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After being told I would never be able to have children, I am now a stay-at-home Mommy to Maddie who happens to have Down Syndrome. I've been married 16 years to my best friend, having the time of my life. Thanks for stopping by and sharing in our little journey through life.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Lessons on Courage from Maddie

Yesterday I was nervous.  And not just a little uneasy.  This was the kind of nervousness accompanied by physical pain.  The intensity of the pain in my stomach almost scared me.  We had to get lab work done on Maddie to check her thyroid levels.  It's something we have to do every year to make sure she's taking the right dosage every day.  Last year she ended up with a bruise the size of a quarter on her little arm.  She really fought hard, and of course made the process more painful.  To say I wasn't looking forward to this is the understatement of the year.
When we arrived at the lab, it was 11:58.  The office closed for lunch from 12:00-12:45.  Great.  Luckily, there's a play place at a church across the street.  We went and played for a while.  We've been there several times before and it's always been busy.  Maddie has never attempted to climb up to the slide.  Today we were alone.  I was concerned we weren't supposed to be there, but I didn't see any signs up and the doors were open, so we played.  And Maddie climbed all of the way to the top and was eager to get down the long, winding slide.  A few times down the slide, and it was time.  Might as well get it over with.
We arrive and stand in line, and something seems off.  Things look different.  When we finally get to the front of the line, the clerk confirms we are in the wrong place.  The lab has moved. Great.
We head over to the lab and they happen to go to lunch from 12:00-1:00.  Really?  I check my phone and it says 12:47.  I really don't feel like trying to entertain an active, busy 3-yr-old for 13 minutes in a place lots of injured and hurt people are maneuvering through the halls.
I decide to pack up and do it some other day.  Besides, our pediatrician said (on Friday) we didn't have to rush to the lab.
I get Maddie buckled up for the 7th time today and head out.  I look at the clock in the car and it says 12:59.  What?  {sigh} My cell phone is off.  I know I really need to get this done and as tempting as it was to justify the fact that Maddie needed to get home to eat lunch and take a nap, I also knew if we got in there now before a line formed we could get it done quickly.   
We head back in and Maddie is super excited to meet the nurses.  While I sign in, she heads back around the counter.  The nurses welcomed her before I could tell her no, and Maddie began dishing out high fives and smiles, and "hi-eee's." My nerves settled a bit.  This was good.
I finished the paperwork and Maddie took a ride on the spinning chair with a really fun nurse.
Finally, it was time.
Maddie sat on my lap, tried to use the tourniquet as a necklace, wiped off the alcohol the first time.  The nice nurse instructed me to hold her hand the second time around.  And then, in the most amazing moment of courage and bravery, Maddie just simply watched and trusted.  She watched them put the needle in her arm, squirmed a little bit, but just continued to watch...nothing more.
I was amazed and proud and dumbfounded.
I learned a lot yesterday.  1) I prayed with the same intensity of the pain I felt, and God was faithful.  I wonder if the pain was simply a reminder to remember to trust God the same way Maddie trusts new nurses she meets.  2) We sometimes don't give our children credit for being able to handle situations.  Maddie amazed me.  I underestimated her.  This is the cardinal sin with a child with special needs.  Never underestimate them.  I hope I remember this lesson for years and years! 
Sorry...a long post without many pictures!  Here's a few just for fun!

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