For a moment, think about your body.
Think about how incredibly miraculous it is that everything works. Your heart beats. You breathe. You regulate your own temperature. You digest and think and defend against viruses and heal damaged cells.
Now, think about how fragile your body is. So fragile, that one event can completely knock you out of commission and result in a domino effect that impacts every other part of your body.
Three weeks ago, Emily was the picture of good health. But one horrific accident, has caused three separate life threatening events. It's really a miracle that she has survived any of them.
She fell off her bicycle and fractured her skull. She was knocked unconscious and had a brain hemorrhage. That event, alone, could have immediately killed a strong and vibrant 19-year old young woman.
Within two days of being discharged from the hospital, she was back in the ICU due to extremely low sodium levels and swelling around the brain. I didn't realize just how serious it was to have low sodium levels. But what I've learned is that situation could have also been fatal.
Emily was readmitted to the ICU for another week before being discharged home. Within less than 36 hours of being home, she was in excruciating pain. She could hardly breathe. When they took her to the Emergency Room, the doctors thought that perhaps her condition stemmed from her recent surgery to repair her crushed clavicle. They conducted an x-ray just to be sure that there wasn't some kind of pressure on her diaphragm.
The doctor suggested that maybe there might be a blood clot. Probably not, but they'd conduct a cat scan, just to be absolutely sure. And right there, on her right lung, they found the embolism. Yet one more condition that could have swiftly taken her from us.
And yet, miraculously, she is still here.
Taking two steps forward and one step back.
Whenever I've asked my sister "Please, what can I do?" she always tells me the same thing.
"Please pray. Please get the word out and ask for as many people as you can to add her to their prayer circles and pray. Please, hold my girl in your heart."
It's a desperate feeling of helplessness, that I remember far too well when our babies were in the NICU. The feeling that ALL you can do is hope and pray. And since there is unquestionably strength in numbers, the more people that are praying, the better chance that your loved one will be healed. At a minimum, it most certainly eases a troubled heart to know so many people are holding you in theirs.
Tonight, Emily is still in the ICU which is where she will remain for the next several days. She is on the anti-coagulants heparin and coumadin. Due to her head injury, they need to be extremely cautious that she doesn't have any additional bleeding in her brain with the introduction of these medications. Eileen tells me that thankfully, Emily is finally in less pain than what she has endured for the past several days.
Not surprisingly, her spirits are down. She is feeling extremely sad and discouraged at what seems to be one set back after another. Add to that, she is frightened at the reality of what has happened to her - and what could have happened.
In an effort to bring some sunshine in to Emily's world, our children have been busy drawing pictures and we're putting our prayers and thoughts to paper. We are mass mailing different things off with the hope that it will lift her spirits seeing how much we (and Ariel and Pocahontas) care for her.
Yep, we believe that there is strength in numbers...
Even if some of those numbers are represented by fictitious characters.