Blog Archive

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Ava's Surgery

Ava's surgery is scheduled for tomorrow. She'll either be taken back at 7:30 or 11:30am. We'll find out early tomorrow morning. We would so appreciate your prayers for Ava's protection, for the neurosurgeon and anesthesiologist to do their jobs with excellence and for a smooth recovery. She'll be intubated (given a breathing tube) and go under general anesthesia, and the procedure will take about 45 minutes with time on either side for anesthesia to get her set up and recovered.

While I described the surgery as "routine" in my last update, we are carrying around the reality that she is having surgery on her brain for a condition that--unless God does a miracle--will be life-long and chronic. She will likely always be "shunt dependent" and shunt complications are common. In fact, it's rare to have a shunt go in and work perfectly forever. Sigh. We're also aware that a "shunt malfunction" results in "recurrent symptoms of hydrocephalus" (ventricular enlargement, inter-cranial pressure) which causes symptoms like vomiting, sleepiness, irritability and decreased interest in feeding...all of which are easily attributed to a fussy or sick baby. Left untreated, hydrocephalus "may cause brain damage with physical and severe cognitive challenges." Double sigh. When Elizabeth get's a fever, we jet to the hospital to "rule out bacteremia". From here on out, when Ava gets symptomatic, we'll head to the hospital for a CT scan to "rule out shunt malfunction." I think we need another stay at home mom in our family!

Honestly, Matt and I are running on fumes. Those fumes are the grace of God, and we know He will faithfully carry us through this, but everything else is out of our control. This is hard, and not getting easier and while we are not depressed or ready to throw in the towel, (ask me again in 12 hours) we ARE ready for a nap! So thank you for your prayers. Please don't stop praying. We need grace to get out of bed every day, for Matt to do his job well (that's another story...his mentor is taking a job elsewhere and as a result many aspects of Matt's job and career track are up in the air....crazy timing!!), to love and parent the kiddos right in front of us when we're distracted with wanting to be with Ava. And every day we need grace to simply do "normal life"...dishes, yard-work, laundry, bedtime routines & caring for all of Elizabeth's health and developmental needs. (and that's with a part time helper here every weekday!)

We don't feel brave, we don't feel strong, we don't even feel capable of handling our own life right now, and truthfully, we have no hope in anything but God's character and His word. We don't know how the surgery will turn out, how Matt's work will bear the constant infringement from his "crazy family," or if Elizabeth will start Kindergarten and manage to avoid a hospitalization. We're not being cynical; none of those things are promised to us. But we know that His Word says:

He is good. He is faithful. He loves us. He will never leave us.

That is what we know, and all we cling to today, and tomorrow and if it comes, the day after that.

Thank you for your prayers. They truly are sustaining grace right now.

Matt & Sara

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