This morning I received a despairing text from Jani. She informed me that they decided to keep Abigail in ICU one more day. They would be removing two of the chest tubes but leaving one in. "She has been waking up in a panic. She has a hard time coughing due to the pain. She then begins to close her airways which causes her to panic more. Her poor eyes plead for help. It breaks my heart. All we can do is put our arm under her head and rub her face. When she does all of this all of her stats go down. Today they tried suctioning her throat and her nose to see if that would help. Suctioning her nose gave her a bloody nose. Our poor baby! She is a true fighter and has such a strong spirit."
Jani did tell me that besides her panic attacks, she is healing well. Jani said that all the doctors have called Abigail a superstar. "There are some families here that have children with similar diagnosis as Abigail and have had the same surgeries that have been in the hospital for months. Abigail truly is a miracle."
Later on today I received this photo from my mother. The chest tubes were removed so Jani was finally able to hold her!!! Abigail's firm little grip on Jani's finger seems to be communicating, "Don't let me go." Jani's face is focused but you can read the weight of concern and pain she feels for her child. I have no doubt she is wishing that the pain was on her and not Abigail. I pray she may continue to feel the optimism of these doctors as they cheer Abigail on despite the emotionally draining effects of Abigail's panic attacks.
And as she sees these little tear filled eyes, she may know that this is just a moment and will feel the outstretched arms of her own Heavenly parent wishing to comfort her in this, a great refining moment in her journey of faith. Jesse and Jani, your example of unwavering faith will stand as a witness for your children for generations to come.
***UPDATE Oct 22 2:53pm***
Today the remainder of Abigail's tubes were removed. Jani's mother sent me a photo after they took them out and I have to say that I could barely glance at it, with her exposed incision and stitches. Forgive me for not posting it. It was too much for me to handle right now. I am sure that I should see it as an outward sign of a miracle, but it is just so difficult to see this baby's beautiful skin interrupted by such a horrific looking flaw. It seems harshly out of place.
On a more positive and grateful note, Abigail was just released from ICU and now has a new room on a regular floor. The look of this room has a completely different feel, with her own window and far fewer monitors...a far less intense feeling. A feeling of healing.