Saturday, April 24, 2010

Even when it hurts


One year ago, I took Gracelyn to her 1-year check-up, fully expecting everything to be routine. And it was. Until mid-afternoon that is. Then I was called by our pediatrician's office to return the next day for repeat labwork--Gracelyn's hemoglobin was low, but it may have been a fluke reading. The next day, we re-did the labs and went home. Our pediatrician called that afternoon. I knew when the actual doctor called that something wasn't right. He told me to take Gracelyn to Wesley hospital in Wichita immediately because her hemoglobin levels were dangerously low. Scary.

So off we went, with an unsuspecting daughter in tow. We spent 2.5 days in the hospital, with pricks and pokes multiple times a day. Sometimes I wondered if Gracelyn even had any blood left to test. But, after all those tests, there was no apparent reason why her HgB levels were so low. So, Gracelyn underwent a blood transfusion and we were dismissed the next day with orders to recheck her blood in a week. We were told she more than likely had a virus and her HgB levels would continue to improve.

They didn't. We spent the next 7 months going from specialist to specialist to specialist, but with no results. No one could figure out the mystery diagnosis. Finally, in November a hematologist at KU Medical Center in Kansas City told us to hold off testing until Gracelyn's 2-year appointment. She thought all the different tests had possibly hindered Gracelyn's recovery. And we were hopeful she was right.

She wasn't. After a smooth 2-year check-up (where our pediatrician said he was pleased with Gracelyn's progress & her healthy appearance), we got more disappointing news. Gracelyn's HgB levels hadn't improved, and she also had metabolic traces in her blood--which concerned our pediatrician enough to be directly in touch with Dr. KU Med Center.

Fast forward. We now have an appointment Tuesday afternoon with our hematologist. We have also been told that we can (probably) expect to schedule a bone marrow test at some point in the near future. Again, scary!

Right now, we are asking for prayers concerning Gracelyn and also our family. A Bible verse I memorized during the first year of testing: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7), helped get me through some scary moments. As I'm sure it will this time.

However, I'd like my focus to be on two key words: with thanksgiving. I want my obedience to not only center around giving my fears to God, but also toward giving my Savior praise--even when it hurts. Thank you for your prayers.

(To read more on this experience, read my Lipstick & Pearls column at http://hillsborofreepress.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=18089728:value-of-blood-donation-now-clear&catid=83&Itemid=178)

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