Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Here we go again- Round two of plastic surgery

It's one week away....the 3 hour drive to Nashville, checking in the same Best Western, getting up early to arrive at the same hospital 2 hours before surgery, and the same pains of waiting again. It seems like only a couple weeks ago that we went through this before.  She still refers to her scars as "boo boos", because they took 2 months to completely heal last time.  The healing process was long and painful. Now we get to experience the discomforts of healing all over again.  And it won't be the last time.  I hate seeing my baby sick, vomiting every time she drinks because of the effects of anesthesia, pulling at her tubes and bandages and looking so scared and confused.  It only lasts several hours before she's disconnected from the IV and starts feeling herself again, but I feel like I'm the one who brought it on her.  I chose this for her.  She doesn't know why it is happening and why the parents she's grown to trust are allowing her to go through it.  Sure, kids are resilient.  They overcome things so much more quickly than adults.  But it still doesn't make the imminent any easier for us.

This time we don't know what she's going to have removed. It all depends on how the new skin formed from her first surgery is doing.  If it is flexible enough to be manipulated and rearranged on her face, she will be having the entire cheek nevus removed.  I still can't imagine her without it, or how her face will look normal after it is gone.  If the new skin isn't ready yet, Dr. Chester will work some on her neck and only remove the bottom portion of her cheek nevus.  She'd rather not pick away gradually at these spots since it's going to be harder with a few wounds at once than one wound, but that may be the best choice this time.

Surgery is set to begin at 9:00 a.m. on the 20th.  We don't know how long it will last, but imagine it will be comparable to her first surgery which lasted an hour and forty-five minutes.  This time there won't be a huge head bandage to look at.  We'll see her surgical site(s) pretty clearly, which may be visually disturbing if there is a lot of swelling and bruising.  We expect her to have more pain this time as she recovers, as with a scalp wound you don't stretch and touch it versus a neck or cheek, which is moving constantly while one is awake.

Going for a ride with Mommy and Big Brothers
Our Little Lady has continued to amaze us over the last few months.  She is speaking more clearly in small phrases and is becoming pretty opinionated about what she likes or wants.  Yet she is still pretty easy going.  When asked to do something, even by her brothers, she often does it to please us.  She LOVES to say thank you for everything, and answers "yeah" to most questions.

We continue to try to find the source of her digestive issues.  We have been to a GI specialist and an allergist to try to find answers.  She had tests run and all the GI doctor found was that there is inflammation and white blood cells found in her colon.  The allergist determined she doesn't have a specific allergy, but may be sensitive to either lactose, soy, or wheat.  We have ruled out this past week that she is not lactose intolerant.  She has had no changes for the better by changing to soy milk and milk free foods.  We will try wheat elimination next.  It is frustrating, as we still are clueless, but at the same time we count our blessings.  She has finally gained a pound of weight (24 pounds in March and now 25 pounds in November), doesn't seem to be in pain, and is still developing and happy.

I need to share on this blog more.  So many precious moments have occurred and most will be lost from memory if not recorded and shared.  Every day with my kids is a valuable gift from God.  In the scheme of eternity I only have them home to train them and mold them for a very short time.  Some days I want to wish them away from my care for just a short time so I can go out to town, be around other adults, attend weddings or special meals, retreat to a women's event, fly away on more mission opportunities, participate regularly in outreach and sing again in the choir, and take trips to visit old friends across the state and country or relax at the beach.  People without children have these options, even people with only one or two kids who can easily travel, find childcare, and have flexible schedules and budgets.  But I look at my four little ones and think:  "What is the better gift?  Enjoying my life to the fullest or pouring it to the fullest into theirs?"  What makes me more holy and like Christ?  What is a better investment?  What reflects the heart of Christ more?  My selfish thoughts and wishes are stifled when I hear my 6 year old talk about what he's been praying about lately as we sit and do a discipleship lesson together before bed, my 7 year old in tears tells me as he goes to bed that he wants us to go to the Netherlands one day soon to share with "our people", fellow Dutchmen,  about Jesus, and my four and two year olds sing "Jesus Loves Me" and hug on their children's Bibles throughout the day.  I'm never going to be famous or successful in the world's eyes.  The average stranger looks at me with my car congested with kids as they pour out the door and looks at me with confusion, not admiration.  However, if I'm the mom they need me to be, the mom who consistently points them to Christ, then this life HAS been truly lived to the fullest.

Thanks for your prayers as we approach Round 2 next week.  Surgery is never routine and always has risks.  We know God is holding our daughter in the palm of His sovereign hand and trust Him.  Your prayers are felt and we know we will feel His peace as we wait.  We will post updates on surgery day and share results with you.

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