Not the Vacation We’d Planned

Spring Break…ahhh, our family’s long-awaited time of refreshing and renewal in the mountains of Washington.  We flew overnight on 3/19, with Abbie sleeping all the way, a blessed first.  She always looks forward to laying in front of the fireplace, but by Saturday evening, her rosy cheeks told us we were overdoing it.  We turned it off (yep, it’s fake…but still enjoyable!), and thought nothing more about it after she seemed to cool down.

Sunday night I was up until 3:30 with her, managing her breathing.  But, when I finally put her to bed she was off oxygen and looked peaceful.  I was satisfied enough with her condition that I went snowboarding with the boys on Monday.  When we returned home I found that her fever was breaking through Motrin, and her heart rate was very high.  We’d been noticing that she’d been having a lot more dirty diapers in past few days, but they seemed normal otherwise.  Then….PPPP.UUUUU.   The odor changed significantly, and we thought we saw blood.

Looking at all this together we decided it was time to go the urgent care clinic in the small town nearby.  They did a blood draw and found that Abbie’s white count was over 23,000 (normal is around 7,000).  The P.A. felt that she was fighting a major infection, and that to receive proper care we needed to take her to Seattle Children’s, a 1.5 hour drive over the pass.

We were fortunate that both the weather and road were clear, and arrived at 11:30 pm.  She was admitted this morning, and the attending physician feels strongly that she has a bacterial infection in her gut, we just don’t know the type yet.  E. Coli, Shigella and Salmonella top the list of suspects.  We are awaiting culture results that should arrive tomorrow and will dictate the course of treatment, which varies widely for those three.  Given what she’s got brewing, she looks pretty good otherwise.  She is very sleepy, and we are keeping her discomfort under control with Tylenol.  Her respiratory system is thus far unaffected, praise God!

Genevieve, our precious Genevieve, is camping out here with me, while Ray returned to Cle Elum to be with the boys.  As the three of us drove through the darkness with Abbie last night, I was praying, and reminding myself that the insistent grace of God allows me to live without fear.  As we neared Seattle, I was deeply impressed that Abbie was being “sent” to this hospital — not because she needed care, but for a larger purpose.  Even in the darkest of times, a hint of God at work gives me a twinge of expectation and excitement.  I wondered what He was up to.

I think I already have the answer.  We were visited by a kind member of the hospital administration today, and when I mentioned my envy of their therapy pool, he responded by saying they are trying to really create a center of excellence for CP here, and have brought in a very talented woman from Denver Children’s to head up the project.  He said he would ask her to meet with me during our stay.

Just a few hours later, the doctor he had mentioned, a physiatrist, arrived at the room.  She spent a very long time talking about all the aspects we manage, strategies to try, and things to balance.  She also examined Abbie.  What a precious gift it was to gain new insight from a different strand of experience!  This has made this stay almost worth it. She mentioned how odd it is to have a girl who has experienced an injury profound enough to give Abbie such physical limitations while she still retains such cognitive abilities.  I agree that Abbie is a rare jewel!  I must admit that it did feel good to receive validation for all the hard work Abbie has done all these years. God is good…all the time!

Please, pray for our sweet girl:  to overcome whatever bug has taken up residence (immediate eviction is warranted!!), for her comfort, for a release from the hospital and recovery in time for her to enjoy a little bit more time in the mountains, and for a smooth trip home.  I am kind of dreading the long flight if we are still dealing with frequent, messy, stinky diapers.  We will not be well-liked in that cabin, that is for sure!

But most of all, pray with thanksgiving for God’s unceasing care, provision, and protection, and the incredible plan for Abbie that we see unfolding every day!

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