Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Under the Sea

I must start by saying the hospital staff of all three places Aviana was taken to saved her life.This is an absolute fact, and for that I am eternally grateful. That being said, I have been reflecting on some of our experiences within those almost 3 months.

There was a quick lesson to be learned within the walls of all of the hospitals we visited. In our situation, the lesson to be learned was put out there immediately and was re-taught by many of the passing doctors and even some of the nurses. It did take some time to understand. It was plain and simple though. Sink or Swim. That’s it, that’s all. Such simple words, but so difficult to implement within those walls. Upon entering the hospital setting, we felt as though we were dropped in the middle of the ocean without a life preserver.

For the first 2 weeks of our journey, we were sinking. We were not just sinking, but it was as though someone had tied 1000-pound cement blocks to our feet. Every which way we turned, it felt as though a ferocious beast of some sort, was pulling us under. We were unable to breath. Continuously gasping for air. We were screaming for a lifeboat, but no one was listening. Those first 2 weeks were a living hell. Did it get much better? Slowly. Very slowly. The real difference was that we finally grew a thick armor of gills and began to swim.

We learned to navigate through the oceans tumultuous waves. We were able to weave in and out of the coral reef unscathed, for the most part. We even dodged some sharks. We almost never got lost in that ever-stretching, vast ocean. Luckily, our armor grew in with a slippery surface. This happened to be our very best defense, we were able to let things bead up and roll off.Our family traveled as a school of fish. Constantly helping and protecting one another from the countless attacks of complete and total pessimism for our situation. We had to pick each other up sometimes after a brutal sucker punch.

Aviana underwent 6 surgeries while in the hospital. I was as tough as nails, scribbling my signature across many pages of authorizations. Listening as the doctors explained all of the many side effects, infections and possible death scenarios.

On Thursday, this little girl has to go in for her 7th surgery. Ever since Aviana left the hospital, we have noticed a very sharp point on her head. We were unsure if it was just the way her skull came together at that particular area or if it was a screw. If you have been to our house since September….I’m sure you have had the pleasure of feeling it. We are somewhat mystified. We have had many of Kaiser’s staff and others feel it to give us their take. We had come up empty handed in finding out exactly what it was.

My Mom and I took Aviana to a follow up CT scan and neurology appointment and the doctor immediately said, “That’s hardware and it has to come out as soon as possible.” It is one of the 40 screws in Aviana’s head and it has worked its way loose and is looming just under the surface.

As the days to her appointment have dwindled down, I have discovered that I have shed every last bit of my thick slimy sea skin. I left my sea legs in the ocean at the hospital. I am all squishy inside and out and am truly dreading this appointment. I do not want her to have to go through this. I do not want to sign her life away. I do not want to see her cute little face wheeled down the hall, yet again. I do not want to wait hours on end for her safe return. I am so scared and am in complete wonderment as to how we all managed our hospital stay.

Please, please send every good thought you can Aviana’s way on Thursday. Thank you so much.

I have one question before I go…..were they trying to tell me something by the décor within the PICU? Were they secretly whispering in my ear, Sink~or~Swim lady.

I thought it was just plain good decoration for the youngsters. Ohhh, how naïve I was! In retrospect....the fish do look a little scary to me.


  1. Can't see the photos, but will definitely be praying for you and Aviana. Thanks for stopping by my blog. If you want a new face, or better yet a new "swimmy" to help keep you afloat and SWIMMING on Thursday, some of your readers are local! You're not alone!!! Praying you feel God's arms wrapped around you!

  2. I cant see the photos either but I will be praying for Aviana and for you, you have such great strength you will be fine! xxxx

  3. Jen, So sorry to hear that you must go through yet another challenge in Aviana's recovery. The house on Big Bear is praying for smooth sailing. Janet

  4. Jen,
    Sending you prayers and good thoughts your way! You can do this, it will be done before you know it. I am sorry you have to go through this~no one wants to see thier child have surgery. She is a tough little one and since you have no choice in the matter you have to relax and know that everything will be fine.
    Also, I wanted to thank you for writing me back on my last comment. It was nice to make that connection to you. I'll be thinking of you all!

  5. oh so sorry you have to endure this and her as well. will be sending good thougths your way!

  6. Please know that you and Aviana are in my thoughts and prayers. You will once again draw on your tremendous strength and be right there for your little girl as you always have been.

  7. Dear Jen,

    Despite how absolutely unpleasant and unfair this seems ahead of the event, I suspect your inner barracuda will emerge once you are in that (unfortunately) well known water once again. Best wishes for the smoothest experience possible. Thinking of all of you.


  8. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmyUkm2qlhA&feature=player_embedded

  9. Oops, that was supposed to post as a link...
    I'm not too technically savvy.

  10. We'll be praying for all of you, especially tomorrow. Before you know it, that beautiful little girl will be back in your arms.

  11. Oh Jen, I'm so sorry. What time is her surgery? I'll be texting you so please text me when you get the all clear. Okay, now me being me, you KNOW I can't let this go, as inappropriate as it is, but you know that Aviana is part of your family because..... she has a screw loose, bah dah BUM! Sorry. Bad joke, I know, but I use it on myself too, I have a broken screw in my neck. NOTHING, NOTHING, NOTHING compared to Aviana, I know that, but again, something we have in common.

    Love you Jen.

  12. Thinking of you guys all day... sending up lots of prayers!