in over my head

I can still remember that day in November, 6 years ago that we learned for the first time that there time that there was something wrong with Joshua’s heart. There was a numbness to that moment, and looking back I see that I had no idea about the turn our path had taken. While I worried about things like ‘would I be able to breast feed my baby?’ instead of the bigger picture like ‘will I lose my son?’. Shortly after getting the news Tim and I were headed on holiday to Florida for our annual November holiday. I remember that whenever someone wanted to know about the diagnosis I would have to get Tim to explain because I just didn’t understand it. Now of course I know far too much about the anatomy of the heart, about the science of the heart and all the the little things that become an issue for the patient if the heart isn’t working well.

This morning I will be sitting down with two of Toronto’s most renowned heart surgeons, two of the very few Canadian CHD specialists; the goal? To talk about CHD awareness. I have a number of reasons for this meeting, I have a lot of questions and I won’t lie to you I am nervous. I still often feel like the girl I was in the office of the Fetal ECHO lab that day, terrified and totally in over my head.

Sometimes in life we are given the directions, and our only choice to is to move forward on the path we have been placed on. When I was at the end of grade 10 I was failing Science. I hated it so much that if I went to class all I really did was annoy my teacher. One day, I was in the office waiting for something (not sure what all these years later) when my science teacher came in and sat beside me. I looked up at him, we were days away from the exam and I hadn’t studied a thing. I remember smiling at him and saying something like this “Sir, you and I were wired completely differently. I hate science, I don’t understand it and doubt I ever will. I need to pass grade 10 science to pass high school but we both know that isn’t going to happen; which means that next year you will have me in your class again. What would happen if I promised you that I would  to never take science again, not here, not in college and not later in life, if you passed me through grade 10?” I can’t remember his answer that day but I remember he smiled and moved about his day. One week later I found out that my science mark went from an F (no kidding, it was that bad) to a D, not stellar but a passing mark. I kept my promise to that teacher, I never darkened a science lab’s door again. Then that day came when I was sitting at the Sick Kids Fetal ECHO lab, hearing all this confusing talk about science, anatomy and fear kicked in. For whatever reason God saw fit to put that girl who bribed her science teacher to pass her on a path for raising awareness about a medical issue. Research being done now is all science and I feel sometimes that God picked the wrong girl for this.  I am on this road blindfolded, but the reality is that I AM on this road and there are no exits coming up for me to get off. Today I will sit with these doctors and pray that God helps me understand, pray that this meeting is fruitful for the world of CHD, particularly in the world of adult care.

I tell you all of this because come ten o’clock this morning I could use any extra prayers you have time to send up on my behalf.


Published by lauriehaughton

Author & Photographer

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