We were having dinner with one of my brothers, his wife, and Alissa's sister, Katie. In her wisdom, Katie pointed out that we (Alissa and I) were being too positive in our posts. Okay - she worded it much kinder than that, but that was the message.
Yes, we are doing our best to stay positive, and live in the hope that our good Lord has promised to us. Yes, our hope is bigger than anything the doctors can say to us. And yes, we are going to believe in that hope until we have nothing left to believe in.
That being said - we are not out of the woods. Not even close. Actually, we just entered the woods, and still can see the fields behind us through the trees cuz we are still really close to the border. And the doctors tell us the woods will be thick, full of wolves, valleys and high hills, with lots of pricker bushes & poison ivy.
For example, Anna was taken off the ECMO for three minutes earlier today for a trial run to see how she would do. The doctors didn't think she would go very long, and she didn't. They did find some useful information though, that will help them chart their path. For example, the shunt they put in is having some sort of problem. Since the shunt is hardly being used while the ECMO is on, it doesn't have much blood flow. And since it's a foreign object in the body, the blood can easily coagulate there. So there is a possibility that it needs some work too. They will take Anna into the cath lab tomorrow to do some more diagnostic work.
See? We're still woods, and the path is not clear at all - at all!
As a stark reminder, just the other day one of the doctors commented that she is, after all, still on full life support. And she is still in the ICU - which, as we all should know, stands for Intensive Care Unit. And people in ICU need lots and lots of help if they are going to get out alive.
So let me say this: please know that we are still hopeful. But please don't think we are without hope, or that we are just being naively hopeful. We know the odds are still against us. But we also know that our God is not a God of odds. That's why our posts seem full of positive reinforcement.
But - we are still human. We still cry. We still get drained. We still have moments of doubt. Sometimes that doubt hits so strong that we have to get hit upside the head in order for it to be dislodged. Actually, sometimes putting our head on someone else's shoulder and receiving a word of encouragement is much better and more effective than getting hit upside the head. So if you see us, and you have the choice of one over the other, we would like to opt for the shoulder-to-cry-on technique.
Tomorrow is a new day, and it will bring a new challenge. We'll have to sign another consent, and watch our baby Anna be wheeled into another room for another procedure. We hope to get more answers for the riddles that plague little Anna. We hope the doctors can find enough information that will set them and us on the right path, knowing full well that the path may disappear even as we walk it and we'll have to find another one.
Okay, I've overused the simile thing. It's over and done, and hopefully you guys all get the point. And it's time for me to go fold some laundry, and then curl up with my cute little wife and cry ourselves to sleep.
Love you all. Thank you for joining us as we try to get to go over the hills and through the woods to gran...whoops. I went back to the woods thing. Sorry.