So many people have asked us what we need. We are so thankful for everyone who loves us and wants to help. My typical response is always, just pray for us. I was thinking yesterday that I needed to make a list of specific prayer requests so that people can see our hearts, our thoughts and our needs. So, for those of you who will and want to, here is a list of specific prayer requests for Hannah’s upcoming surgery.
1) Our greatest need right now is for Aetna to approve us going to UAB for Dr. Dabal to perform Hannah’s surgery. He is the most qualified, as he has not only saved Hannah’s life once, but twice, with the Lord’s help, of course! He knows Hannah’s anatomy and it is his handy-work that is already present in her heart. Any doctor will tell you that you follow your surgeon….well Dr. Dabal is Hannah’s surgeon and we really need for Aetna to see how important it is that we follow him. Please pray that the Aetna Representatives that review Hannah’s case will see that it is in Hannah’s best interest to go to UAB and for Dr. Dabal to do this surgery.
2) Please pray for strength for Dennis and me. Please pray that we get the rest that we need each night to be refreshed each day to tend to Hannah. The first few days after surgery will be very difficult for her and we need to be ready each day to tend to all her needs physically, emotionally and mentally.
3) Please pray for peace and comfort for all 3 of us, but especially for Hannah. My prayer is that the Lord holds her so close to Him that she feels safe, loved, protected and not scared. It is going to be very difficult for Hannah this time as she is so much more aware than she was her first two surgeries, but with her cognitive delay, she still does not grasp what has to be done and she might get very frustrated. Another concern is for Hannah’s pain. Please pray that it can be managed effectively with little use from the narcotic pain medications. We had alot of trouble with her first open-heart surgery as she went through drug withdrawls and it was horrible. I cannot even begin to tell you what she went through, only suffice it to say that anyone that is thinking about using drugs, should watch a 4-month old baby go through withdrawls…..I guarantee you they would reconsider that first dose.
4) Pray for God’s grace for Dennis and me. Please pray that we reflect the love of Jesus to everyone that we meet. That people will see something different about us and that no matter what happens they will know that our faith and HOPE lies in Jesus Christ.
5) Financial Needs – God has never NOT met our needs. He has provided all of our needs and some of our wants. When Hannah was born we made a decision that it was in Hannah’s best interest that I stay home with her. Her needs were more important than money. Now, don’t get me wrong….I am not judging any woman who works outside the home. In fact, there are days that I wish I had that outlet. It was just not for us, as Hannah had not only many health issues but also a very low immune system and it was what was best for our family. I just want to make that clear…..I would never judge any mom that chose to or had to work outside the home, in fact I admire those that can manage it all. Now back to our financial needs…..we are thankful for insurance, but it isn’t what it was 7 years ago. With deductibles, co-pays and co-insurance this surgery is going to cost us thousands of dollars. I am not complaining as Hannah’s well-being is worth more than any amount of money. Also Aetna will not reimburse us for any of our travel/lodging/food/expenses to go to Birmingham, which is fine, as this was our choice to go to UAB. We know the Lord will provide, He always does and we are going to continue to trust Him.
6) Please pray that Hannah doesn’t regress. Hannah has been potty trained since she was 3 years old. One of my concerns is not that she will forget, but that she will be too stubborn and in too much pain to get up when she is able, to go to the bathroom. She will be cathaterized for a couple of days, but after that, my prayer is that she will have no difficulty or be in too much pain to get up and go to the potty. I know that might seem like a strange request, but you have to keep in mind, that Hannah is not “typically developed” and I am not blind to the fact that she has cognitive delays, and I for one, know just how stubborn she can be!
7) Please pray specifically for DENNIS. In some ways, this is so much harder on him than it is for me. I know that sounds strange so let me explain. I am Hannah’s mom….all I want to do is be by her bedside and hold her hand, stroke her forehead, sing and talk to her. Dennis wants to FIX IT! He can’t fix it and that is very difficult for him as her dad. He works so hard to provide for us and there is so much he can do for Hannah, but this one thing….he has NO control over and it is very hard for him. She has been wrapped around his finger since the day she was born. I have seen him go through 2 open-heart surgeries and now this 3rd one is upon us and I know it is harder on both of us than the first two were. Please pray for peace for Dennis….he is not the most patient man and I am not being mean, it is just the truth and he would have to agree with me. He is like a caged animal in a hospital. Sitting and waiting are not things Dennis does well and he will pace and wring his hands and well…..he will drive me insane and he will tell you, that is a short drive! HA! He also tends to be “Mr. Optimistic” and I truly LOVE that about him, but it also sets him up sometimes for a fall. I am a “Realist”, probably one of the things Dennis doesn’t like about me. I always hope and pray for the best, but I prepare for the worst……not something Dennis likes to think about. He will also bottle everything up as I express everything; again, not one of my best qualities….as sometimes I need to keep my mouth shut and that is very difficult for me. For those that don’t know me too well, I am a bit feisty and can get myself into trouble sometimes. It would be better if I bottled things up more and Dennis expressed himself more! Now, one more thing about Dennis which makes this even more difficult for him. He found out last night that his grandmother, whom he adores, is not going to live much longer! She is a kind and loving woman and has lived a good and long life, as she is 93 years old, but she won’t be here much longer. Unfortunately, she doesn’t live in Florida and Dennis cannot be with her right now and very possibly won’t even be able to attend her funeral. Dennis is crushed as his sweet Maw-Maw is one of his favorite people! So, on top of going through this emotional rollercoaster with Hannah, he knows his sweet Maw-Maw won’t be with us much longer and he is truly devastated and going through a very difficult time right now. I know that he is thankful though that Maw-Maw loves the Lord and will soon be resting in His loving arms surrounded by so many family and friends that have gone before her.
8) For Me – My greatest need is to not be tired and to be refreshed, even if it means I buy Starbucks out of Venti Pikes! HA! Just kidding…..I will have to buy the hospital brand of coffee, who can afford $5 bucks, as Dennis calls it! Seriously, I won’t be getting much sleep, which is fine, I have done it before…..but, it is difficult to think clearly and function without some good rest. So, my prayer request for me is that when I do get to sleep it will be “good and restful sleep.” Also, that I can be EVERYTHING that Hannah and Dennis need me to be. I need to be strong for both of them and I need to stay well (hospitals are the worst places to catch germs). I have already explained what germaphobe I am….so hospitals are not one of my favorite places to be!
9) Dr. Dabal, his staff of anesthesiologist/cardiologist/nurses…..please pray for wisdom, insight, clarity of mind and knowledge. Please pray for steady hands, and that God is his hands, eyes and mind. That his staff will stay well and safe and that everyone who has any part of Hannah’s care will perform what they have to do in Hannah’s best interest.
Please just pray that Dennis and I can be a testimony for the Lord and that no matter what we face, we will feel God’s presence, His peace, strength, love and grace and that our sweet Hannah will feel safe, loved and peaceful! Through all of this, pray that the Lord will use us to possibly touch someone’s heart and life for eternity. Nothing would mean more to us than someone coming to know the Lord through our “Unexpected Journey.”