05 May 2010

We Have a Date

Sheridan will be having open heart surgery at Stanford on Tuesday, 25 May.

WAY earlier than we anticipated. WAY earlier than I wanted.

But I guess there is no ideal date to hand your baby over.

It seems really surreal. That we're here, in this place. Sheridan is having heart surgery. He's fine. Totally fine. You would never know he needs heart surgery.

But he does. He has four holes in his heart. He needs this, but it still seems surreal. Like we're rushing in to something for no reason. And I just have to remind myself that there is reason.

I'll be honest. I'm not sure how I'm going to feel walking into Stanford.

My brother Michael had his autogolous bone marrow transplant there. It didn't work.

That has nothing to do with Stanford, but that facility is forever linked to him in my mind. In my heart.

Now that I'm a mom and I'm facing this surgery with Sheridan, I can't even imagine how my parents felt watching Michael go through round after round of chemo. Through a bone marrow transplant. He was only my little brother and I felt like somebody kicked me squarely in the face.

Now I will walk into that same hospital and hand over my own child.

My heart really hurts right now... I would give anything to trade places with Sheridan.

Instead, I was able only to ask the surgeon (who it turns out isn't even the one doing the procedure - long story) my questions. All 42 of them that I typed out in advance (and thank you to every single one of you who offered advice and shared your stories with me, it helped me craft those 42 questions!).

The surgeon chuckled when he saw me sit down with a clipboard, my questions typed and spaced with enough room for me to write my answers, and a pen. And he said, "I like this."

Asking questions is my only power here. And, yes, I'm a control freak. Classic Type A. It's really really hard for me to let go. Maybe that's what's so surreal. That I do everything I can for Sheridan every single day, and on May 25 I have to just let go. Trust that others will care for him while I cannot. But they don't care for him. It's just their job - and as it turns out it's not a job I can learn quickly enough to perform myself. Don't think I wouldn't try if it was possible.

So for now, I just enjoy Sheridan. I know I will enjoy him just as much - even more - when he's out of the OR. When he's back home.

I just allow my heart to hurt a bit. I'll be stronger because of it.

And I look forward to that day that Sheridan will amaze me with a strength I could never have.


  1. My heart hurts too but we know that through this your love and admiration will grow even more for your child (as if that is even possible!!) and you too will grow as a mother. We will walk with you on this journey. You aren't alone and we will all be praying for a successful surgery and a record recovery! We love you all!

  2. Lisa, I echo Jen's sentiments. Like you said, there's never a good time to hand over your child when it seems like he's not in immediate danger. And while your thoughts of Stanford remind you of your little brother, times are so different and Sheridan will surely be cared for my very competent, caring hands. We'll be here if you need a shoulder to lean on (or cry on). And be assured of our prayers!!!

  3. Lisa,
    Because of your thorough research and getting all the facts, you are prepared and have the knowledge of what is happening. Like Monica said, times are different and this is a surgery that the doctors do regularly. You have a village behind you praying and there for support. An amazing village for sure. You have friends who have dealt with this experience and know what you are going through. You have friends who are praying for you and there to support. We love you Sheridan and your family and are there for every step of this journey, just as you have been for others. Trust that Sheridan is in good hands and God will take care of him.

  4. Boy, this is BIG.....much bigger than I have ever experienced. But, my heart aches for those of my blogging "friends" that have to endure these trials. But, prayer is strong, and that I have to offer. I can only imagine that when this surgery is over, both your's and Sheridan's heart, will only LOVE MORE!! Many prayers for you and your family!

  5. All of your blogging "friends" will be praying for both you and Sharidan! You both will do wonderfully and we will be right here with you...even if it is virtual. Stay strong! You are an amazing woman and mother and you will continue to be amazing!

  6. Oh, honey. I'm there with you in spirit. And I didn't know about your brother. ((((hugs)))) my friend.

  7. I can't say it's going to be an easy day. I seem to think it's the worst day we've had with Marissa, when she had her heart surgery. I would've done anything to trade places with her. But I tell you what, she was like a new baby after that surgery. Stronger, more talkative, more aware. That surgery gave her her sunshine back. I know that day is going to be awful and there are no words to describe the emotions of that day, but it's all uphill after the surgery. God's peace...

  8. If it helps, two of my children (special needs) had multiple successful surgeries at Stanford, and this past year, Stanford reassembled my granddaughter who was born literally in pieces. The condition is so rare that she may have been the only one born this year with it anywhere. Stanford put up an international website to collect information and to share results. She just celebrated her first birthday and is so happy that she never stops grinning. My husband, too, had surgery at Stanford -- local doctors made a mess of his eye, and Stanford doctors brought it back to normal. Go there with a sense of peace. Stanford is especially good with children.

  9. Your feelings are totally "normal" and everything you wrote, is exactly how I felt as well. It is so hard and SUCH a surreal feeling when you can look at your baby and nothing seems to be "wrong" yet they have to be handed over and go through such a major operation.

    I'm here for you every step of the way! You're allowed to be freaked out.


  10. Wow. Well I know that it is sooner than you expected and to be honest who wants to hand their little love over at any date. Just think you guys will get through this and have the rest of the summer to enjoy without having to worry about it in the back of your mind. I know that doesn't make you feel any better though. I love your list. Way to go. I had one too. Not as big as yours but I did have my specific questions. I did a post way back about what I learned from Heart surgery and it talks about what you should look for and prepare for. Have a look if you like. It's about being in the hospital and how to avoid things that we went through. You can feel free to email me if you want more info. One thing that helped me a lot was to look at pictures of post op. As weird as that sounds it made it easier for me when I first saw Wysdom out of post op.

    I will mark this date down and be praying for you. It is close to Wysdom's one year heart anniversary on May 27th.

    It will be hard..but you CAN do this!!

  11. Here is the link for you.

  12. Lisa, I hurt for you.....I just don't even try to imagine. I can't. He doesn't "look" like he needs it, your so right. That must make it even harder?! I will pray for you, your husband and Sheridan. HUGS!

  13. I have to admit, watching my two babies physically failing for months before we were able to plump them enough for surgery certainly did help in motivating us to get to and through that event. Those daily reminders of the consequences of NOT having surgery didn't feel like blessings at the time, but I certainly see how NOT having a struggling kiddo would make the upcoming surgery date all the more difficult.
    Sheridan will be in our prayers on the 25th and I'll be aching right along with you during the long night before...xoxox

  14. I know this date wasn't the one you had in mind, but I hope it feels just a tiny bit better to know that by the end of summer, he'll be on the mend, and even thriving, instead of just preparing for surgery. It'll make his next birthday even more special, right?

    Please let me know if you need anything. We'll be thinking of you all.

  15. Hi, Lisa! I got LC's heart diagram information from the Children's Heart Institute of Virginia.


    I loved the way they explained the information on their site and all the kid friendly activities they had to correspond with different diagnoses.

    Here's the address to the post with LC's diagrams, etc.


    Keeping you all in our thoughts...oxoxox

  16. I know EXACTLY how you feel. We just got the date (June 9) for Claie's OHS yesterday. Ugh! I know they need the surgery, but I just hate that they have to go through this.

  17. Hey, I'm actually an adult with a CHD (well, several) who had their operation at the age of 3. My first memory is actually a nurse giving me a doll that had a scar down her chest, just like mine!

    Anyways, to reiterate what everyone is saying, Sheridan is going to do GREAT. Before my surgery I was pretty healthy, but I couldn't do a lot of kids stuff like run around with my brothers, jump, or anything high energy. I also looked grey. Now I'm (for the most part) totally fine. And I had my operation 21 years ago, when they barely understood this stuff!

    I totally get your fear, but speaking as an adult who's gone through it: it's truly for the best. And having an awesome scar afterwards doesn't hurt :).