Things don’t just happen…

It has been so crazy around here… crazy and busy and I’ve been so tired, so I apologize for not blogging.

Kinda crazy too because Ava hasn’t been doing that well.  Too be honest when I saw her yesterday afternoon I was pretty sure that we were losing the fight.   Ava’s heart-rate was up and she had a fever and was restless, and nothing seemed to be working to calm her down.   They had tried morphine and a sedative and Advil and Tylenol and she was still restless and irritable.    Her feet and hands were dusky and she is still so puffy, I know she is still extremely fluid over-loaded.   So yesterday afternoon was really hard, and very very emotional.

So when the PACT team came by, we discussed how to keep Ava more comfortable and they thought that maybe pain wasn’t Ava’s problem, but maybe she was feeling anxious, with breathing being so difficult and with her heart not working well.  So we decided to swap out morphine for some anti-anxiety meds.  We gave her a dose right away and it seemed to help and that was great.  She woke up a little later and even though was calm, you could tell that she was a little befuddled… the cocktail of drugs that she was on was a bit much I think.  And then I just start feeling bad for her.   She hasn’t really smiled in days and I know she’s not comfortable, but waiting for a heart is like having a carrot dangling in front of you…  you don’t want to give up the fight in case the heart is right around the corner.     But once again I was praying that if God was calling her home, that she would just go, that we wouldn’t have to take drastic measures like turning off her heart meds or take away her CPAP.    Jason and I both don’t feel right about doing that,  and really, I know that neither of those things can really keep her alive if it is her time to go, so I take comfort in that.

And then just before I left the hospital yesterday, when I was feeling so low…. the Cardiologist Fellow came in.     He is from Singapore and he is wonderful and kind and really knows his stuff, and he’s a believer to boot!!     He said that he thinks that Ava needs to lose about 400 grams of fluid and once he can get her back to real or ‘dry’ weight, she will feel so much better.  And then once again I feel kinda astounded by God.    Here all afternoon I feel like I need to prepare myself to let Ava go and the writing seems to be on the wall, and then a doctor comes in and says that he believes there is still hope, and what he is saying makes sense.   And then I realize that when I try to guess at what God is going to do I never seem to get it right.  I just need to have faith and wait.

And Ava had a good night last night, but this morning at 6:00 am she was awake and really restless and irritable, like she never really has been before.   Again they gave her every drug they could to relax her and finally she slept again.    And then later this morning when she woke up I gave her a little bit of milk to drink, like I always do, but when I was done she freaked out.  So I gave her a little more and she drank it like she had never seen fluid before.  It kinda dawned on me that maybe she was just incredibly thirsty.    Which would make sense… she has a set amount of fluid she is allowed to take in during a day, so when she started IV antibiotics last week, they took away fluid from her feeds so it wouldn’t be too much.  But  IV fluids tend to collect in wrong places, and that is probably how she got fluid over-loaded.   So now they are trying to dry her out, so they haven’t given her all her fluid back to her and so she probably is thirsty poor baby – thirsty like every other cardiac kid on the ward. 🙂       But hopefully in a couple of days she will have lost this extra fluid and we can increase her feeds and she will feel better.  That is the hope, we will see what happens.

I know I don’t have to ask you to continue to pray, I know everyone is praying.  God has been so good and so faithful, and I know that He is carrying our little Birdy under His wing and I know He cares for her so much.    And my friend Christa posted this poem in my comments, but in case you didn’t get to read it, I thought I’d put it here… it’s so perfect.

Things don’t just happen to us who love God
They’re planned by His own dear hand,
Then moulded and shaped and timed by His clock;
Things don’t just happen, they’re planned.

We who love Jesus are walking by faith,
Not seeing one step that’s ahead,
Not doubting one moment what our lot might be,
But looking to Jesus instead.

We praise our dear Saviour for loving us so,
For planning each care of our life,
Then giving us faith to trust Him for all–
The blessings, as well as the strife.

Things don’t just happen to one of His own,
To one that has taken His stand;
No matter the lot, the course, or the price,
Things don’t just happen, they’re planned.
(by Esther L Fields)

Amen.

Advertisements

My theory

These past few days have been crazy again!   And it was good to be home for a bit, but I won’t lie, being home is also stressful.  Stressful in the way that when I’m there I just want to stay, but then I’m torn because I miss Ava.    And Erik was started to say how he just wanted to stay home and was starting to say it a lot, and so yesterday Jason and I decided since home is just not our reality right now, it would be just best to head back to Toronto.    We did leave rather late last night, but usually when you leave late at night there isn’t any traffic so it works in your favour.  But not last night!  We hit construction around 11:30 pm on the 401, so had to take a detour, just to hit downtown Toronto at 12:30 am.   And it seriously could have been 12:30 pm, it was that busy.  We weren’t sure if a show or a game had just gotten out before we arrived, but there were people and cars everywhere which definitely slowed us down.  We finally got back to the Ronald MacDonald House around 1:00 am… fun.

This morning I was so tired I called the hospital at 8:00 am to say that I would be shortly and to check on Ava, and was reassured that Ava was fine.   But then around 9:30 am I received a phone call from Ava’s nurse to say that Ava’s heart rate was up, and with that her temp was coming up and she spiked a fever of 39 degrees and I should come in.   Oh Ava.

And to make matters worse, when I got to the hospital,  I found that they decided that Ava needed to be watched more, so they moved her out of her private room and into a true “step-down” room where there are 4 children and two nurses who never leave the room.    This was upsetting because if we aren’t in our own room our kids can’t come and visit Ava, and if Ava can’t wait for a heart, this might be all the time we have with her, and it would be very hard if we couldn’t all be together.

I called Jason and asked him and the kids to pray for Ava, and to pray that we would get moved back to our own room…  and not 10 minutes later we got the news that they did decide that it would be best for us to be back in our room, praise God!    We were going to have to wait since they had moved someone else into there,  but they would be out later in the day and then we could move back.    It was so cool that God answered the kids prayers and they were pretty pumped about it.  William thought it would be cool if everything he prayed for got a ‘yes’ answer so quickly…  which made me really glad that God has a sovereign will. 🙂

So the end the day saw Ava back in her own room.  The poor girl slept most of the day today, she clearly wasn’t feeling that good, and because of the fever they took more blood cultures from her… this probably makes 100 blood tests in the past weeks.  They just can’t find any infection.   We did have that one positive culture the other day, but it may have been a one-off because nothing else has ever been found.   She seems to be showing signs of infection, but I’m starting to have my own theory.  I’m wondering if Ava is in some kind of pain, which causes her heart-rate to go up, and because of her heart-failure, the increased heart rate actually causes her temperature to rise.  This would be opposite to the premise that usually applies, that an increased heart-rate is caused by a fever.

Who knows, I’m certainly no doctor, but when I called tonight at 9:00 pm to see how Ava was, her heart rate was back up into the 170’s, so I asked the nurse to give her some morphine.  I called an hour later and her heart rate was back down to 140.  So maybe Ava is in pain.    I would like to try to keep her pain free for a day or two to see if we can keep her heart rate down, and just maybe, that will keep the fevers at bay.

If I’m wrong, I would just pray that some source of infection would be found in our poor little Birdy.  She’s been poked so many times that she’s not going to have any blood left and like I said before they just can’t find any infection that would explain her fevers.

But whatever happens, I’m so grateful that our family is back together, and so thankfully that God answers prayers!