I have been going through a roller coaster of emotional ups and downs lately. As many people know I published my first book and that has brought much excitement to our family. We also recently took our first family trip to Disney World and created wonderful memories. I’ve had so many emotional highs lately that I forgot what it feels like to be down.
Welcome to planet earth. Just like the roller coasters as Disney, life has highs and lows.
When we returned from Disney we focused our attention on our daughter, Rachel. Rachel is a five-year-old who is full of life and always overflowing with energy. We have two children, Caleb – age eight – and Rachel. Caleb is the oldest and often reminds Rachel of that fact. She has always been unwilling to accept that she is younger and it’s almost as though her determination to be like her older brother has propelled her to grow at a fast rate. Our children are three years apart, however, when we run into parents of twins, they almost always ask if our children are twins. Rachel is almost the same height as her older brother and they have the same blonde hair. We always chuckle a little and then explain that they are three years apart but Rachel is tall for her age.
Prior to our Disney vacation, Rachel complained about her heart racing. We took it very seriously because she had not been playing when it happened. She stayed a week with my parents – my mother is a nurse – and it happened again. We made plans to call our pediatrician after returning from vacation. Rachel never complained about her heart while at Disney so I am not sure if it didn’t race while on the trip or if she was just having too much fun to notice. After we returned, it happened again. My wife, Julie, promptly called the pediatrician and they had her bring Rachel in that day. The doctor listened to Rachel’s heart beat and informed Julie that it was irregular even at a resting beat. He said it was no reason to be alarmed but we needed to have her wear a heart monitor to get a better diagnosis. She wore the monitor, the results were sent to Cardinal Glennon in St. Louis. Yesterday our pediatrician informed us that there are irregularities in Rachel’s heartbeat and that we need to take her to Cardinal Glennon to see a pediatric cardiologist.
This has been a stressful process to say the least. I sheltered you from all the details that added to the drama, but please know that it has not been an easy process. We are currently at a place where we wrestle with the obscurity of what we really know. This may be a small complication and may even disappear. Not knowing what we are up against is frustrating to say the least. In the midst of all our struggles, there has been comfort. God has given us strength and comfort and he has also put others in our lives to help us through this situation. We are discovering a bounty of friends, family and even strangers who have faced similar trials. We had a god-daughter who has been on a heart monitor in the past and she is now a teenager who lives an active, fulfilling life. We have friends who either personally have experienced issues with their hearts or who have close family that has been through a similar situation. We have been told about heart murmurs, holes in hearts, and supraventricular tachycardia. We have also talked with other friends who have children that have faced other medical difficulties. Many people have indicated that they are praying for us. It has been a crazy experience.
I do have faith in God and I believe that He is a healer and will work this situation out for the best. I already see the good in the fact that we are meeting a community of others who know what we are going through. I totally believe in having compassion but am becoming more aware of the fact that you can’t really understand something until you experience it firsthand. We have watched friends face trials with their children and we were concerned, but I now know that we did not comprehend what they were going through as parents.
Julie and I hope to soon know why Rachel is experiencing heart arrhythmias and then we can better understand what we are up against. Until then, we are just wrestling with the uncertainty of what comes next. Please keep our family in your prayers and feel free to leave prayer requests of your own in the comments section. - Tim
I do have an announcement about the remainder of the week. I will be celebrating the 4th of July with family and friends tomorrow and will not be posting a blog. For those of you in the USA – enjoy your independence.
I am also excited to announce that my friend Courtney Hill will be taking over Thursdays as a regular guest blogger. Read the blog on Thursday and see what he has to say. Until next time, have a great day! - Tim