|Evangeline in recovery after her sedated mri.|
Few things in my life have impacted me the way Eva's chiari and feeding difficulties have the past year. It has been exactly 8 months since the day that my daughter was diagnosed with a Chiari One Malformation in her brain. The past 8 months have challenged and stretched me in ways that I did not think were possible. Not at this young age anyway when there have been relatively few true difficulties in my life.
March 10th, the day of our much anticipated second neurosurgery appointment finally arrived. This appointment had been on my calendar for five long months. I don't think I started to feel really anxious until I turned the calendar to March and realized that this was the month. This was when we would find out for better or worse what was happening with Evangeline's chiari. Would her neurosurgeons continue with a wait and see approach? Would they suddenly recommend decompression (brain) surgery on a girl so young? Would the progress that Eva had made in all of the exhausting feeding therapy sessions be enough progress to save her from surgery?
So many questions continued to swirl through my brain that morning. The one question that didn't was the hope that we have as believers in a God who is good. During my most difficult seasons of life that is the one truth that I grab hold to and cling to with all my soul. All morning my husband and I kept reciting truths to one another. The one that really sticks out in my mind is Deuteronomy 7:9, "Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations."
As we entered the neurosurgery suite it still felt very much surreal to actually be there despite the fact that we had just visited in September. We ended up waiting well over an hour before we were able to meet with our neurosurgeon but it didn't matter. Sure there was a part of me that wanted to hurry up and get the appointment over with but I just kept thinking of the family whose child had surgery that morning. That could be me. I could be the momma waiting anxiously for Dr. M to finish brain surgery on my child.
Dr. M finally entered the room and spoke with us. He showed us the mri results and to our utter delight we found out that he had no desire to operate!
No brain surgery for our sweet girl!!!
Not only that but by the grace of the Lord, Evangeline's chiari was actually smaller than it was in July! Her skull had grown to allow more room for her brain! She had more csf and no presence of a syrinx! We had just witnessed a true miracle.
It's really hard to describe what it felt like when we received the news. We thanked Dr. M and his nurse and then I closed the door. Then I cried tears of joy! No brain surgery and God was healing my sweet girl. I was blown away to find out that Eva's chiari was actually better than before because that usually doesn't happen.
When we were pregnant with Eva, I was so determined that my baby be given a name with tremendous meaning. We named her Evangeline Grace which means bearer of the good news of grace. We hope that one day she will become a follower of Christ and will share the good news of the Gospel of grace to many people. Little did I realize that my sweet daughter herself would be a living testimony of God's grace in her own life. I have no doubt that we will continue to tell this story of God's gracious gift of healing for years to come. To God be the glory!
"But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
let them ever sing for joy,
and spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may exult in you."