Sheriff Sarah

Sheriff Sarah

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Here Comes That Feeling of Utter Helplessness

Every day I’m grateful to be alive and share my life with such a wonderful bunch of rascals. 

Our lives would be very different today without any one of them. It’s something I find difficult to fathom but end up thinking about more than I should. It’s all because of biliary atresia and the resulting liver transplant Sarah received nearly six years ago. 

Yet, we’ve been one of the fortunate families. Our baby received a new gift of life. She fought hard to reach that point, but she did. And she’s still with us.

So many families are still grieving the loss of their child weeks, months and years later. What would they have grown up to be? What would they have accomplished? The only answer to those questions is blank pages.

So I understand how truly blessed we are to have our family of six still intact. Our marriage survived the tough times of many nights separated by hospital stays. We survived trying to reconnect as a family after long absences. But its things like today that throw it all up in the air again.

No, Sarah isn’t seriously ill and we’re not looking at an extended hospital stay like that blasted infection from last spring. It’s only a biopsy and yet whenever I hear that word now I consider all the possibilities and not necessarily just the positive outcomes.

I consider the very real possibility of a 4-day hospital stay. I consider, ever momentarily, something happening like last year when the infection wreaked havoc with Sarah’s body for more than 40 days and left our doctors scratching their heads much of the time.

And this is where the feeling of utter helplessness sets in. It sinks it’s claws deep into my tissue, even my bones and lets me know, I’m really not in control of Sarah’s health, her future.

She could live to be 100 years old and never need another liver transplant.

She could require another transplant at 14, or 20, or 40. Would those be as successful as her first one?

As the parent of a liver kid, I honestly grapple with all of these thoughts. In the end, God is the only one that knows Sarah’s future. I’m still learning to live in the here and now because tomorrow is never guaranteed. For any of us. Still, I wish that feeling of utter helplessness would find another place to live. Permanently.