We got a phone call with a date for Emmy’s heart surgery. It’s a month away.
I was surprised that I didn’t cry. I couldn’t cry. I even tried.
I just felt sick.
The phone call came yesterday and, for the past 24 hours, I’ve felt as though I’m going to vomit.
The threat of heart surgery has been dangling over our heads since Emmy was born. She has narrowing in her aorta. As it gets narrower, it gets more dangerous because the heart has to work harder to pump the blood through.
Now, as her numbers keep rising, it’s time.
I know other families who have been through this. I have met so many incredibly supportive people–both in the Williams syndrome community and in the Congenital Heart Defect community. I lean on them. I also lean on my other friends and family who haven’t been through this before but who feel everything I’m experiencing as though they were walking in my shoes.
I’ve realized this about myself: I’m someone who needs support.
I didn’t think that was the case for most of my life. I didn’t reach outwards. I turned inwards. And I heralded my independence as something that was precious. In the past, I didn’t want to show weakness or vulnerability. Why would I lean on others? What if they weren’t there for me when I really needed them? I didn’t want to take that risk, so I didn’t reach out.
But I have been schooled in the lesson of support. For me, there is no other way. I know I can’t do this alone.
And now, as I finally let the tears flow freely and move past that awful feeling of wanting to vomit, I am so incredibly grateful for the people I know.