As you all know, W. was born with a heart defect. At only five days old, he needed to undergo a heart operation.
It was a life changing experience for me.
We spent two weeks in the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. We searched the faces of the doctors and nurses for answers. Did our baby have a future? As we listened to machines beep, we watched our baby fight for his life.
And he did just that. He battled through it like a heavy weight champ.
We went home, only to return two weeks later. He had developed an infection in the wound. He needed to be opened back up.
When I left CHOP the first time, I did so thinking (praying?) that I would never return. Yet, there I was again.
From that point on, for a very long time, if W. so much as sniffled, I would begin to panic. What's wrong? Is he okay? Do we have to go back there?!
It was irrational thinking, I know. But with time and biannual checkups, my worries faded.
He is now almost twelve years old and we've never been back. We are truly blessed, as W. is living a healthy life.
He is so healthy that he has decided to join the track team at school. Of course, due to his medical history, the school physician needs clearance from W.'s cardiologist, Dr. A.
Dr. A. has strongly recommended that W. take some tests to permanently clear him for all sports in school. An MRI and a Nuclear Stress Test were ordered to be performed at CHOP. He'll most likely need anesthesia for the MRI. He'll most definitely need IV's for both.
I could picture the ICU in my mind. I could hear the beeps of the machines. I could smell the hand soap that I used so many times that my hands became raw.
The familiar knot returned to my chest.
As I type this, Mr. Schmitty and W. are on their way to Philadelphia. I needed to stay here to care for my other two children.
It is killing me not to be there. But I'm thinking, they are probably better off without me.