Monday, May 3, 2010

Giving Thanks

Weeks ago I performed a swallow study on a precious 6 month old baby. She had a list of medical problems longer than most ninety year olds I see. Tears stream down my face just thinking of her and her precious mother. Her 5 year old son was there protecting his little sister by asking many questions of me and my job. He told me all about his little sister that he was quiet proud of. The Mom handed over her sweet baby into my hands with trust. I felt her tense muscles and constant twitches, her mother explained that she had severe epilepsy and the twitches were considered pre-seizure activity. Epilepsy was still on the minimal end of her extensive medical history. Most six months old would sit on Mom's lap or in a high chair for this procedure. This precious pea wasn't even close to attempting this. I used a positioner and prepared her bottle before starting her xray. Her little mouth had no concept of the usual "suck, swallow, breath" pattern that occurs with natural development of even a newborn. The material eventually spilled into her mouth and down her throat into her windpipe without even a cough. She aspirated everything we attempted. I explained to Mom what was happening and I could see her logging it away into her list of "abnormalities" that encompassed her daughter. Of course her first question to me was, "how long will she have to have a tube and when will she be able to eat?" I graciously told her that with time and therapy hopefully the muscles in her throat would get stronger. Given the child's history and presentation, I knew that there was very little chance that this sweet girl would ever eat normal. She was sobbing and talking on the phone to her husband while I spoke with her doctor who of course gave me orders to admit her into the hospital for placement of a temporary feeding tube until she could be transferred to Dallas. After all was taken care of, I walked into an empty xray room and began sobbing. 
As a new Mom it was unfathomable to imagine my child in pain or incredibly delayed or sick. It made me sad when Abbott was teething or had a cold. The sweet baby from the swallow study has been on my mind for weeks. My heart breaks for her and her mother. We take so many things for granted. I squealed with joy when Abbott rolled over, sat up, crawled, cut her first tooth, and the list goes on. We go through our everyday routine of normalcy sometimes without thinking twice about the mountains that others face. Please pray for this sweet baby and her family. Mountains don't even begin to describe what they face everyday. I am so thankful for Abbott's, health, smiles, laughs, cries, and the perfect miracle of a tiny human's working body.  

Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! Psalm 100:4