I am not a person that really believes in luck, but after the past 10 days if I did believe in luck my motto would be: If it wasn’t for bad luck, I’d have NO luck at all!
The last 10 days, for lack of a better word have been pure HELL for us. What started out as a MUCH needed break from reality turned into a very stressful and difficult bump in the road! I will say that even though we went through a very difficult time, God was indeed faithful. He was one step ahead of us and paved the way for us to be loved on and taken care of. So, for that, I am so grateful for the love, support, care, and encouragement we received through all of this.
It all started out as us wanting and needing to get out-of-town. We needed a change of scenery, fresh mountain air and away from everyone and everything. Dennis, Hannah, Henny and I needed time alone and away. Sweet friends of Dennis’ allowed us to rent their house in North Carolina to do just that……get away and relax.
Our drive to the mountains! What a beautiful sight!
The view from the mountain house
The house we rented. I took a walk and took this picture! Oh how I wish we could have stayed all week!
Last Saturday, we made the 8 hour trip to Clyde, NC, although unbeknownst to us, a nasty virus was lurking at one of our 3 pit stops and like everything else attached itself to Hannah. By Sunday afternoon she was running 102+ fevers. On Monday, she seemed better but at the lunch table, if Dennis had not been quick enough; she would have hit the floor because she passed out completely in his arms. To back up a little bit, we were HIGH in the mountains and had zero phone reception and there was no landline in the house. The only way to get phone service was to climb the mountain behind us (which I did 6 different times) to call Hannah’s pediatrician, cardiologist and our friend Michelle in Atlanta. Because of Hannah’s heart and at the time not knowing why she had spiked fevers and passed out, all of her doctors wanted her to be seen at the ER. Even though we had only been at the mountain house for 2 days and we were supposed to be there the whole week; we cleaned, packed and loaded the truck to head 3 1/2 hours south to Egleston Children’s Hospital in Atlanta.
Egleston Children’s Hospital blew us away. They were kind, efficient and because of Hannah’s heart she was considered critical to the point we didn’t wait at all! If you have ever been to the ER in Jacksonville, that is NOT the case. After running many tests the doctor’s were fortunately able to conclude that Hannah’s heart looked okay, but did recommend a heart monitor when we get home, which our cardiologist will do in the next week or so. We don’t want to take any chances with her heart but we were very thankful her heart was not the cause of this. It was determined that this was a nasty viral infection that had to run its course. Her fevers hit 104 over the next few days after this.
This is where our BLESSING came in. The Garrison’s and Holman’s used to live in Jacksonville. Michelle, Tammy and I were inseparable growing up. They all live in Atlanta now. All it took was one phone call and they dropped everything to help us. Mike and Michelle let us crash out their house….actually they let us just come in and take over. Mind you, not only was it Dennis, Hannah and me but also Henny…..but, they loved Henny like she was human! Almost too human, because that dog got SPOILED rotten….HA! If it weren’t for those 2 families, I truly don’t know what we would have done. They loved us, cared for us, allowed us to completely change their plans and bring all of Hannah’s germs into their home which didn’t bother them! They helped with Hannah when she was so sick, cuddled her, read to her, played with her….whatever Hannah wanted or needed….they did! I am forever grateful for my family…..they might not be blood but they are my chosen family and there is nothing better than having friends like that!
Henny and Courtney (Tammy’s daughter)
Henny and Michelle
Henny and Mike
Do you see a pattern with those pictures? Yes, Henny was spoiled to say the least but with everything considered, she deserved it. I will add here that Henny was incredible! She was attentive and truly acted concerned about Hannah, especially in the hospital! So, the little extra love and attention that Henny got was well deserved!
Dennis and I have learned several lessons over the last 10 days. Right now, Hannah’s immune system is completely shot and we cannot go anywhere! We will not leave our home now except for doctor appointments until we get to the bottom of Hannah’s fever and tummy issues that she has had now for 6+ months. Her body is fighting something and it is utilizing all its resources to fight whatever this is and has nothing left to fight new germs/bacteria or viral infections when they hit.
I knew this, but after this past week I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we have the best pediatrician, cardiologist and infectious disease doctor in the world. They all stopped several times to answer my calls or texts and then each of them has called or texted me throughout the week to check on Hannah. I am beyond grateful for their love and concern for not only Hannah but for Dennis and me too.
Dennis and I have decided that we are going to make some changes here at home to accommodate Hannah having to be stuck here. We are both such “tight wads” with money but it is now time to spend some since it appears that Hannah won’t be leaving this house much. So, an outdoor play set is the first thing on the to-do-list. At least it will give her something fun to do being stuck here at home.
Lastly, I must say this as I know that as much support as I have received; I have also been criticized harshly by some. So, for those that want to judge me and the decisions we make….go ahead! There are people out there that look at me and blame me for Hannah’s lack of immune system. They say that I didn’t allow her to be around germs to build up her immune system and this is my fault. They say that I don’t trust God enough to know that He will keep her safe from germs if I would just bring her to church. There are people who think they know how to walk in my shoes even though they have never come close to walking in them. Yes, people can be mean and they can be hateful. But, you know what…..I say go ahead to those that are. I have learned this week because of the Holman’s and the Garrison’s, because of the amount of texts, FB messages and emails, that I have people who love and support me in all I do. I don’t need the naysayers in my life and Dennis and I are doing exactly what we know we have to do and we won’t change because someone thinks that we are doing it wrong. You will not see Hannah and me in church, but you know what…..God knows why and I guarantee you that He understands. He gave me Hannah to take care of her, love her and do what is best for her and that is what we are doing. Sorry, I had to get that out because there are a handful of people who rather spend their time judging me and trashing me behind my back than deal with their own problems….so have at it……you will not hurt me any longer! The only place Hannah is safest is at home…..so that is where we will stay. I will not risk her health for anyone or anything…..that is the biggest lesson I learned this week. Her health is the utmost importance…..PERIOD!
All that said…….we are now home and thankful to be here. I am indebted to the Holman’s and the Garrison’s for ALL they did for us. There is no way to repay them……they took us in, loved us and took care of us. They showed Jesus’ love through their words and actions. That isn’t just friendship, that is family!
We continue to covet your prayers as we have several doctor appointments this week now and of course as we continue to try to get to the bottom of Hannah’s illness for the last 6 months.
Until next time……..