Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Going to the Heart Doctor

Going a different route with this week's post.  It's really more about me, but my mom as well. 

Today I was thinking about my mom quite a bit.  I went to the pediatric cardiologist, and as I sat filling out the paperwork, I looked around and thought of how many forms like those my mom had filled out for me.  I was thinking how I used to go visit my cardiologist every December when I was a girl, and we would travel to Cincinnati to Children's Hospital for the appointment, no matter where we lived.  Today there were flurries falling, and with the Christmas season coming, I could remember those days so well.  When I got old enough to care, I would choose to wear my favorite outfit on that day.  I knew Mom and I would go downtown, just the two of us, and usually we would try to meet my Aunt Sandy for lunch, if she were available.  Aunt San worked at Children's Hospital as a surgical nurse, and it was so fun to meet her in her scrubs, and the three of us go eat in the cafeteria together.  I knew Mom would let me get some sort of fun and yummy cafeteria dessert to eat, and it was great to sit and listen to Mom and Aunt Sandy talk.  It was rare to be alone with two grown-ups in those days. :)

I can't help but wonder if Mom had a hard time with those annual visits.  I know that fear and worry was something she battled her whole life.  She used to post Bible verses up around the house to meditate on, to help her with her worry.  She never acted nervous, that I can remember, but then again, I never had anything but glowing reports.  Still, I'm sure that there was some aspect of fear or worry each time we went through the EKGs and Echos.  Perhaps she wondered if my heart was still functioning normally.  Perhaps she was afraid she'd hear something other than "see you next year!" at the end of the appointment.  If so, she never let on.

Dr. Benzing and me when I'm about 9 or so
I loved to walk into the Pediatric Cardiologist's office, and hear the nurses and doctors comment on how grown up I was getting.  Amazingly, many of them had worked there when I was very small, or even when I was first born, and so they remembered us year after year.  Those kind of comments are just music to a little girl's ears!  I enjoyed the cold and sticky EKGs -- they were somewhat fun to me.  I loved meeting with Dr. Benzing (yes, my cardiologist had the same last name as we did -- we were distant relatives), and hear his soft-spoken assessment of my ticker.  It was like I had accomplished some great feat by growing another year and still having a good heart.  As a little girl, I felt somewhat proud of myself (as if I had anything to do with it!).  It never entered my mind that I'd hear anything negative at those appointments, because I never had.  It also never entered my mind that it might be difficult for my mother to re-enter that arena year after year.  

I was not fearful, because Mom did not appear to be.  And I'm really thankful for that.

Here is a post I wrote about my birth and heart surgery.


Karen said...

This is a powerful story about your mom, and you too. Now that you are a mother, you can share in some of her feelings at the time. The power of prayer is amazing.

The similarities in our families is incredible. Our oldest son was adopted as an infant and then we had two children soon thereafter. When I turned 30,I thought I'd never had any children at all... and when I turned 31, we had a son and I was pregnant. The power of prayer for sure.

organizedmama said...

That was an amazing story. You are so blessed and I thought it was so nice that you know so much about the history of your name and had so many great pictures of you and your family. Wow. Faith and prayer are truely amazing.

Susan McCurdy said...

What a neat memory Gretchen. I think God gives special grace to Mom's in the middle of crisis. I remember taking Joseph back to see the craniofacial surgeon for five years after his surgery did always wonder if they would say "well, there is a problem" or as you said "see you next year." Now, that I think about it I'm sure he gives special grace to kids too!

Janna said...

Yes, it's interesting how we realize how brave our parents were as we are put in their shoes.

I loved that you wore your favorite outfit to your appointments:)