I thought of Psalm 30:11 "You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy."
Even though there is one more echo scheduled for Chrakhan, she just can't seem to stop dancing and laughing. She will not be found silent.
My prayer for Chrakhan and her mother this week has been that "God would cause His face to shine upon them." Today, they experienced His love and favor as Chrakhan was released from Wolfson after an eleven-day hospitalization. The purpose of her extended stay was due in part to elevated liver enzymes in addition to post-op tachycardia (increased heart rate). According to Dr. Alona, both of these issues are resolving, and there is no reason for concern at this point. Several medications will continue to regulate her heart rate and promote healing.
The echocardiogram (echo), which confirmed her good progress, was completed just as I arrived. The question mark on Chrakhan's mother's face was soon answered with the green light for "go!" For mother and daughter, who have anxiously been waiting for this day, relief spilled out in warm smiles. Other Shevet family members were on hand to join in the celebration.
Dr. Alona also instructed us to return Monday, June 13th for a follow-up echo and medication adjustment. Hospital pajamas were quickly exchanged for Chrakhan's favorite pink shirt and lip gloss to match. Her hand tightly grasped a "Hello Kitty" balloon and rose, mementos of her birthday festivities several days ago. This young lady was heading home in style!
As summer sun beckoned her outside and warm breezes tousled her hair, God's face shone on Chrakhan.
Thank you so much for your prayers for Chrakhan and her mother over the past weeks. It is so amazing to see such immediate results in the lives of those the Father loves. Often the most precious moments of being affiliated with Shevet Achim are the things that don't get blogged about. Today was such a day with Chrakhan.
A brief visit with Chrakhan and her mother this afternoon revealed some concerns about why Chrakhan is remaining in the hospital longer than many children do. Her mother wanted to know if something was wrong that nobody was telling her. After having the question translated, then it was time to talk to the medical personnel. The nurses explained that Chrakhan is experiencing tachycardia (a rapid heartbeat) which can be controlled with medication. In a little more time her heart muscle should finish adjusting to the aggressive corrections which doctors made to the muscle itself. Please continue to pray for Chrakhanâ€™s mother. As her state of mind falls into fear and worry, we see mirrored expressions of those emotions on her daughters face. The mother cradles her eleven-year old daughter as she would an infant and begins to rock back and forth with her. We know that fear torments, but perfect love casts out fear. May this mother come to know perfect love for herself and her family.
Our visit to Wolfson hospital today to see how Chrakhan was progressing was a happy occasion. She was sitting up in bed, but still being monitored. The chest drain tube remained. Intravenous fluid was still being circulated throughout her body in order to keep her hydrated, provide medication, and give access in the case of emergency; intravenous medication acts quicker, because of its direct entry into the blood stream and hence to the target organ. The bluing cyanosis in her lips and tongue had lessened considerably. She was peripherally warm, looked comfortable, and was not in any pain at rest. The chest tube can be quite painful. Chrakhan was on three types of pain relief to keep her fairly pain free. Speaking to an ICU doctor about Chrakhan's progress, he mentioned pleural fluid on the opposite site to the chest tube that needed aspirating, which will reduce the likelihood of infection. Her mother looked quite relaxed, sitting beside her daughter. Before I said goodbye I sang to her a chorus Kurdish "My God is so Big", and quick as a flash she sang it herself, a wonderful reminder to all three of us of our Great God. There is nothing He cannot do.
Our little lady Chrakhan was transferred to Intermediate ICU as of today, which is progress indeed. Day two of post-operation is generally the most uncomfortable, and Chrakhan's demeanor did not hide her distemper. General anesthesia has long since worn off and everything just aches.
Although a bit grumpy and restless, Chrakhan is recovering just fine. Additional respiratory support is being provided by a thin nasal canula. The nurse tending Chrakhan informed me that her heart is mending well without complication. However, doctors are trying to ascertain the reason behind her slightly yellow-tinted skin. Typically jaundice is indicative of a problem in the liver, and blood work has been drawn to aid the doctors in diagnosis. Chrakhan's nurse stated that it didn't seem to be a critical issue, so for now we are simply waiting.
One of the toughest challenges for Chrakhan today was finding a position that brought relief. Some alleviation came when Chrakhan's mother and I gently repositioned her to sitting up in bed. She was able to breathe a little deeper and even cough, which aids in expanding her lungs. A chest tube in her upper cavity is also helping her lungs by removing excess fluid retention.
Chrakhan's mother is at her beck and call, caring for her daughter with calm tenderness. The relief of surgery being completed is enough to give this mother every ounce of patience to temper Chrakhan's post-op blues.