Sunday, March 30, 2008

Back on the ground...

I had a whirlwind weekend complete with a very short trip to Chicago to volunteer with the Children's Heart Foundation on working on a national awareness campaign in collaboration with the newly formed National Congenital Heart Coalition. It was exciting to see so many people devoted to this silent epidemic come together, despite diverse agendas, and be able to set the initial stage to begin work on a national awareness campaign, as well as national advocacy efforts. I'm ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work!

On the lighter side of things, the trip was as crazy as any of mine... 3 hour delay on Friday on the way out, landed to find snow on the ground and realized I hadn't brought a coat, stayed in a total roach hotel near the airport (avoid PriceLine!!), drove a Chevy Cobalt (not as bad as I thought it would be) and watched a medical emergency unravel on the plane on the way home when a gentleman went into a severe seizure. Unfortunately, he lost control of all bodily functions, which is quite ummm... gross when canned together for an hour. I can only imagine how embarrassed he must have been when he came to. Thankfully we had a cardiologist on flight (he had severe hypertension which led to the episode), and we didn't have to reroute. We were escorted in once we hit the runway by the police and he was met with 3 ambulances. The end result, however, was that the front of the plane cleared out after his episode, as the stench was overwhelming. This caused problems, however, so some were asked to go up front to balance out the plane. No one wanted to. So, seeing as I am frequently faced with poopy pants, vomit and other such lovely things, I went up there, wrapped my jacket around my face (which I bought while in Chicago) and hoped for the best, not knowing if it was contagious at that time. I was relieved to later find out it was not. Hope the guy feels better and it's nothing serious.

I also had a freak-out moment of my own when faced with the fact that Sadie is a "high risk" cardiac patient that will need follow up and, likely, further treatments as she grows. Realizing that there are not enough experienced people out there who know how to deal with CHDs was a real wake up call. I know, I know, I should realize this, but when faced with it written on paper, I felt my stomach plummet. It's easy for me to think that her case is much less severe than most as I have now found myself deeply entrenched in a large social network of children with heart defects much more severe than hers (so I thought at least), but the reality is that it is still extremely serious. I've always known this, but admitting it is an ENTIRELY different matter. I couldn't sleep a wink last night thinking about it all, and was ready to get home and forget about it. As I rocked Sadie to sleep before her nap, the emotion of it all totally overtook me... I am NOT a cryer, but months and months of bottled up stuff just came pouring out. I think I need a breather from all this this week to recoup. That being said, a friend's daughter is going in for cardiac cath this week, so I know it will never be far from my mind. Please send lots of positive energy and prayers to my friend Karen and her family, but especially to little Jameson, who is one of Sadie's heart friends.

So, that was the weekend's fun for me. I was greeted at the airport 30 minutes late by Jason with an overly excited Katie and extremely exhausted and (ah, the irony) thoroughly poopy panted Sadie. The ride home was complete with high pitched screaming, Katie's exhasperating attempts to shout over her sister and Jason's general grumpy, stressed out self. Ah, home again.


  1. Wow - things definitely weren't boring, were they? I love the Children's Heart Foundation - we have a chapter here in Oregon that I help out with frequently.

  2. Whoa - I feel like I was there. VERY descriptive. And, I'm sorry, but sort of entertaining. And I am glad that there are people like you to go out there and get CHD awareness going. I'll cheer you on from the sidelines for now! And I agree with you on the heart stuff - just try to enjoy the down times and worry about the heart stuff when it comes up. Easier said than done...

    Thinking of you,

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