This is a difficult post to write. I just don't want to think about the details of Labor Day 2013. But my purpose in blogging is to record our family's lives here together. When I am long gone, maybe someone would read this and ask, "Why didn't she write about Lana?"
I'll start with the day after Labor Day. Fred, the girls and I are traveling through rolling farmland under bright blue skies. The weather is balmy and the white puffy clouds are too perfect to even seem real. But then this day doesn't seem real. Today we had planned to go to the shore. But we are heading in the opposite direction--to Children's Hospital near our state capital. Sometimes life does that to us. We must go where we did not plan to go and did not want to go.
But we are filled with hope! I had talked to my son earlier that morning. He said my granddaughter was stable and doing better after her midnight transfer by ambulance from their local hospital.
Labor Day. I had talked to Jon and Chrissy several times. Jon was at work, Chrissy at home. They were both concerned about Lana. At first it was because she hadn't eaten over the weekend. Yes, that was troubling. But school had just started. Maybe she was stressed? Or maybe she had a stomach virus. Ordinary stuff. Then Chrissy told me a more troubling symptom. She said the last couple of weeks Lana has been extremely thirsty. She was constantly asking for drinks. This is a child who seldom finishes her glass of milk or juice at mealtime. Lana was also very, very tired. She'd already had a nap that day and now she was lying on the couch half asleep. During one phone call Chrissy told me she had done some research on-line and she thought Lana might have diabetes. She had called the family doctor and Lana was scheduled for morning. I was very frightened. I believed Chrissy was right.
A little bit later Chrissy said Lana wouldn't wake up. Jon was on his way home. They were taking her to the ER. Panicked, I tried to hold it together. Then Chrissy cut me off. The doctor was on the line. Relief, they will find out what is wrong. Lana will get treatment. I worried about Chrissy too. She is pregnant, due October 5th. This could send her into labor. And then that was the last I heard. Neither of them have a cell phone.
We waited. And waited. No word. I thought they would come home after their trip to the hospital and call me. And everything would be fine. Lana would have been cared for and she would be okay. I didn't even know which hospital they had gone to. Finally, a couple of hours later, I called our area hospitals. Jon would be more familiar with them and Lana might be there. No, she was not. Fear, prayer. Lots of prayer. I prayed Psalm 91 for Lana, pleading with God, holding him to his promises for the life of my granddaughter. "She who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty...His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark...You will not be afraid of the terror by night...He will give his angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways...Because she has loved me, I will deliver her, I will set her securely on high because she has known my name. She will call upon me and I will answer her. I will be with her in trouble. I will rescue her and honor her. With a long life I will satisfy her and show her my salvation." I'm getting shaky again just writing this. I don't want to relive this night.
Finally I found the right hospital. All they could tell me was Lana was there in the ER. No one was at the nurses' station when I called, so I couldn't get any news. More waiting. Hours? I lost all sense of time. Then Jon called.
This was the call you never want to receive from one of your children. Jon was back home and my initial relief was instantly dashed. Jon's voice still haunts me. "Mom, it's really, really bad! It's so bad!" What? What? The terror in my voice brought Fred and the girls into the kitchen. I was on the floor and shaking so hard I could hardly hold the phone. Jon said Lana almost died. But she didn't? She's alive? Yes! I clung to that to reassure my son. Lana was nearly in a diabetic coma. She had been given IVs and was awake now. She was to be transferred to a children's hospital. Jon was gathering things at home and was rushing to get back. The hospital was about an hour away. I was so scared for him driving alone.
Pray. Pray. I hung on God's word like a lifeline. A refrain that has come up recently in my readings--God's steadfast love and faithfulness. God's steadfast love and faithfulness....I said it over and over. I didn't know how to pray--just to cry out. "God, you love Lana. God, you are faithful to your people."
It was very long night. I didn't hear from Jon or Chrissy again. In the morning I called the hospital and got a room number. Lana made it there. She was admitted. I finally called the room about 8:15. Jon's voice was filled with relief. He put Lana on the phone! Her precious, tiny voice saying she feels fine! Jon told me the crisis was past. Lana's blood sugar was constantly being monitored but she was somewhat stabilized. For those to know anything about blood sugar, normal is 100 to 120. Lana's was over 1,000 when she first arrived in the ER. It was in the 300's now, so far from normal. But she was alive! This little girl had such a long way to go. But the good news was that she had eaten and her IVs were being discontinued. Lana has Type 1 diabetes, or what we used to call juvenile diabetes. Her pancreas is not producing any insulin. It is an autoimmune disease.
So we arrive at the hospital. Lana is back asleep. She is gaunt and pale. Almost 10 years old yet her tiny body barely lifts the blanket over her. She is a wisp of a girl. How could we not have seen this coming? We just saw her a week or two earlier. But she's always been small and thin.
We spend the rest of the day there. Lana awakes and she is our Lana again. Her body is ravished but her spirit is revived. We watch as her blood is tested and Jon injects her with insulin. Every day, 4 times a day, and once in the middle of the night, for now. All day we joke and laugh-- unbelievably, I think now. How could we have been in such jolly moods after the course of the night before? Because we are so thrilled that Lana is alive! Jon gives us testimony about how he saw God's hand every step of the way. How did Chrissy find that particular website that brought them to the hospital? (I read it just a couple of days ago. It is a blog post by a mother whose daughter had a similar crisis. But the details were so eerie because they were almost identical to Lana's.) Then Jon tells me when they first arrived at the ER, the nurse introduced himself. "I am Gabriel. I'm here to help you."
The next day Jon, Chrissy and Lana will attend an 8 hour seminar on diabetic care. Then she will be released to go home. I call again in the evening. Lana is doing well. Jon is asleep in the hospital room, exhausted with the weight of the world on his shoulders. Chrissy is at peace. It seems the baby has suffered no harm from the stress. All is well in the world. But so many "could have beens..." This night we are all grateful for God's unending, steadfast love and his great faithfulness. For his presence when we are afraid. For giving us all hope.
The title of this post was Two Mondays. So what happened the very next Monday? New life! Lana's baby sister Eva is born! I called this picture "Two Miracles."