Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Land Family

I received an interesting email from Mrs. Lena Land of Oregon, another bed rest survivor! She came right out and called me crazy, LOL, so I gathered she had a different reason for hers. Upon corresponding, I found she underwent four months of bed rest during a difficult pregnancy, only getting up the restroom, and sitting up briefly to eat meals. Like folks in the lunar studies here, she wore compression stockings to prevent blood clots – given to her by her husband John, a surgeon. They were initially told that one of their children had only a 5% percent chance of surviving – and later, that since their twins might share a common blood source, if one died… so might the other.

Says Lena of her experience: “It was so difficult to endure, but at the end of the day it’s for a greater cause and that is what pulls you through. I had a song that inspired me: “It Is Well With My Soul.” I was admitted into the hospital where I had emergency ultrasounds, bed rest support groups (depressing!), pet therapy and great food at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle. After Anna and Rosalee were born, my muscles had atrophied, so I had to use a wheelchair for a short while. I would do it again at the drop of a hat if it meant survival for my babies, but I’m not sure I would do it for the sake of science! My hats off to you though!

John and I have always considered our experience an incredible testament to the many advances in medicine/science (through imaging and early detection—“velamentous cord insertion” was our diagnosis), the strength we found together in our marriage during a difficult time, what endurance can do for the human spirit and most importantly we felt a direct connection with our Maker."

The happy result of Lena’s bedrest in 1999

Lena’s story also highlights for me one thing that I ponder frequently: the people who do this without a factor of choice. The consequences of being in bed for any extended length of time are not insignificant; Lena ended up with a bulging disc in her neck during bed rest, necessitating a soft collar and pain medication. Can you imagine chasing after twins once you’ve been through all that?! Even with what is being done to me procedurally, I cannot fathom doing this at home without medical staff – or with the daily fear that miscarriage might result if I didn’t stay still. I hope I never lose sight of the fact that while I’m trying to be as cooperative as possible for the sake of research, there are many people who go through this because they MUST – for safety, for health, or because they are unable to move.

All kinds of studies, including bed rest simulation, may prove beneficial for how we find our way to other worlds… but if this isn’t the best and most precious reason on our world to tough out this trial, I don’t know what is:

For Today: August 30th, 2008
Happy 9th Birthday Rosalee & Anna Land!

We enjoyed your emails, and your mama tells me this is a show & tell topic, which makes us very happy… so thanks for reading along, and keep an eye on your mailbox for a special NASA present from Pillownaut & Sarcasmo!