of course. But Kennedy, the nurse who it is named for, was also consulted and sent a picture of it and thinks that probably what was going on.
All this, plus so many other small things make it easier for me to tell you thanks. I know that so many of you were praying. Listen: your prayers mattered. They are still mattering. The food, babysitting, cards, the 6 men standing outside my house in sub-zero weather putting the first beam for Livi's new ramp down...it all matters, significantly to us. There were days when I was so beside myself with the possibility of what might happen to our family that I could not use words to pray, but it was ok, because I know so many of you were.
We thank you, and at the same time give acknowledgement that total control belongs to the Lord. Not just when good things happen and she gets well, but when things we don't want to happen come to fruition as well. Apparently Olivia's job here is not done, and we are so grateful for that. We get to spend more time with her.
We would, course, covet your continued prayers. We are finding out more everyday how being this sick has ravaged Livi's body. She is still not moving a ton and will have trouble building muscle back up and learning to use her body again. I am sure we still do not know the full extent of the damage. Will send you more pictures when we see her awake more. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks.