A Date on the Calendar

So it looks like Virginia is having spine surgery on August 18. That's nine weeks from today.

I have a peace about it to the extent that we received the same opinion from all the doctors and Virginia's curve has progressed to the point over the last month or so that she is in considerable pain. So while I am still scared to death, I do not feel like we have another option.

There are things with Virginia that have turned out to be less difficult than I had envisioned. I am praying that scoliosis surgery becomes one of those events. Here are the things we are praying specifically over the next two months: that Virginia is big enough to use the slightly thicker rods in surgery bc they have less of a chance of breaking, that she has no respiratory issues- comes off the ventilator the evening of the surgery and never has any aspiration issues, for pain management without too much sedation, for the curve to be straightened, and most importantly, for Virginia not to lose hope in the days following surgery when the pain is at its greatest. And to come home in four nights or less...slightly optimistic, but you cannot get Virginia (or me!) out of hospitals fast enough.

Years ago someone said to me, "The days are long but the years are short" and I have heard it many times since. It is so true.

And one of the things I write about frequently is that the hardest part of this situation is that it seemingly has no end. Somehow this date of surgery has freed me up to live in the moment. I don't think we are going to lose her, but I know that it is going to be really hard, and that overall, even with a successful surgery, things are getting harder because of Virginia's size.

Seeing August 18 circled on the calendar has made it easier to relax...even if I'm playing my tenth game of Crazy Eights or fixing Virginia's fifth round of medicine. Those dreaded events of life do eventually happen...sometimes we have much forewarning and sometimes they sneak up unannounced. All we can do is treat each moment like the gift that it is. When you are young, with small kids {and I don't exactly put myself in that category anymore;)} time seems to slow to a halt. For me, with Virginia, I feel like I've been living the same day for 11 years, but then I wonder, when did Eliza learn to dive? When did Wills mature into this kind, wise, silly, not-so-little boy? When did Virginia's scoliosis curve transform into an issue? Is it possible she will turn 12 in October? Time creeps along so slowly, and then it's gone.

I honestly think the key to living joyfully in a tough situation is to take it one moment at a time. The past two days we have done a whole lot of nothing and it hasn't bothered me one bit. I'm still in my pjs at 2:30 in the afternoon, there are dirty dishes in the sink, the beds are unmade, and the kids have dumped out every single container in the playroom. But they are happy, and we are together, for right now, that is enough.

Watching the time tick away until August has turned ordinary moments into extraordinary ones. As Wills likes to say, "It's about to get real." The truth is that every day we have as a family is nothing shy of extraordinary, but it has taken the reminder that I am not going to be doing this forever to get me to engage in the mundane. It's hard to be thankful for changing your 11 year old's diaper...until you realize you won't always get to be doing it.

I really do think Virginia is going to be ok. My biggest fear is long term pain post-surgery. When she is in pain, it's almost impossible to figure out what's going on since she can't talk, and I'm scared something is going to hurt her and we won't be able to fix it. I worry about protruding rods digging into her skin, I worry about her dislocated hip starting to hurt after her back is straight, I worry it will be harder to control her tone when we can't get her back in flection. But right now, we are moving forward, and starting to pray specifically about all these things.

We went to the river last week and it was awesome. The only two things on our list were being with the kids and catching monster trout. I could get used to that!! All the little details of life at home can really steal my joy and peace, but when I slow down and do the next little thing without worrying about the big picture, I find I do ok.

Thank you for praying for Virginia and all of us.

Some pics...

This one is a nut. So funny. Half the time I can't even look at her because I'm laughing so hard.

Wills broke his arm at camp but has recovered very quickly. Kids heal so fast! I talked my favorite ortho doc into a removable cast. We definitely removed it more than we were supposed to, but hopefully we haven't done any lasting damage.

Virginia loves the cold water,

(you can really see her scoliosis in the above pic...but it's clearly not as noteworthy as her smile!)

Hope everyone is having a great summer!

oh...and I'm back on facebook and new to instagram if I've missed anyone there! As much as I needed a break, I've missed keeping up with friends in that way.