Thursday, October 06, 2005

The 48-Hour Yo-Yo

I'm growing dizzy from the changes in altitude. Down - up - down - up. My heart flutters. My intellect waffles. My spirit groans. It's been a crazy ride on the 48-hour yo-yo of our lives.

For almost a year now, we've been steadily (though slowly) pursuing treatment for our daughter's hemangioma -- a benign tumor that's been increasingly swelling and bulging from her forehead since she was born. Medical photographs, MRI, EEG, consultations upon consultations... Conversations with other parents of children with vascular birthmarks, doctors from the GG&GD, our own family doctor, a general surgeon, a neurologist, an anesthesiologist, a radiologist, a plastic surgeon... It's been a long and winding road, seeking the best for our little girl.

And on Tuesday afternoon, we were informed that arrival at our destination was imminent.

The plastic surgeon proved to be the final piece of the consultation puzzle. When she said to go ahead and have Olivia put on the list for surgery, we were stunned. And elated. Our elation escalated to euphoria when we consulted with the reception staff. As we ticked off the items on their checklist -- yes... yes... it should be there in her file... yes... actually, she just met with the anesthesiologist about six weeks ago -- one of the receptionists brightened and said that they had just received word of an opening in the schedule for Thursday! Just two days away! And to our utter amazement -- beyond our most optimistic expectations -- we left the hospital with an appointment for surgery in less than 48 hours. Indeed, we felt that we had experienced the touch of God Himself. A miraculous intervention. An incomparable restoration of hope. And we were shooting skywards toward the hand of the man with the string on his finger...

The next afternoon, however, we peaked and plummeted. Reviewing pre-operative instructions with the hospital staff, we received the devestating news that Olivia's operation would have to be postponed. Her routine vaccination at the beginning of the week conflicted with the surgical policy mandating at least one week between vaccination and operation. And none of our questions or persistence could change things. It was just -- no... no, that doesn't matter... no... there's nothing else we can do... no, it's impossible to say when she might be able to get back on the schedule -- "Call on Monday, and you'll find out then." We felt the sting of betrayal. A thousand broken pieces, scattered on the ground. Devestation and dashing of hope. And oh, it hurts when you're at the bottom of the line and the wrist snaps again.

So this morning dawned as just another day on the long and winding road to nowhere. We are stalled out, perhaps somewhere between up and down. We are neither elated nor despondant. We don't know what will happen next. We don't know why we must remain spinning in this nauseating cycle of highs and lows. We don't know when the journey will be over. But we look forward to eventually coming up again -- hopefully to be caught and allowed to rest in the hand, in the pocket, or on the shelf for awhile. And in the meantime, we'll fight for faith and hope. What else can we do? The yo-yo doesn't have much say in the matter.


At 4:29 PM, Blogger Maura Grunkelmeier said...


I am so sorry. I really don't have many words...and there is nothing I can do to help. Still, I wanted you to know that I feel for you and your family as you all experience such forcful "yo yo's"

My thoughts are with you all.

At 9:21 PM, Blogger patricia said...

I admire your courage, Eric & Marci.
My thouhts, prayers and heart are with you guys & your beautiful Olivia. It takes such faith & courage to wait and to live in those in-betweens in life ... feeling powerless with so much at stake. Yet your hearts remain set on an all-powerful God. Your lives are a mighty, real-life example that encourages me greatly. I love you guys!!
Liefs, patricia.

At 7:12 PM, Blogger Sander Chan said...

Hoi Eric, Marci, Elliot, Olivia,

Ik heb voor jullie gebeden. Ik ben ook erg moe. Maar zo is het leven... Toch kan ik vreugde vinden in onze Heer. Ik dank God voor zijn vrede, ook over jullie gezin!



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