We left Tuesday afternoon for the dreaded drive to Little Rock. I laughed when the GPS estimated our travel time as six hours. Obviously it doesn't account for bathroom stops with a four year old and a two year old! I have to admit...the drive brought back lots of memories and as we inched closer to our destination I began to feel nauseated. Poor Brea now understands that what the check up at the hospital involves and every time she thought about it she cried the most pitiful little cry and begged me not to let them take her blood. I couldn't lie to her and I couldn't bring myself to tell her that it had to be done so I just told promised her that she wasn't getting a shot...not exactly the truth but not a lie either. Needless to say, it wasn't the answer she was looking for so she cried even harder. Our estimated six hours of travel time turned into 7.5 hours with all the stops we had to make for bathroom breaks and dinner so it was late by the time we checked into the hotel and got the girls ready for bed.
We arrived at the hospital bright and early and started the process of getting all of Brea's tests done including the dreaded lab work. The heart clinic was packed but there were only two patients in the heart transplant isolation waiting room. Once the worst was over (the lab) Brea settled down and did really well with all the others (EKG, Echo, x-rays, etc.). It was great to see the transplant coordinators, doctors and nurses that took such wonderful care of her while she was an inpatient. They couldn't believe how much Brea had grown! The last time they saw her she was just beginning to talk and walk...it has been 27 months since her last visit to ACH. We even ran into the surgeon that did not only her transplant but also her Berlin heart. He recognized us immediately and was all smiles when Brea gave him a big hug! I know for them they are just doing their jobs but to us they are very special people and we are forever grateful for the wonderful care they gave Brea.
By the time Brea's transplant doctor came into the exam room she already had all the results of the various tests. She gave Brea a complete check up and gave us the wonderful news that Brea is doing GREAT!!! She weighed in at 29 pounds and 100 inches tall and every test showed a beautifully working heart! We also learned that she will be able to be seen here in Baton Rouge every three months by her regular cardiologist for routine transplant exams and she will have her annual biopsy in March at ACH. If all goes well she will not have another heart biopsy for two years!!! That news was well worth the five hours we spent at the hospital!
After our hospital visit we met Danny's sister and her Brother In Law for lunch. It was their first time meeting Bailey and our time together was way to short. Before we knew it a couple of hours had passed and it was time for us to get on the road.
The girls took a two hour nap in the car but as soon as they woke up the potty stops started and our total travel time took eight hours! We were treated to one of the most beautiful sunsets along a lonely Arkansas highway that I have ever seen. The contrast of the brighly colored sky against the recently harvested cotten fields was simply gorgeous. It was as if God had painted the sky just for us as a reminder that He is still protecting and caring for our precious Brea.
Before I say goodnight I want to say thank you to the many, many people who continue to pray for Brea and our family. We are so blessed and humbled that so many people love her enough to check in on her via our website and pray for her even when things are going good. We also want to thank our dear friends Danielle and Dirk who always help out in a pinch with Brooke and Baker. You guys rock!