Saturday, April 4, 2009

Count your blessings...

It's been kind of a rough week in Philadelphia. Tomorrow is Hospital Day #91, a full three months since we got here. I think the wait is starting to get to all of us -- Lauren has started screaming at the sight of anyone in surgical garb (mask, hat, blue scrubs). I have three knitting/crochet projects in progress and at least a couple books, but I'm pretty much bored with them.

Medically, there are a few little things that are popping up here and there. She's actually been hooked up to EEG wires (20 something of them glued to her head) since last Thursday in an attempt to figure out why she was falling so often. Of course, she hasn't done it at all since then. Overall, she's stable, and we're grateful that she's still doing so well while we wait.

Instead of focusing on all the little things around here that are starting to get on my nerves, I've decided to "count my blessings" and I'll share a few tonight.

1. Internet: We have wireless internet throughout the hospital. That means that I can at least keep somewhat in touch with everybody. Tim jokes that I get all my news via Facebook. That's not entirely true -- sometimes I open the free Metro newspaper that I pick up in the mornings. Wireless internet also means that I can watch movies and TV shows after Lauren goes to bed.

2. Child Life: I'm really not sure how well we'd be doing if we didn't have the Child Life specialists to help plan activities, provide toys, hold our hands during procedures, advocate on Lauren's behalf, and so much more. Last Friday night, one of them kicked me out of the playroom and stayed late playing with Lauren so that I could eat dinner with Tim.

3. One of the top hospitals: As much as I do worry about Lauren's condition, I know that she's getting the absolute best possible care. Every night I fall asleep knowing that someone will watch over her while we sleep. (Even better, they are so incredibly quiet through the night that I don't even notice their comings and goings.)

4. Awesome grandparents: Addison and Brennan are doing quite well, and we're very thankful for the help of Oma and Col. Opa, and Nana and Papa. Both Nana and Oma tell me how much the kids are learning in school, how helpful they are being, and how much they're eating.

5. An outpouring of support from all over: It is such a comfort to know that there are people all over the world praying for Lauren, and we truly feel loved. We've received all sorts of care packages to make our stay easier. I could go on and on, but I'll just share one small story from this week. The other day, Lauren was coloring with markers in the playroom. I later realized that we had coloring pencils, watercolors, crayons, and coloring books, but no markers. I figured that I could pick some up the next time I went out. The next night, I was trying my hardest to keep Lauren on a mat in our room so that she wouldn't get hurt if she fell. We opened a package that contained not only markers, but also glitter stickers and jewels that provided enough entertainment to last for more than just that evening that I was trying to fill.

There are so many other blessing I could list. Things like a night with no line at the washing machine, a good BLT sandwich from the street vendor, the one time last week that the cafeteria got Lauren's meal order correct, the joy on another mom's face when I found some Diet Dr. Pepper to share, good chocolate candy, bunny ears on top of the EEG wrappings, glitter art projects hanging on the walls, Rock Band photos, a jar of white chocolate peanut butter, and so much more.

I've gotten a bit bored of just taking photos of Lauren each day. Maybe I should expand my horizon and take pictures of the little things that I'm grateful for each day.


  1. Prayers go out to sweet Lauren and this journey that you all are enduring! You sound like such a strong woman! Little blessings in the hospital DO make a difference!

  2. So glad that you have so many happies (and that you are able to count them -- I often forget to do that).
    If you're looking for subjects for your photos - how about pictures of your digs? :) I know Nelson would love to see Lauren's room (especially with all the decorations you guys have added), the view from your window, etc. :)

  3. You continue to amaze me! Do you know how many people could list the positives in a situation like yours when it's so much easier to list the negatives? I think the answer is "one." ;)

    We will continue to keep you all in our prayers. You're doing a GREAT job, Cristi!!! (((Hugs)))

  4. Cristi,
    Once again, you are fleshing out how Christ says to lead THE BLESSED LIFE: Rejoice in your trials!!!

    Count your many blessings, name them one by one... count your many blessings see what God has done... Count your blessings, name them one by one...
    I love you,

  5. If I said to take pictures of the band-aid in the trash can, could you name that movie? I love you!

  6. Cristi -

    You are and have been such an inspiration!! I too have moments when I wonder why I'm here, why I'm doing what I'm doing in this far-off land. Your post reminded me that I too am very lucky to have five important things:

    1. internet - otherwise I would feel very lonely here on the other side of the world, and wouldn't be able to track Matt's growth on skype
    2. child life - only here it is called MWR!
    3. one of the top hospitals - believe it or not, I work in one of the best in theater, even though it's 7000 miles away from the US
    4. awesome grandparents - what would I do without grandparents and a nanny to take care of my son while we're away?
    5. outpouring of support - there are people all over the US and the world hoping and praying for us, and this is perhaps the most important and most humbling blessing of all!

    Thank you for this reminder! I think about you, Lauren, and the rest of the family frequently, and I hope and pray that this long wait will bear fruit in the end!

    Love you,



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