Friday, January 15, 2016

Blind Faith?

Back in April, we found ourselves in a position that required us to completely place our trust in a team of medical providers in an unexpected emergency situation.  Our daughter, almost 18 at the time, had a relentless headache that just wouldn't respond to any of the typical at home remedies.  Since she has an extremely high pain tolerance, when she became unable to tolerate the pain, my husband and I decided a quick trip to convenient care was in order.  We figured they could give her something stronger than the ineffective over the counter meds and she'd come back home and sleep it off with some knock out drugs.  Our middle son was away on a church trip and was due to return in another hour or two, so my husband took her down the street to the walk in clinic while I took off for an intended quick 5K walk with our youngest.  Of course, as luck would have it, I was at the furthest point from home on foot when he called and said that the clinic wanted her taken to the ER.  Though I was in our neighborhood, I was still several minutes away from home and our son needed picked up soon, so it was decided they would go on to the ER (especially once I found out that the clinic was so adamant about her going that they had called ahead to the ER to alert them).  At the time, both dad and daughter were actually laughing because they thought the need to go was "ridiculous".  We are definitely not the type to just run to the doctor for every little sniffle and ER trips, in our eyes, are for the bleeding to death kind of emergencies.  Little did we know that we were about to be on a crazy roller coaster.

I made record time in getting home and then paced and prayed.  Paced some more.  If you know me, you know I'll clean like a crazy woman when I'm stressed.  We'll just say that while I was waiting for initial reports to find out what was going on, my kitchen became as spotless as it could possibly be.  I'm surprised I didn't rub a hole in the counter tops from shining them so much. 

She went in with a headache but the REAL problem was something was wrong with her heart.  She was sustaining a heartrate of no less than 200 beats per minute and at times was well beyond that. She was considered in Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT).  She had extreme facial flushing and her extremities had become very mottled- purplish lace-like. However, she was laughing and still just as sweet and gracious to everyone around her.  Oh---she still had that MEGA headache that became unimportant. When my husband realized the headache wasn't even a concern to them at the time and more and more staff was being called into her room, he knew that I "probably" needed to find a way to get the boys and head to the hospital.  At that time, it was getting pretty late and I didn't have many options for the boys so we grabbed a backpack and went. 

What I didn't know was that I was walking in the hospital and being directed back to her "room", her room was filled to capacity with medical staff from multiple specialties as they gave a medicine to literally stop her heart.  They made the decision to stop it from beating in hopes that it would begin beating on its own again at a normal rhythm. Professionals stood by with cardiac crash cart in hand in case it didn't start on its own. 


Are you kidding me?

You mean to tell me that my perfectly healthy, seldom EVER seen by a doctor, tiny and strong daughter was lying in a bed with her heart stopped by a medication in "hopes" that it would restart.  Normally.

(And no, I didn't have a CLUE at this point.  Dad was in the room, but he really didn't know what was going on either because it was a blur.)

Just seconds after her heart did beat again on its own, it again was beating at the same increased rate.  Though they were relieved that no additional medical intervention was required to restart it, she continued in SVT and that was becoming more and more troubling to them.  In came more staff and phone calls were being made to other hospitals with pediatric cardiologists on call.  At that time, I arrived and Kevin went to sit with the boys.  (Just knowing I was in the hospital, STANDING, instead of out cold on the floor was a miracle in itself.  I. Don't. Do. Hospitals.  Who am I kidding? I don't even do doctor's offices! My panic attacks from years prior with Peyton NOT ONCE surfaced during this whole time.  Miracle in itself right there!).

Her very sweet nurse came back in and told Adriana that in the next few minutes they were going to try that same thing again.  Though I wasn't aware of them doing it the first time since I was driving and hadn't been updated, I INSTANTLY knew what they were talking about.  I KNEW what was happening without explanation.  I knew THIS WAS SERIOUS.  She asked Adriana if she was prepared for that "feeling" again.  (She described it as the time she broke her ribs in gymnastics on the uneven bars, but a thousand times worse. That crushing pain of broken ribs and the wind knocked out of her lungs.)

In those moments, it was about BLIND FAITH.

Trusting in the knowledge of the professionals.  Believing they knew far more than I did.  Knowing that there was something serious enough going on to warrant something so drastic.  Letting them do what they needed to do and not standing in the way. Giving them full liberty to do anything and everything necessary, regardless of how uncomfortable, how difficult to see, or how unsure I was of what was happening.

THAT moment taught me MANY things (as did the whole roller coaster!)---but something that STOOD out ABOVE and BEYOND all else.

The "blind faith".

I trusted without question, no matter how much it heart my momma heart.

Do I do that same thing with Christ? Do I fully trust Him?

Or rather, do I fight him.  Argue with him.  Plead my case.

Do I trust when He says, "Wait."?  Do I let Him have the room to work in my life with full access? Do I trust Him when dreams aren't fulfilled?  Do I trust in the valleys? What about when I feel it's "unfair", too hard, too painful, or asking "too" much? What about when He asks the hard things?  Or what about when I'm defiant, stubborn, or too meek, fearful, or scared?

Really, it isn't about blind faith.  I read once that it's better described as "well-founded faith" and it has stuck with me.  I like that version much better.

I trusted the doctors because of their training, their knowledge, their skills, and their hands on experience.  I didn't trust them blindly as just a stranger on the street with no medical knowledge.  I had something to go on.  Yes, it required trust, but it wasn't completely blind.

Trusting in our Savior isn't any different.  In the life of a believer, that trust and faith is well-founded instead of blind.  We have His Word packed full of countless examples to strengthen our faith, teach us about Him, and show us how to live. We see His miracles.  We see how He lived, what He's capable of, just HOW POWERFUL He is. We can see prophesies fulfilled and promises kept.  Not only does scripture give us that basis, but also our real life.  We KNOW that He's at work in our lives.  We've seen Him at work in others. Above all, we have the Holy Spirit living in active within us. 

We aren't walking around blindly.

We are trusting in Well-founded faith.

Sometimes, we just need to remember that.  When we are afraid to trust or don't like our circumstances,  when we are going through some hard things or grieving the loss of someone or something valuable to us, when we feel abandoned, or.....  (insert an unending list...)

We also need to trust in that well-founded faith when we have to place our trust in situations that are out of our control.  Just like in the ER---I had to step back and say, "I trust you. I believe that you are doing the best for my daughter."  I didn't like what was happening.  I didn't want her uncomfortable.  I didn't want to feel completely surrendered and have to give up my control.  But...

It was necessary. 

Today, I know I need to say the same to my Heavenly Father. "I trust you.  I believe that you are doing the best for me (or this situation, or this person, etc...).  I'm struggling with giving you this control, but I know it's for my best.  You are at work.  I may not know what You are doing, I don't even necessarily find it comfortable.  But I trust.  You've always proven to be in control.  You are LORD of my life and I place my trust in YOU.  I hand to you my whole life, even the hidden parts and every situation." 

(On a side note for those not knowing how our "story" ended:  IT continued be a roller coaster.  Her heart stayed in that state of stress for several days landing her in CCU under full monitoring. Yes, she got crazy looks from every one coming in the door to care for her.  They expected to see an elderly patient hooked up to those monitors instead of a young girl. Though a medication could have been used to slow the heart rate, the approach was that it was more important to find the cause.  We couldn't just treat the symptoms.  As those days passed, few people knew just how many initial diagnosis thoughts were given to us, what was tested for, or how serious of a concern they had for her.  If it was a scary word or diagnosis, it was suggested as a possibility to be looked at and ruled out. As those days progressed, we began to have another issue of her white blood counts bottoming out and her platelets dropping.  Practically to non-existence, putting her at even greater risks.  Yes, she even eventually picked up the FLU on top of it all.  It was a LONG in hospital week, followed by several weeks of continued testing and sitting in oncology/hematology clinics waiting for results of those scary words.  EVERY SINGLE test came back as negative. Nothing could be found.  After about a month, her blood counts finally returned to normal (and yes she was a PINCUSHION after daily blood draws---they cringed seeing her come in because it was getting more and more difficult to get a vein.).  Her heart is still a bit on the faster side for someone in her healthy condition, but that slight elevation is probably a normal for her.  She is a tiny person to begin with (our munchkin was only 22 pounds at 2.5 years old!), but by the time that hospitalization was over she'd lost another 10% of her bodyweight.  Today, 7 months later, she's not quite gained back to her starting weight and still has a bit of energy lag at times, but ALL tests still remain normal.  Even with my history of Lupus and a great history of thyroid issues in both of our extended families, those tests even returned normal.  So medically speaking it was decided an unknown virus attacked her heart and blood system.  Quite possible.  But perhaps, God also intervened, placing another miracle right in our hands. She was healthy enough to go back to the Dominican Republic that summer without any restrictions.)

(On another side note:  that very special ER nurse happened to pass her while shopping in a fabric store many months later.  It was a providential meeting.  You see, our daughter made an incredible impact on her with her attitude while under such stress.  She took the time to THANK HER for taking care of her as she was being wheeled up to CCU and even after every invasive or uncomfortable procedure she would commend her for doing a good job.  We didn't remember her name and as is typical, once a person leaves the ER, it's not typical to know what happens after.  The nurse had always wondered about her "sweet crazy heart teen!" and was just floored to see her healthy and without long term complications.  She had feared the worst.  Then just last month, Adriana had the opportunity to do a clinical rotation in that ER as part of her EMT training, and it was a great moment to see her once again!  Go, God!)

1 comment:

Anne said...

Wow Tracye! What a journey of faith your family has been on! Glad your daughter is doing well.