I held a slip of paper in my hand. I honestly don’t remember what was written on it, but I held it tightly in my hand. On it was written the diagnosis of what the doctors at the Children’s Hospital in Oklahoma City thought Lauren had. I was told to take it with me and as soon as I got to Atlanta, I was to take my daughter to the hospital. My mind was still reeling with the events of the last two days. Finding out that my daughter had a heart problem, taking her to the hospital, looking at her tiny body as they put electrode wires on it for an EKG, and watching as they did tests and x-rays of all kinds. Go to the hospital. They were very clear about that.
I just don’t understand and I guess I never will. How could it be that my baby had something wrong with her heart? It’s not like I never took her to the doctor. In fact, it was just the opposite. I took her all the time. Not one time, not one word, not one peep was ever said that our first child’s life was in serious danger during any of those visits. And now, it seemed there was a danger and I was on a path where there was no turning back. I didn’t get to make a choice whether I would go down that path. It was thrust upon me.
We arrived in Atlanta on a Thursday, and following the instructions given to me, I took Lauren to the doctor on Friday. I took her to a doctor that my mother had taken me to when I was a child. She was sympathetic and supportive, listening as I recounted the events of the last few days, and then made a phone call to arrange for Lauren to be admitted to the hospital on Monday.
I was numb. I didn’t know what to think or say except, “Thank you.” And then I left her office and headed back to our house that was, by now, filled with unpacked boxes most of which I had not packed. Thinking back on it, I don’t remember much about that time at all. I don’t know when the boxes were unpacked and put away. I don’t remember arranging anything in drawers or cabinets. The only thing that I remember is that I took Lauren to Egleston Children’s Hospital on Monday, the first week of June and she didn’t come home for a month.