Saturday, December 8, 2012

Getting An Education

I feel like I have gotten quite the education in the past few weeks! Not necessarily learning things that I wanted to know about but certainly learning about things that will make me more empathetic and sympathetic with others who go through similarly hard situations!

I thought there were a lot of accronyms to learn when Adam was in the ARMY, but there are just as many that I've had to learn while here at ACH (Arkansas Children's Hospital). Here's a scenario just to give you an example of what I have learned: Ava Jane was admitted through the ER to CVICU, she had a Coarc and had a PDA that she took PEG's for; she had meds that she took PRN; then there were meds that were DC; toward the end of our stay she was allowed to eat "ad lib", I learned the difference between an RN and a PCT, APN, RT and OT. I learned to "read" heart monitors, ventilators and pumps. I learned what "infusion complete" means and what "pressure increasing" is (on an IV/Central line). I got familiar with keeping record of "in's" and "out's", weighing each diaper she had and timing exactly how long she fed. I learned how to count feeds by mls and I became familiar with both gravity and pump feeds. I know in CVICU they use 5 chest leads and in other areas of the hospital (the PICU) they just use a 3 lead adapter. I've gotten to know day shift and night shift (nurses and doctors) and I don't take for granted the nurses and doctors who work the night shift and the holidays, these wonderful people are who helped our precious angel baby get well so quickly! I've learned how to work 5 different hospital beds-the warmer, Stryker crib and the Midmark 500 (its by far the trickiest to get the rails down on). I've learned to convert the weight they give me to pounds by multiplying by 2.2--as of today she is 4.809 grams. I've learned the difference in a central line, "venus" line and a regular IV; as well as the difference in an NG and a TPT tube. I've learned what CPT is and become quite familiar with the vibrater and "bopper". I now know the difference in a Thoroctomy and a Midline Incision; I've learned that there's a scale from 1-6 on how difficult heart surgeries are (1 being fairly straight forward and 6 being an extremely complex surgery). And would you believe that a heart transplant is actually NOT a 6, I thought for sure that it would be...proves I still have A LOT to learn!

My education over the past 2 weeks has made me more aware of just how many kids are born with heart conditions, its unthinkable that these rooms (36 in total) on CVICU have constantly been filled for the past 16 days, I never realized how common heart conditions are. Many people celebrate the holidays regularly in here, some (like today) have to celebrate their birthdays in here. Adam watched as a little boy in a wheel chair with his IV's celebrated his birthday out on the playground, this should not be!! As we've gotten to know other families whose kids are far worse then Ava Jane, we've realized just how blessed we are to only have one heart defect and its one of the most simple to fix. We've been here a little over 2 weeks and we are truly ready to go home, but some families are here for months on end, we are grateful that we will get to take her home tomorrow or Monday! What a blessing!

Several weeks ago, Mark Henry preached on "Divine Interuptions" and we feel like this was one of those for us! In the weeks leading up to this "Divine Interuption" Adam and I had honestly just been talking about how seemingly "easy" life was for us (moving to Little Rock went smoothly, the last of my pregnancy went well, the delivery of Ava Jane was fast and the recovery was quick, Peyton started school and he really liked it, we were getting into a routine of having a newborn and getting the boys to Mothers Day Out and school) truly things seemed to have leveled out and were going great. Then, Wed, November 21st came and the "divine interuption" happened. The diagnosis was truly shocking and caught us completely off guard. We were surprised and truly stunned. But we were not shaken. We both felt an incredible peace in the midst of this storm.

We both feel like the main thing we learned while living in Birmingham, was our deep, desperate need for time each day with the Lord. It's been amazing how seamlessly everything has fit together, God has truly been our vine and we are the branches, we have been "remaining in Him" and He truly has remained with us, we have been covered and blanketed in His perfect peace, His extra portion of peace, throughout these past 16 days. God has been ever present recalling to our minds verses and songs that have lifted our spirits and strengthened our faith and we are grateful and humbled.

Here is our sweet baby girl without any tubes, praise the Lord! She has been smiling all afternoon and we love to see it!! She is a real trooper, we are so glad God chose to give her to us!!
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