Thursday, March 18, 2021

Welcome to Holland


I first came across this essay last year in a book titled Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb.  It resonated so much with what I was feeling at the time (and still feel) that I have pondered over the words many times.  Emily Kingsley wrote this in 1987 about her experience as a mom of a child with down syndrome, but it can apply in so many cases (in the book a woman who had terminal cancer identified with the passage).  For me, it caused a complete mind-shift.  I could either sit and bemoan the fact I was no longer going to Italy or I could embrace our new life in Holland.  Yesterday's visit to Texas Tulips was a tangible reminder that our family now resides in Holland, and while it's not Italy, it is beautiful in its own right. I'm sharing it here because maybe it will help someone else like it's helped me.

Welcome to Holland

by Emily Kingsley

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting. 

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland." 

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy." 

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay. 

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place. 

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met. 

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts. 

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned." 

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss. But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland. 

c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Cardiology Check-Up in Houston

 We returned from Houston yesterday for Jude's check-up with his cardiologist.  Since his regular cardiologist is still out on medical leave, we were assigned a new, temporary one.  After a series of procedures including an echo, x-ray, EKG, and all his vital checks - all of which he loves (please note the sarcasm here), we had the fastest doctor meeting we have had yet (it lasted 5 minutes tops). The doctor said everything looked stable (which is good), except for maybe a new rhythm on Jude's EKG (possibly not good).  Which meant Jude would need to be hooked up to a 24 hour EKG (called a Holter) and we have to return in a few weeks (the week before his scheduled surgery date) to have a repeat EKG and make sure there isn't a rhythm issue.  

This photo was taken mid-appointment - Jude knows how to turn on and off the waterworks 😏

Thankfully, the Holter is something we could do at home and mail back, so we didn't have to spend another night in Houston (yay!).  Also, we were pleased to be able to go home and no needs to move his surgery up due to emergent issues. Anytime we get to leave an appointment and go home is a celebratory day. 

This photo was taken this morning right before we took off his Holter.  Surprisingly, it didn't seem to bother him as much as I thought it would.  We kept his onesie and pants on all through the day and night and he never messed with the wires.  You can't see it below his leg, but there's a little box at the bottom that keeps up with all the inputs.  We just tucked that part in his pants, so it looked like Jude had a little extra junk in his trunk for the last 24 hours 😂. This procedure is something Jude will have to do many times throughout his life.  Because of his heart's anatomy, it is important to monitor his heart rhythms and head-off any issues.  Hopefully, the anomaly that popped up yesterday on the EKG was just a fluke and not a sign of something more serious.  

In the meantime, we are looking forward to spending Easter together as a family and celebrating Josiah's 6th birthday here at home next month.