UPDATE: We got a call from cardiology today, and Anni's been kicked up to July 1. Whew. I guess I'm slowly facing up to the fact that inner politicking and personal whatevers are part of every job, no matter how noble the mission. So I guess I'm just glad to learn that Anni's liver doc is no slouch at pulling whatever hard-earned aces she's holding to get this taken care of before I manage to hyperventilate myself into a ridiculously puffy ball of panic.
Also, I think I broke my toe (possibly toes) last night. I really have to wonder what kind of doggy world view leads them to believe that they are visible in a completely dark hall despite black fur, and therefore don't need to move themselves out of the way. And, of course, what kind of people world view leads us to immediately fall to our knees and hug and apologize, despite the fact that at least two toes are going unnervingly purple. It's probably those darn softy ears, all floppy and cute.
August 1! That is the date cardiology finally gave us for Anni's heart catheterization. Keep in mind that we are waiting on this heart catheterization to try to decide whether her longstanding portal hypertension is now causing dangerous pulmonary hypertension, or whether we need to go ahead with the lung biopsy to test her pulmonologist's theory that she has picked up a new complication, graft versus host disease. Keep in mind that Anni's main liver doc, called while she was not even at the hospital to be given the results of Anni's chest CT, the one that showed lung fibrosis, said that Anni should have the heart catheterization either that week or the next at the latest (which would have meant we would have had the results last week).
I am stressed, again, and apparently completely incapable right now of kicking myself into perspective by writing about it. I'm not even googling anything, or reading any research articles, or doing any smart thinking whatsoever.
Last week I had this awful dream that Anni died. But the worst part was how very unfantastic it was. Everything was drably real; none of the super-intense colors or weird conversations that let you know, somehow, that it's really all just a dream. It was just all so believably normal; even down to me going through the awful ritual of calling my family to let them know.
Then, the next night, as if to remind me how quickly life changes, how little we can predict or expect fairness or logic from life, I dreamed our former neighbor girl was still living down the street from us, in the house my girls still call "Hannah's house," even though a new family moved in weeks ago. I was in the dream thinking, "How can this be? And why am I so sad, looking at this smiley girl?"
The blog used to be such an important outlet for me to think everything through, but right now I am just tired of thinking. Jörg pointed out a few days ago that Annika began bleeding again just 10 days after we had made some pretty major adjustments to her medicines. None of which, by the way, could have been predicted as having any effect on Annika's tendency to have G.I. bleeds. But yet, he pointed out, didn't the timing of the two seem too coincidental?
I think some past me would have appreciated the cleverness of that observation, but the present me was just royally pissed off at him, and at the very idea of it all. I would much rather believe that whatever happens to Annika is an unavoidable progression, the outcome of whatever bad hand she was dealt at birth, rather than pinpointing some wrong move we've made along the way.
A few months ago, before all this worry seeped back into the front of our lives from its neat little back corner, Frankie came stomping down the stairs one morning in one of her hilarious Frankie-Snits, which involves lots of dramatic frowning and fists on hips and a lower lip jutting out far enough to perch several songbirds comfortably. "Mama!" she demanded, "Who do you love the best?"
I could just imagine the type of needling my clever little Annika had been doing upstairs to wind Frankie up into this classic Frankie state of indignation, so I called on all my fair and equitable Mama Resources to launch myself into a gentle explanation of how I loved every member of our family in a different way because each member of the family was special to me in a unique way, finally ending with the mild conclusion that I couldn't answer her question because that's just not the way love works.
Frankie's frown did not lessen one bit as she countered my explanation with her own declaration, "Well, that's the way it works for me! And I love Anni the best!"
Then she stomped back upstairs, no doubt planning on screaming, red-faced, her declaration of love right into that stinkin' Anni's face.
Some nights I look at my blue-veined thighs and my gray-streaked hair and think that I have done my very best already. I would give anything to pass off to my girls whatever luck, providence, or divine intervention got me through these nearly 38 years. I would give anything, anything at all. Seven years is a long time to know, every day, exactly what you wish for, I guess.
And to know you'd gladly take seven more years of wishing.
(Sheesh. No wonder I'm not here writing more often.)