October 02, 2014

Hand Surgery

If you've read this blog for years, or know us in real life, you will know that my oldest daughter Anna has a hand that is scarred.
Anna fell (push-up style) into the coals of a campfire when she was 16 months old.  She had 3rd degree burns on both of her palms, her most scarred hand is the one that required a skin graft.  This accident was horrific.  As my baby endured, my heart was ripped into a million pieces and my eyes were opened to a hospital world I never knew before.
We have our own leper colonies these days.  They are hospitals where families live lives so focused on day to day survival that it is as if they are living in a different world.  There are children who endure physical pain so naturally they put to shame pregnant women who gripe about IVs or epidurals.  Both miracles and tragedy are common for those who live a hospital life.
My time within hospital walls has been my own trip to the Holy Land.  In my experience, God is closest in temples, nature, happy homes, and hospitals.  

Angels walk the halls of hospitals.  If you are currently enduring your own Gethsemane, know that you are NOT alone.
My biggest ache as I healed from Anna's burn, was that God would allow my baby to suffer so that I could learn.  I have come to understand and accept that this was not just my journey, it is hers.  I firmly believe that as tragic as this experience was, it will work for good.  I feel a depth of maturity and empathy in this child that is a direct result of the growth this injury inspired.  
Today Anna is having some reconstructive surgery on her hand.
The time is right, the surgeon is right.  Anna is ready and even excited for this experience.  As I endured too many surgeries this past year, I didn't realize that I was teaching my child how to approach hard things in her own life.

We have discussed surgery in the past, Anna was always terrified and upset.  Today, she is brave.  She is excited to return to school with bandages, casts and splints.  She laughed when her surgeon described the slice of skin graft they would be taking from her side.  "I think I can handle it," she said to the surgeon and then glanced at me with her silly grin.

I would slice my stomach open 100 times to be able to give her that confidence.  See, my suffering is working for her good.  Suffering is like that.  It's holy and refining.
Ben has strep throat and a circumcision surgery tomorrow.  (His surgery has since been cancelled and rescheduled.)  Lily, Leah, Jakob, and Anna have also has fevers this past week.  We have fun company coming this week and I need to go start breakfast.

It's FALL!!  Beautiful fall!!

My soul is calm and grateful this morning.
Anna is cheerful and calm.

Want to know one more cool thing?  I love Anna's surgeon.  He is doing minor cutting and patching iwhere others have proposed great reconstruction.  He is a plastic, orthopedic, hand surgeon.  AND- as he was doing his residency, he had a son born with a congenital hand defect that was not fixable.  This surgeon was called to his profession (like so, so many doctors and nurses are).  He understands and he knows that a scar doesn't limit potential.  
I can't tell you how much I love this girl of mine.  Pray for her today!!  
I know she'll do great.

Life (even when it hurts a bit) is good.


Kit M said...

You are all in my prayers. Your courage has not helped only your daughter, it has helped me. Thank you for your example, my friend.

Katie E.

Anonymous said...

I think your suffering and courage have changed many people, including me. Praying for sweet Anna today.

Julie T.

Anonymous said...

Have been thinking of Anna all day. Hope it all went well. Love, Aunt Sandra

Dana said...

Reading after the fact but I hope it went good. Good thing daddy did a blessing. Courage and strength come from that. We too know that hospital world way too well. I remember my struggling newborn in NiCU......then looking at the 2 lbs child on the other side and she was a giant at 7lbs. God is close to u then. Looking back that is how I survived. Www.laneahslife.blogspot.com. Keep us posted. Love her confidence!

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