Once a week at first….. then, once every two weeks. And now, after today, it will only be once a month. That’s the day that Mia returns to the Primary Children’s Medical Center for her Cath Lab Biopsy.
It shouldn’t be a ‘Big Deal’…… but it is. Not only for Mia, but also for me. And of course her incredible Mother, who is now her full-time, 24 hour-a-day Nurse. For Mia, it is the last place she remembers seeing her Mom and Dad on the night of May 28th. We wheeled her down in the bed, telling her she just needed a little I.V., and that they were going to put her to ‘sleep’ for just a little while and carefully place a little wire into her heart………. to make sure it kept beating the way it should. Yea. Right. She ‘woke up’ over a month and a half later, with the tube still in her throat, unable to talk, to drink, or even move. And when she finally did have the tube removed, she couldn’t drink water or put liquid or food into her mouth safely for another 3 weeks! And, as an extra bonus, she was told she had undergone a surgery that would forever change her life…….. That her heart had stopped. That she had had her heart removed from her body, and was now living with another person’s heart inside her chest….. and never mind those tubes sticking out of your chest and sides.
So, yes….. the Cath Lab is not her favorite place. The people are nice enough. But, talk about post traumatic stress?? For me, it’s waiting for the call from the transplant team….. which comes about 4:30 pm the same day of the biopsy. After they sedate and intubate Mia, they make a small incision in her already scarred neck, and run a catheter down her vessel into her heart. They retrieve a tissue sample from her right ventricle of her heart……. or several pieces. They measure the pressures in her heart, and approximate the pressures in the chambers they can’t truly access….. the left side. Then the biopsy tissue is sent to the pathologist, Dylan Miller, who prepares and reads the slides and calls the hospital back with the news. Todays news: NO REJECTION!!!! of ANY kind. NO GIANT CELLS!!! …………………… deeeeeeep exhale. Slowly spreading smile. Little giggle…….. knowing glance between me and Miss Mia, as she listens to the report over the speaker phone. Today, we love the transplant team. And I wonder about what it would be like to be one of the people who calls us, the patients, and has to deliver the news when it’s not so good? And I have already prepared myself for that day……. at least, I tell myself I have. And I know I haven’t.
Another deep breath, head bowed, and I say ‘Thanks’.
ps. Mia finally has ALL the sutures out from her surgeries! Last night I took out the last chest tube suture, and Mia insisted on letting Dr. (“He has Angels feathers on his fingers, Daddy!”) Kaza take out the remaining chest incision sutures……. She didn’t trust me with those. Kids? what are you gonna do with ‘em? After all, I forget, I’m NOT a REAL Doctor, anyway. ;-) Gotta love ‘em.
So that means that Mia can now take showers! Much to Heidi’s delight!
In other “Mia News”, Bob McCarthy and Marsha Merrill, the beautiful people at The Garage, a road-house style bar on Beck Street in N.Salt Lake, and Miss Angela Brown of SLUG Magazine held a silent Art Auction and fundraiser evening last weekend. It was a blast and a great success. The many artists who donated works of art, including my own cousin Joseph Brickey (incredible artist and painter of many LDS Temple’s Murals and other religious oriented art) and gave of themselves to benefit our Mia. She continues to be one blessed and lucky young lady.
Mia has also begun Strength Training in earnest, three times a week, with our dear friend Paul Holbrook. He’s not in very good shape, and he doesn’t really know what he’s talking about, but the price it ‘right’. ;-) So, we’re working hard and looking forward!
Oh, and another piece of great news,……our new and good friend, Miss Kendra Muller, is getting OUT of the N.T.U. and PCMC on Monday!!!! Yippeeee!! After 3 months and 2 days, (Kendra came to the I.C.U. one day before Mia) Miss Kendra will be leaving the PCMC and rejoining her family at HOME. :-) Having been on the other end, I know her family and parents are happy, and worried all at the same time. But, thanks to a very kind and generous offer from a friend and patient who has a brand new electric wheelchair that they didn’t use, we are going to deliver this SURPRISE gift to Kendra and her family when she gets home!! She has a loaner from the hospital,…… but this will be her very own. And I hope she’s not reading this before Monday??………… if so, Kendra, pretend you never knew. and you’re Welcome! you deserve it, and so much more. We love you!