On June 1, 2010 our two year old, "Little Air Bear," was diagnosed with Childhood Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) Type M7. After enduring 146 days at Primary Children's Hospital, Erin is now in remission and living a full life at home with our family. Her strong will and constant happy smile is an inspiration to us all. Through our difficult circumstances we found great strength and peace in our Savior, Jesus Christ. Thank you for checking in on us.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Safety Pin

It all started with a safety pin.  Why am I so obsessed about that silly safety pin when it was over a month ago that it messed things up? 

We are always trying to come up with ways to keep Erin's central line tubing out of the way.   The purpose of the safety pin was to keep the line nicely held back inside her hospital jammies.  About a month ago one of my favorite nurses thought up the idea, she place the central line tubing through the safety pin.  It held the line nicely out of the way for two days. 

Then, it was time to change the dressing on Erin's central line.  I went to remove the safety pin and a pit formed in my stomach when I realized the tubing on her line has lodged itself inside the head of the safety pin.  We had to pry the pin off the tubing with pliers.  We examined the tubing and found the smallest of small nicks in her line.  Nothing was leaking from the line, but the charge nurse felt like it should be replaced.

The problems with Erin's line all started with a lousy safety pin.  Sometimes I just want to go back to that day and wish that safety pin away.  But, I can't. 

In the early hours of Labor Day morning John informed me that Erin's line was leaking.  We sort of despise that line and it's constant issues (stupid *pardon my language* safety pin).  It's been repaired 4 times.  Each time the staff has to repair the line it has to be repaired higher and higher.  Eventually some lines have to be surgically removed and then put back in (I pray that never happens to us).  I am thankful that the said safety pin issue nicked the lower end of her line near the end of it, below the clamps.
We got up Labor Day morning thankful that it was a holiday, and then we got our family ready to go to Primary Children's to have the line repaired.  We arrived at Primary Children's around 2:00 pm.  The charge nurse told us that there just wasn't enough room to repair the one line and she said that she would have to cut off both lines and repair it where the two lines start.  I could tell from John's expression that we were both thinking the same thing.  No way! 

I said, "are you sure?  It looks like there is enough room to repair it without having to cut off both lines."
She was skeptical, but she said she would try.  In any case, if it didn't work then we'd just have to start over and cut off both lines anyway.  Erin was not happy to have to lay down on the hospital bed and be examined.  We had to sort of wrap up her legs in a sheet and I held her arms down because she was thrashing, kicking, and screaming so much.  It's silly that she was even upset about it because when we repair a line we don't even touch her skin.

The nurse cleaned the line, snipped it off and began repairing it.  When it was glued together and a sheath was pushed over the line to keep it in place the nurse was amazed that it had worked.  I call it divine intervention.  Seriously, if that repair had even been a millimeter higher we would have had to cut off both lines. 

We know that next time the line needs to be repaired we will have to cut off both tubes.  It takes at least 4 hours for the line to dry and in the meantime the line cannot be used.  If/when we have to cut off both lines, that means that Erin cannot receive any medications through her line during that waiting time.  It is nice that she has 2 lines so that while the repaired line is drying we can still use her other line.  This will not be the case when we have to chop off both lines next time.  If her line breaks during her next chemo treatment then all her medications get pushed back while we wait for both lines to dry.  It just complicates thing.  Oh, all the worries that safety pin has caused us. 

It's crazy how such a little thing as a safety pin has been able to bother and annoy us.  It's sort of like how we can fret and worry over such a little thing as "a mote that is in thy brother's eye."  Do you have any idea how small a mote even is?  It's about the size of a speck of dust.  Sometimes we find ourselves so bugged about the little things others around us do.  We can nag and pester them of seemingly small things and yet we fail to look within ourselves at the beam (think of a gymnastics balance beam) that is obstructing our eternal salvation.  Why do we do this?  Doesn't it just seem like we know how to fix other's problems so easily, yet it is so difficult to fix our own?  What is it that we need to work on so that we can be more fit for the kingdom of God?  I hope that all those motes (and safety pins) out there are not bothering me as I sometimes let them.  I hope that we can all be better people today.


  1. I'm beginning to dislike safety pins too!!!! You're amazing!!!

  2. Who knew something so small could cause so many problems! I'm glad that it was able to be fixed and that all is going better!