A Hellish Hokey Pokey

We had one foot in , then one foot out, one foot in , and now both feet out…of the OR that is. This afternoon, after an emotionally draining, straining, nearly-shattering two days, Ray and I decided to agree to postpone Abbie’s surgery.

As I posted Monday, we left Shriner’s feeling good about the plan and ready to move ahead. We thought all was set. Apparently we were the only ones feeling that way. The team met through the day on Tuesday to discuss Abbie’s case, and by the end of that day were not comfortable with proceeding for numerous reasons. The surgeon called us in the late afternoon to tell us the surgery was off. This took me by complete surprise, and my gears couldn’t move fast enough to mentally take in such a huge shift in plans. I spoke to Ray on his way home, which precipitated his call to the surgeon. So, by the time Ray arrived, we were back to the “thinking some more about” just doing it on the 18th.

That night, once again in the thick of things was Abbie’s boldest advocate, her pediatrician. She was on the phone with various folks until 11:30 last night. For those who may not know the details of the beginning of Abbie’s journey, she would not be alive were it not for Dr L. intervening on her behalf when I was too overwhelmed with grief and shock to do so myself. In the years since, we’ve resumed our more routine relationship, but leading up to this surgery I’ve seen her angel wings poking out from under that white coat again.

By this morning, the surgery was back on, much to our relief. As Ray explained to the team, it has taken two years for us (or actually, me) to get to the point of being able to sign the consent forms for this surgery. Having it postponed at the last minute was mentally shattering, and I worried that I would not be able to psyche myself up again.

The phone calls continued through the morning, until I just thought, “We need some PEACE around here.” So, I told Abbie we were going to “read our verses” for the day from Psalms. Since it’s the 12th, we started there. When I got to verse 5 things got interesting. As I read, “Because of the devastation of the afflicted…” Abbie jumped in bed and looked right at me..like, “This is for me!” I continued, “…because of the groaning of the needy (that part was for me:), Now I will arise,” says the LORD, “and I will set him in the safety for which he longs.”

The echo of Psalm 4:8, about lying down and sleeping in safety reverberated, and I knew this was a reminder of the words Abbie spoke the morning of her injury, “Jesus keeps me safe. Jesus keeps me safe!” All was well, and in my now-relaxed and calmed state, I started to wonder if perhaps we shouldn’t just agree with the team and postpone. Their nervousness was starting to rub off on me, and there is no emergent reason to go into this surgery without everyone feeling absolutely comfortable and confident.

Then the phone rang again. Ray said, “I am going to ask you a question.” That is husband-code for “I am going to ask you something that is either going to make you mad or with which you will violently disagree.” Being a good decoder, I braced to be maddened, and then heard, “Do you think we should just postpone this?” I smiled at how God had worked in our hearts at the same time. So, at the end of all the drama it was actually an easy decision that flowed from a unity of our hearts…do what is best for Abbie, and if that means later, so be it.

Abbie gave me big grins when I told her that we actually won’t be going to the hospital next week. Like me, I know she is ready but not excited about doing this. But, the prayer list remains the same…now we just have more time to pray!! We will hopefully have the new date by the end of this week. Until then, thank you so much for the encouragement that has been flooding in from all directions. This has been a very trying time, and your emails, phone calls, and prayers have buoyed us through some very rough waters!