Lately I've read posts on Facebook containing all the statistics about heart disease. I could've shared those numbers. As the month sped by, though, I realized that I didn't want to just share interesting facts.
When I learn about a condition that I'm unfamiliar with, I'm not interested in statistics. What I'm interested in is the personal stories. I want to know about a person with that condition and how they live their lives.
And so, tonight, in honor of Heart Awareness month, I'll share a few tidbits about what Lauren's life is like these days. She's now three-and-a-half years post-transplant and is doing very well.
Lab draws become "no big deal." Our transplant team in Arizona checks her labs every month, and if the medicine levels comes back a little too high or a little too low, we go back weekly until they stabilize.
Bathing suit shopping is a struggle. Lauren wanted a one-piece, but Mom wanted one that would better protect her scar from too much sun-exposure.
Medicine time is such a normal part of our routine that we sometimes forget that many kids only take medicine when they are sick.
Picnics require a camp stove because all of Lauren's meats must be served hot. I can't just pack ham-and-cheese sandwiches.
Sometimes a virus means extra visits to the doctor and even an afternoon in the Emergency Room.
As I was running this afternoon, I saw a tricycle parked on someone's front porch. It brought by memories of a similar tricycle that Lauren used to ride. She's come a long ways since the days when she rode laps around the sixth floor of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia while she waited for her "new, strong heart."
I'm celebrating Heart Awareness month by sharing smiles, thanking God for our wonderful gift, and looking to the future with hope.
I bought Lauren a new t-shirt too.