Miss Abbie and I have been swimming together in a sea of misery this week. She slept most of the day last Thursday, which was odd, but I thought perhaps all the work we’ve been doing had just worn her out. That night her fever spiked to 104.3, and our adventure began.
She hasn’t been this sick in over two years, so I’ve gotten a bit spoiled by her good health, forgetting what all-night shifts are like. By Friday evening I could tell that I was not going to get away clean, either. Unfortunately, Abbie’s care needs didn’t give my body a chance to rest and fight back, and I slipped down the slope to illness.
Her fever remained high all weekend, and I camped out in bed during the day resting up for our nights together. Unfortunately, during the work week the rest of the world didn’t get the memo that now my days were my nights, so all chances of sleep evaporated as I answered calls, shuttled kids, and made appointments. But, on the upside, Abbie began to rebound on Monday, and today is fever-free with secretions that are no longer yellow. Mom is bouncing back a bit more slowly, but that’s of minor concern compared to Abbie getting healthy again!
Tomorrow is a big day for us, as we visit the orthopedic surgeon we saw for a second opinion last fall. We just found out that Abbie’s Shriner’s surgeon is deployed to Afghanistan through August…pray for Dr. O.!!! I don’t know what that means about timing and logisitics, but we should know more tomorrow. I am in a good place about all this, and surprisingly, it is because of a visit from a Dept. of Education person today.
Susan came today to update Abbie’s Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) in preparation for a meeting next week. We first met last fall, and she is the one person who totally “got” Abbie, seeing a smart little girl locked in an uncooperative body. She was THRILLED by the progress Abbie has made with language and reading, and showed me that in some areas Abbie is already meeting the exiting-first-grade standards. She had come up with some terrific goals for Abbie, along with wonderful ideas about how to work towards them — and mentioned more than once how much potential she sees in Abbie.
I told her about the impending surgery –oops, Matthew has issued an edict that in our house it is not called “surgery” but “the walking helper” to make Abbie feel better about it….so, I told Susan about the Walking Helper, and she said, “Well, you know there is going to be regression…”(boy, do I know and hate that)”BUT, you will be able to get it all back and move on to the next level. It may take longer than you want, but she is going to need to concentrate on healing for a while, and then we can get back to other things.” I so appreciated an outlook that is realistic and optimistic simultaneously.
I will try to post by this weekend to let you know what the surgeon has. Before I go, I want to tell you a story of another link in Abbie’s chain.
At church a few Sundays ago, at the end of an emotional week, Pastor asked me how I was doing. I knew that lying to a pastor is probably a double no-no, so I was honest by saying that sometimes it gets tough to stay focused on the big picture and not be overwhelmed by fear and grief. He said, “Abbie is helping so many people…” He must’ve caught the roll of my eye that communicated, “That’s swell, but I just want my daughter back.” He continued, “Well, let me tell you about one family that Abbie has helped this week.” Now he had my attention.
“I have a dear friend from college, Janne, whose beautiful daughter Kate, went with us to the National Championship Game in Jan.” (college football…they are all LSU fans, but please, keep reading anyway) Last Saturday, while on the way to a wedding, Kate was in a head-on accident and is in a coma right now. Janne called me on the way to the hospital, before they’d even seen Kate, and I told her a little about Abbie and about the website. She was so thankful, because she said they wouldn’t have thought of setting up a website, and it has been so helpful.” Somehow, hearing names and imagining faces of one family made any pain I’ve felt justified and bearable.
I’ve since been able to correspond with Janne, who along with her husband Charlie and Kate’s little sister Sarah continue to be filled with faith and stubborn hope as they brave this horrendous path …but, I know they would surely be bolstered by visits from some of Abbie’s Angels. If you have a moment, please go to www.caringbridge.com and search for “KateCrews” (all one word). If you don’t have time to go to the page, please just pray for Kate to breathe well on her own and to start waking up a little more each day. And, thank the Lord for how He redeems every tear and every heartache!