Some days I hesitate to blog because I feel like I am taking everyone along on this crazy roller coaster ride with me. I tell myself to wait until things are more consistent, but so far that just is not happening! It feels like every day brings new challenges and the things we were worried about yesterday take a back seat to whatever is most pressing today. Just a recap of how the week went: Monday was excruciating. Tuesday was better (not great, but better). Wednesday was not as good as Tuesday and not as horrible as Monday. Thursday and Friday things seemed to be looking up as Annie's heart rate and blood pressure were finally consistently stable. Saturday morning, I called to check on Annie and the nurse told me she was doing well. By the time I arrived, this was no longer true. Her heart rate was high and creating the wrong electrical rhythm again. My heart sank as I tried to prepare myself for another long day. For hours I listened to her random rapid heart beat on the monitors and tried to mentally will her heart to slow down and regulate (which, by the way, does not work). After several hours, the nurse noticed a strange substance draining from one of the chest tubes. Within moments, they were taking a chest x-ray and realized that one of the lines that feeds directly into her heart had been dislodged and was dumping the meds and IV nutrition into her chest cavity instead of her heart where it belonged. This explained the strange drainage from her chest tube and hopefully the issues she was having with her heart. They removed the lines and placed two more peripheral IVs to administer her meds. Within an hour she seemed to be doing much better. However, she was STILL hanging on to the fluid and this series of events only caused her to need more. The doctors told me that they were feeling some urgency to get her chest closed because every day it remained open her risk of infection was rising. This morning (Sunday), they somehow managed to close her, but told me it was an extremely tight fit. Everyone is watching her very closely to see if she can tolerate all the extra pressure- the next 24 hours are critical. If she can't handle it, they may have to open her again (I pray not). So, again we are fixated on the monitors and all of those numbers that can drive you crazy!
In her short time with us, Annie is already teaching me so much. Between driving back and forth to the hospital and sitting with her for many hours each day, I have a lot of time to think about what I am learning. Faith has been a frequent topic of conversation between Cameron and I over the last few years. Now that we have Annie, it has been on my mind even more. Faith is one of the first gospel principles that we teach our children. Such a basic principle, but is it really? What does it mean when we say we have faith, especially in the context of trials? We read in the scriptures that faith can move mountains, so can it remove our trials? If we are dealing with a hardship and things don't turn out as we hoped they would, can we assume that things would have been different if only we had exhibited more faith? If Annie comes through all of this, does that mean that I have any more faith than the family next door who might lose their fight? Of course not. Some of the most amazing people I know have been dealt some of the hardest trials imaginable. I have been a witness to their pure faith in a loving Heavenly Father and in His Son, and yet, their trials stay put. Even more impressive, is that they often express even deeper devotion to and increased faith in these Supreme Beings when things don't turn out well. What makes the difference? I have to believe that it is knowing that faith is not about what we think we want, but about what God knows we can become. Faith is trusting in His will. Faith is looking for the little miracles all along the way. Faith is believing that blessings can actually be the fruit of extreme trials. We have a long road ahead with Annie, and I know I have much to learn, but I am grateful for others that have been examples to me of faith in the midst of fire. I'm thankful for the miracles and the blessings that have already come to our family through Annie and pray that I will have enough faith to recognize them all along the way.