Thankful Thanksgiving


Starting with a song on this post!
Veggie Tales “Thanksgiving Song”:

“Because a thankful heart is a happy heart!
I’m glad for what I have,
That’s an easy way to start!
For the love that He shares,
‘Cause He listens to my prayers,
That’s why I say thanks every day!”

Yesterday I experienced a Thanksgiving first.
No, not the first time to watch the parade.
Obviously not the first time for turkey.
Not my first apple pie.
Nope. None of those things.
Yesterday I was overwhelmed by Thanksgiving. You know that holiday that our country seems determined to skip over? Well, yesterday it undid me.

I called my mom around 10:30 a.m. to check in and tell her how thankful I am for her (not a first) and she was on her way to my brother’s house. In the course of conversation I started to cry (also, not a first) but the thing was I couldn’t stop. For the next two hours I would pull it together and then something would happen and my eyes would start dripping again.

IMG_3500I did okay while we ate. We laughed and chatted and were really enjoying each other. Then came the time for going around the table and telling three things we are thankful for. Usually it’s like pulling teeth to get folks to think outside the box of “friends, family, toys” but yesterday we couldn’t get people to stop listing things. I was so overwhelmed. It got to where I couldn’t talk through my tears.

Jeremy just started listing off doctors who made life affecting decisions for Little. Little started listing off things she’s been doing around the house … be with KB and Bubba, bake a pumpkin pie, etc. Bubba made a list of his top three electronic devices and when I asked him to please think outside the electronic box he began to sincerely list natural disasters he is thankful we aren’t facing. Our KB was so others-centered in her list that my heart groaned even more. I sobbed through being thankful that we are all together and we all still like each other! And then we gave thanks for the family and friends who crossed the country to help us, those who offered to cross the country to help us, and those who gave financially to help us. It is no secret that our year has been difficult but it’s humbling beyond description to take stock of His great provision for us at every turn.

It was emotional. It was exhausting. It was a good thing we had already bought tickets to see Ralph Breaks the Internet because it was hilarious and we laughed and laughed together then went home to play Scrabble and eat the before mentioned pumpkin dessert.

Now to unpack some of that gratitude for the sake of an update.
Transitioning home has been easier than anticipated. The way the Lord worked the timing was, of course, perfect and several smaller exposures to each other led the way to a smoother time once we moved home. One month in and I feel like I am finally getting an understanding of what is needed to help KB with schooling, what our schedule is going to look like, and how desperately I want to purge our belongings after living in one room with Little for so long!

Little is doing so well. She has so much energy and I am often still surprised by it. She has loved returning to school. Each afternoon she gets off the bus with a smile on her face and starts telling me about her day before she gets the door open. I may have scared the administration to death but they are taking such good care of her and I can’t say enough about their kindness toward our family.

IMG_2768This is our first week without a clinic visit since the transplant; beginning this week we are only going EVERY  OTHER WEEK!! This has allowed us to give some attention to other issues that had to take a back burner while Little’s heart was too weak. We visited the ophthalmologist this week and it seems the cataracts that made an appearance just before Little’s heart diagnosis have grown and are affecting her vision. There is no urgent need for surgery but it is definitely looming in the future. We’ll decide on timing after Little’s heart catheter in January.

Little’s teeth are also in desperate need of attention.  She has two impacted teeth that we have been told for over a year need to come out and she also has a couple of cavities that need attention. Little’s anesthesia will need to be administered by a cardiac anesthesiologist and so there’s some tricky scheduling that needs to come together; we are trusting for surgery and dental care on January 7.

Just because we can start thinking more about other areas of Little’s care doesn’t we aren’t still living the #transplantlife daily.  Little still takes her meds twice a day at exactly 8:00 a.m. and p.m.  There are goals for the levels of medication in her system and we had hit the mark for quite a few weeks but the past month has found one of her medications in a constant downward flux. We have adjusted her prescription and continue to work toward the needed balance.

Now to sum all this up with ways to pray:
1. Pray that Little’s eyesight would be protected and we would have wisdom for the timing and type of care she needs.

2. Pray that scheduling will work out for Little’s dental care. That her teeth can be safely extracted, all cavities can be filled, and all teeth are saved.

3. Pray that Little’s medicine levels will even out and reach the numbers necessary for protecting her heart. Continue to pray against heart rejection and illnesses that her body would struggle to fight with the suppression of her immune system being what it is.

4. Pray for wisdom as we balance Little’s health with caring for our other children. Pray for direction concerning Bubba and KB’s education next year.

5. My CNA test was cancelled again and I am now scheduled to take the state exam on December 5. I started my home healthcare job on Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

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