A strong and playful Payman walked to and from the car today for her echo appointment. That may not sound like a big accomplishment, but most children (some even as old as 9 years old) still want to be carried in their mother's arms instead of walking on their own at this point, especially so close to their return home. So, for this three-year old to personify someone with a healed heart by making the parking lot journey on her own two feet was quite a great accomplishment.
The shy little girl who at first did not make eye contact with anyone and flinched in fear when anyone tried to lovingly touch her has now become a picture of confidence. She makes funny faces and pretends to be a mosquito (making a buzzing noise in-between giggles) before she touches you lightly as though the mosquito has landed. Then delighting to see if you are going to smack the imaginary mosquito on your arm or scratch because he has already bitten you, she then starts buzzing and giggling once more. The only "mosquito repellant" for Payman is getting out the camera to photograph this little â€œmosquitoâ€ in action.
The anticipation of returning to Iraq hung in the air pending the outcome of todayâ€™s echo and decision by the doctor. Grandma had many questions that we ordinarily handle through a Kurdish translator by phone at the end of the appointment. After spending so much time in the hospital she has learned to communicate directly with the medical staff on some level. I saw her ask the echo technician if there is still water in Payman's chest, and I saw her ask about the puffiness of Payman's face that comes with steroid treatment to reduce the fluid. But they understood each other and it was beautiful. The phone call to the interpreter was only to be sure the communication was correctly understood and that she understood the main reason for another weekâ€™s delay to return home, which is to slowly discontinue the steroid without complications.
As Payman and her grandmother wait for next weekâ€™s echo and (hopefully/prayerfully) an official discharge to return home to Kurdistan, we plan to enjoy a little more time with them.