There’s really no good way to explain the feelings surrounding today. Maybe something like your heart being squished and blown back up. Trying to grasp at air. A hard painful brick sitting right on your chest as you painfully fight to get it off.
Vivid memories of your child helpless in a hospital bed. Sending him with a surgeon for a way to close to the last time, second time. Knowing the risks of surgeries so close together. Unsure of what would come back to you. If he’d come back to you. Unsure of the outcomes. Just unsure. Leaving every bit of trust in God because there’s no way you could go this alone.
Open Heart Surgery Two, a painful, trying stay. A stay that ended with a piece of metal where a heart valve is suppose to be. A clicking sound coming from an infant’s chest. My infant’s chest.
And at the time a promise of two to seven years before another valve. A valve that would end up with a rare external leak and cause a third surgery. But at the time two to seven years felt good. Well today as we have eliminated those first two years, it feels terrifying. Two years went so quickly in the chaos that we have grown accustomed to. How quickly will the next five or less go?
Two years left in the blink of an eye. Leaving us at zero. Zero to five. A ticking time bomb. Not that at any point in time a heart warrior can’t change the game plan. We know Charlie did with that third go. But to feel zero. To say zero. There’s not even a day between now and zero. It’s just ZERO.
Every day is closer and closer to that click needing to be replaced. Every next appointment could be the bomb dropping appointment.
That next surgery could go fantastic. Or it could go like the first three and be painful and long. Bringing more issues for Charlie. Breaking apart our family. Throwing our current batch of chaos into a hurricane.
The location of his valve puts him at risk of needing a pacemaker every time it’s touched. We already know this is a viable possibility in his future. Just another wrench to throw in the plan. His heart tissue is scarred. His fibers were weak before. What if they haven’t improved? What if a new valve won’t attach well? What if… The what ifs of a future surgery are lingering thoughts, always. And today those thoughts are intensified. Zero.
A day that brings feelings I try so hard to guard myself from. I block them with knowledge and sarcasm. I’ve learned this about myself. They hurt, so I stop them. But I can’t. Today, I just can’t.
Zero. Zero. Zero.
A ticking time bomb.
“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Mark 13:32