Saturday, July 17, 2010

How Do You Mend a Broken Heart?

Things continue to stay just about the same in the step-down lounge. Still battling effusions. Still some decreased function in the right lung. Still waiting for Mac's chest tube drainage to complete its evolution from river, to stream, to brook, to trickle, to drip, drop, gone.

We are encouraged. McKay took a few shaky, but unassisted steps today and for the first time in a week seemed motivated to get to something, somewhere. He lunged for a sparkly pipe cleaner a woman was using to decorate the windows today and made off like a bandit. He was frantic to get to the train track in the playroom where standing to drive the engines proved a bit too much and, frustrated, he started throwing the trains and crying. Bad behavior, but passion nonetheless. And passion is what I like to see in my fighter.

The battle to keep Mac's original chest tube rages on. For the last two days they have secured the bloody mess of a site with gauze and tegaderm trying to stabilize the tube and give McKay time to be done with it. Replacing the tube, which would require another surgery, is to be avoided at all costs. Assisting the doctors and nurses in changing that dressing twice a day is about more than a mother can take, however. I pray the fluid will subside and we can be done with the entire chest tube fiasco soon.

As we approach 10 days in the hospital, almost 14 since we left home, I thought I might share with you some of what it takes for a 22-month old to mend his broken heart.

(The pictures that follow may be a bit graphic for some--I've tried to choose wisely--but know that you've been warned.)

How to Mend a Broken Heart
(or Just About Anything)

Show up.
That's half the battle in life anyway.
Show up with your Superman shirt on and people take notice.

Allow what needs to happen to happen. It's scary and painful and not at all what you'd prefer to be doing, but sometimes you must simply embrace the necessary.

Employ experts to be at your side. Recovery is complicated. Trust in those who have gone before to help get you through.

Involve your team.
There is no substitute for genuine love in life's toughest moments.


Nourish your soul with fervor.


Be willing to look deeper. Sometimes revealing the change to yourself and others can be the hardest part.


Take time to enjoy little moments. Soak your feet. Make a splash. Do the things that put a smile on your face no matter how serious the situation.

Despite how well you think things have gone, take time reevaluate your results. Follow up is the most important part of assuring the changes you've made will last.


Stay clean. Stay pure.

Rest when and where you need it.


And keep smiling no matter what. Even when the world tells you that you've every right to complain, avoid it.
An optimistic spirit heals.

14 comments:

Lisanne said...

Love it! I always have to have a tissue close when I read your posts!! You are the best, thanks for your moving words!! Hope you have a restful Sunday!!

Jenny said...

Beautiful. It is good to see McKay smile.

Mirissa said...

Dave and I are thinking of you and your family. Sending all the best wishes and prayers we have.

The Butlers said...

What an adventure you are taking. So good to see an update on McKay! What a trooper! Keep up the great fight McKay and know you are thought of at all times! You are a valiant spirit! Love, The Butlers

Stefenie said...

I smiled reading the part about McKay grabbing the pipe cleaner and making a mad dash. He's got some spirit!

Great post and beautiful words. Still praying for you guys!

MaggieMae said...

Amazing! You are the strength I witnessed every day in other mothers sitting by their children's bedsides as I sat by my child's bedside for our 2-week hospital stay for pneumonia. God bless you and your beautiful baby. I hope the wounds heal and you can get back to your version of "normal" very soon.

(I'm a friend of Heidi's)

The Blanchard Family said...

Mindi. . .You are great. You and your family are strong and brave. You will obviously have your good days and your bad, but overall you are positive and willing to push forward with all your might. Little McKay is amazing and so special! Thanks for sharing your journey, it helps to heal other broken hearts ;)

Dianne said...

Thanks for your updates. I can only imagine what this has taught you. I don't think I have seen a better picture of McKay than the last one with his big, sweet smile! Looking forward to seeing that smile many more times.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mindi, That was inspirational! We love you all and continue to remember McKay in our prayers. Love Aunt Robyne

brees said...

Agh, that last picture makes my heart smile. It was so good to hear your voice today. We are pulling for you. Praying that those pleural effusions will be gone in no time and that his chest tube will be a trickle. Stay strong my friend, 14 days is a long time!

Summer said...

Absolutely LOVE this post! So glad he is smiling:) I can relate to everything.....hang in there! You'll be HOME soon. Sending many prayers and positive thoughts your way.

Love Mason and Mommy

Hallowsboys said...

Haven't been on the blog reading circuit forever, so sad to read...I had no idea you or he was having to deal with being in the hospital again. Ugh...not a fun summer but it looks likes things are looking better and we will keep little Mackay in our prayers again. much love

Patti said...

Can I just say how very much I love you and your family? Thank you for reminding us of what's important and how we can each improve on a daily basis. May God answer your prayers quickly! We miss you 'round these parts. Hope you can come home soon.
Much love.

GG said...

Wow,,,what you have to deal with...but your doing a wonderful job..we are all stronger than we think..hang in there Little Super Man...you have a ton of people pulling for you...I think of you all every day and say my prayers for all of you...I hope to wake up tomorrow and read great news...
Take care..