Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Attack-Four Years Ago Today

Four years ago today  I published a blog post that preached to me (as my mom is in the hospital).

She has renal failure, though her numbers are getting better (Praise God!),

You've read just a bit of what has been going on at our house (just what we've shared here).  It's been a bit of a battering.  Yet at the end of the storms is the destination.

So, I'm tired...but God is our constant.

This post (and the links in it) ministered to me today.  I hope it touches your heart.

The Attack (Adoption and Our Spiritual Walk)





Saturday, August 15, 2015

Thomas' Surgery

My husband could not sit, a small area of his stomach hurt so bad.  He went to the doctor almost immediately.  Within the hour he was sent to a specialist.  He had a tear in the lining of his abdomen. This is known as an umbilical hernia (because of the area it was in).  He had surgery the next morning.

We had heard of this kind in children, actually our son Max had one from birth that required surgery.  I had heard of hernias in adults, but not this particular kind.

The doctor guesses he had a weakness in the abdominal wall likely since birth.  It was ripping.

Today when I dropped my daughter off at work, one of her coworkers (and my friend...Terri) shared with me about her friend's husband.  He had the same thing, but did not go to the doctor soon enough.  His intestine ruptured and he got sepsis.  He didn't survive it.

I'm just thankful tonight.  I'm thankful that my husband came through surgery successfully.  He's in a lot of pain, but he's here.  It's a common surgery, but putting off going to the doctor could have had big implications.  (Don't mess with a hernia friends.  Yes, you may hear stories of people putting going to the doctor off, but that is a big risk.  We believe Thomas' was actively tearing.)

Thank you all for praying.   He is on the track to healing that he needs to be.  He will have to stay down for 5-7 days and let his body heal (or risk needing another surgery).  Moving is extremely painful.  He can walk (and has to every hour and a half), but getting up or sitting down uses his core muscles .  Using the core stomach muscles is not fun at all.  (Side Note: The pain was so bad in the hospital that they had to give him morphine.  Thomas doesn't take prescription medication unless it's a last resort.  That tells you that this has thrown him for a loop.)

I'm am now having to control a part of me that is unforeseen....my sense of humor.

Laughing hurts him enormously.

If you know our family, that is how we cope.

When he came out of recovery I looked at him and said, "I bet you spilled your guts to the doctor, didn't you?"  (In my defense, I haven't slept much as of late with many of my family's health challenges.)  He laughed, and then I saw him in more pain than I ever have before.  I wish I could say I haven't done it since, but every once in awhile it pops out.  I did it again tonight.  Arggg....I'm having to readjust my whole mentality (and so has my poor husband the jokester).

Thank you for your continued prayers for healing for Thomas and my whole family.   Please pray infection stays away (when praying for my husband) and that he doesn't reinjure himself.  He can't pick up anything beyond 10 lbs for quite awhile.

Thank you all who have sat with kids, sent notes, visited, and made YUMMY soup tonight. Things could have been so much worse.  It may have been a rougher summer, but our Heavenly Father has been with us the whole way.

Thomas' post on Facebook:

"Hey!! Well it feels like someone stabbed me in the stomach...oh wait, they did. Our God gives and takes away. Blessed be His name! God blesses my wife. She is my shining crown! Our children are sparkling jewels in that crown. I lift that crown and each of you up to Him! His mercies and graces are outdone only by His love. Thank you for loving my family and I...a sinner, one who does not love the Lord as He deserves...but one who wants to love the Lord as He deserves. God bless each of you, His forgiveness for any your sins! Now take this day the Lord has made and rejoice and be glad in it! As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord....but i might do it from this chair for a bit if its okay, for just a while."


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Update and More Prayer

Though (of course) more stuff is always happening here (no joke, three things in the last 24 hours...pffttt), I need to ask for prayers for my wonderful husband.

He was suffering with abdominal pain yesterday and went to the doctor this morning.  If you knew my husband, you'd know it was pretty painful if he actually went to the doctor (smile).  He's of the "rub some dirt on it and it will get better".

He has a tear in the lining of his abdominal wall (hernia) and will be having surgery tomorrow.  We appreciate all prayers.


Saturday, August 8, 2015

The Seizure and the Battle Weary

I woke up bleary eyed.  My eyes half closed, I stumbled to my phone to turn off the alarm and not wake Thomas and Ben.

Shutting the door quietly, I went to spend some time in my Bible.  Quite awhile ago I decided that my most important relationship needed to be my priority and with a house full, early morning was my only time alone.

Shutting the door quietly, I found, was my first mistake of the morning...

I'm tired.  It's been a long month.  I decided I would crawl back into bed with my husband and maybe sneak another hour or two.  Apparently my cat/kitten (Miss Chiph) was sleeping extremely deeply while cuddled up with Thomas.


Opening up the door I scared her...like I've never seen her scared before.

(I must admit at this point in writing I'm totally laughing.)

I scared the urine out of her. (Don't judge me...chuckle...it's our crazy life.)

In the middle of the bed.

We didn't know.

Miss Chiph started crying in a way I didn't know cats could.  Picture a cat sobbing.  Miss Chiph clung to me as I held her and climbed into bed.

My husband rolled over....

Ya....

He rolled over right into a cat-made swimming pool.

That's the way we woke up this morning.  I will say we don't have many firsts anymore, but there's always something new around here.  That was just the beginning of the day.  It didn't get a whole lot smoother after that.

Strangely, there has constantly been new things during the last few weeks, most of which we would have (truthfully) chosen to bypass.

Strangely? (What am I thinking..we are adopting.  Maybe not so strangely.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mommy, my head itches.

Sounds like an innocuous sentence? Doesn't it?

Yet we had something (wildly) we had never experienced before.

Gabe had a mild fever, a headache, had torn up his scalp itching, and had enlarged lymph nodes at the back of his head and scalp.



No, not lice.  Normally at this point I would be saying, "Thank you! Thank you!"

Gabriel (after a sample was taken) was diagnosed as having a staph infection in the scalp.  For those that don't know, staph is everywhere and really common.  Any crowded place can have one child passing it to another.

This was a first for us.  Thankfully it was not antibiotic resistant (MRSA), just stubborn.  Poor Gabe....

He is now on his forth round of antibiotics (a stronger one) and it looks to be knocking out the remainder of it.  We no longer see the actual infection (ummmm...not the most pleasant for Gabriel or us...gross stuff).  I can't wait to be able to use actual shampoo on him again.

I'm so thankful for a thorough pediatrician.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As we moved farther away from the diagnoses, we started getting weird sounds from our laundry room (our dryer was slowly dying, but this was different).  Don't worry....we figured out..... after having to  wade through a couple inches of water in our kitchen (chuckle).

The washing machine....

Every towel (dirty or clean), blanket, piece of cloth...came out to soak up the mess.  Every fan came out to dry the floors.

We then spent days running a few blocks away to do laundry at my mom's house.  (By the way, my mom is AWESOME!)

Before spending money that (well truthfully) most of us don't have at the ready, Thomas took a look at the machine with the help of Anna.  A tube had popped off.  Ok, no big deal...

But wait...this is NOT a normal home...(smile)

After reattaching everything, the kitchen was dry and very clean,

Then it flooded again.  I'm pretty sure the washing machine was laughing at us.

At that point I handed the situation to my husband. It was that or open fire, and that probably wasn't advisable.

 THANKFULLY, he double checked that the washer was under warranty (it was).  We were under the impression that it had expired.

The guy that fixed it was fantastic.

So, of course, he wouldn't have seen the next event coming.

Twenty minutes after he left....it flooded the entire kitchen... again.  I'm was thinking our washing machine was evil about then.

Apparently the model of our washer has issues.  Another tech had seen the exact same situation before and it was not fixable.

We now have a new washer (blessing out of the craziness).

Yet, the road we were traveling had just begun.

After a situation that created emotional strain that we are still recovering from (and processing), this difficult road continued.  We had an event, not from within the family, that had far reaching implications...and some processing that may go on for years.  That's a story I'm not going to share on here at this point.

The next event is a story within itself.

Sunday Morning July 19th

Sarah had been running a fever.  It was being stubborn, so my husband sacrificed his bed so that I could keep an eye on her.  Yes, she's eighteen (almost 19), but we couldn't get her fever to stay down.

I climbed into bed at around 6:15am and at around 6:25 heard Sarah slide out of bed and head to the bathroom.

I didn't awake again until barely after seven when my husband was yelling for me and I watched him carry my pale, unconscious daughter through the play area of our house to the living room.

We've pieced things together since then.

Sarah felt nauseous and headed to the bathroom.  At that point her head started feeling "full" and her ears started ringing.  She recalls thinking, "This is just like when I had a seizure last time.  Nah...."

That's one of the last things she remembers.  We are missing around 25 minutes.  She awoke with her head trapped from when she fell.  She had slight red lines near her neck (though it was the top of her head that was caught).  It felt like rising from a sound sleep.  In her head she was still in bed with me.  She was disoriented...and then realized she was trapped...stuck.  She yanked around, trying to pull her head from the position, her mind not processing where she was or why this happened.  She could not make a coherent thought and screamed.  My husband said it was similar to a wounded animal.  I didn't hear it.

As he made it to the bathroom door and wasn't sure whether to open it or not, knowing she may not be decent, but when she didn't answer he jimmied the door and she was in the process of standing up.

"Daddy", she said.  He pulled her into his chest.  "It's happening again."

She then passed out and Thomas called to me.  It all happened in an instant.  It hadn't happened since  February 7th (and never before that).

We went to a local hospital ER that specializes in Neurology where this was taken VERY seriously.  Sarah spent four days in the hospital with every test you can imagine run (MRI, two CT Scans, Lumbar Puncture, x-rays, blood cultures, multiple blood test,  EEG, 24 hour EKG etc.).  The hospitalization and three doctor's appointments later and all the test results were normal.





Well, almost everything....

Celiac Disease (a severe allergy to gluten, which is a derivative of wheat and used as a binder in almost everything)....

Yup, we finally have a suspect.  We had no clue gluten allergy could cause seizures.  Just before both seizures (within two weeks) Sarah had changed her diet to contain much more wheat.  The clincher is she had unexplained weight loss (and the inability to gain it back) starting in January (February being the first seizure).  So now we wait and see....

Side Note: Did I mention Sarah had a reaction to three different meds while in the hospital and right after? One medication turned her bright red (like a bad sunburn) and she had problems breathing. The combination of two medications made her liver enzymes SKYROCKET to dangerous levels.  She also had serious side effects from the fourth med (temporary anti-seizure med).

Sarah is still recovering.  She is almost off of the anti seizure meds (you get off them too quickly and they can....wait for it...cause seizures).  She has started a new part time job yesterday (did I not mention she got a job offer while recuperating?). The hard thing about seizures (ok, one of many) is that, just like a broken leg, your brain needs to heal.  For her this means that her brain can't process lots of movement and sound (she works in retail) for a bit without making her overwhelmed.  There's also a lot of weakness (we think much of it is from the medication) as she recovers.

Never do I want to feel as helpless as seeing my baby unconscious in my husband's arms again.  NEVER....

I can't joke when writing about this.  It is scary to know your child is having seizures and you don't know why.  With each MRI being normal, we sighed, knowing what it could have been.

Side Note: Now that is not to say we didn't make jokes in the hospital, that's how we all function...laughter.  My favorite (I think) was when Sarah was woken up at 5:00 am for another blood draw.  They asked her what vein she wanted them to draw from.  Groggy and half awake Sarah pointed to one and said, "I think we'll STICK with this one."
She then looked over at me and said, "Get it?!"
"Sorry" she then stated with a straight face, "I'm not supposed to be this funny this early in the morning."
That's our daughter.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I wish I could say our story ended here.  It's really been a case of dominoes all in a row.  One event catapults us to another.  I can't even share everything at this point.

While Sarah was still recovering and had more tests being run, Tom came home from work his hands swollen, painful, and itching.

Benadryl did not touch it.

A doctor and steroids AT FIRST didn't touch it.  It traveled up his back, his face, and down him...red painful itchy hives.

It took a few days, but they slowly disappeared.

Like it was taunting us, they returned within the week.  Tom couldn't drive or even feed himself with the hand swelling and pain.

After steroids, he is again back to normal and we have a theory.

We have become detectives as of late.  Tom has started a new job and we believe he is highly allergic to either the cleaning fluid or the soap used there.  He is going to attempt to take higher precautions, but we're not sure this is a job he will be able to keep.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As we sat back on the couch to relax after battling a virus (yes, there was a virus in here too), we got a call from our daughter the camp she was at six hours away.

Our poor youth ministers, Tom and Wendy, knew ALL the drama rampaging through our house.  I know they had to go, "Really? Anna?!"  I love them.  They are crazy, wonderful, and had our Anna's back.

She had a quickly traveling rash going up her leg.  The nurse felt, with Benadryl not working, that it was an infection.  Ok, so lets think about this....a quickly traveling infection.

I will admit, I hung up the phone the first time she called and burst into tears (of course I didn't let her know that).  My baby was six hours away and though logically I knew she would most likely be just fine...most likely doesn't cut it for a mama and daddy heart.  This was exhausting....

 (Shoot, this is exhausting writing all this...LOL.)

With a circle drawn around an ever traveling infection, we waited a couple of hours and she went to the ER.

Anna, being our outside girl, had brushed against something unknown and had a allergic reaction. The ER had only seen this reaction a couple times in the last several weeks (never before this).  They have no clue what caused it.

This was our least surprising adventure.  Anna is an outdoors, hands on, nature lover (as well as ANYTHING living).

By the way...she had a BLAST at camp! (Just had to throw that out there.)


Anna is in the center of the three girls looking at the camera in one row.

SOOOOO....why share all this?  Well, it's what's going on.  It's our crazy wonderful life.  This isn't all that's happened, but all I have the energy, permission, or ability to share at this point.

We've taken a bit of a battering.  We are trying to process an event that I touched on earlier.  Yet, through all of this our friends and family have stood beside us.  Sarah's fiance (and his family) was at her side.  My brother took off work.  My mom came to sit with the kids for awhile and ran errands.  My friend Amber sat with the kids, made dinner, and washed dishes.  My husband's work made it possible to tag team at the hospital.  Many offered to come.  Many asked what we needed.  Some friends brought meals or visited the hospital.  Sarah's room was filled with flowers.

It has been exhausting, but a reminder that the network of love that surrounds us made (even in hardship) everything run smoothly.

Times like this are not normal for us. Maybe I should add at the end of the sentence.....unless we are adopting.

I don't think it's just adopting though.  It's whenever you open up your hearts and lives and follow God.

There is never any guarantee it will be easy and this is the first time our children have been hit so blatantly.

We've had people question this thought...the thought that the evil one attacks those who are following God's Plan for them.  I've been told that sometimes in life these things just happen.

We have experience in life that some may not though (just as they have experiences we haven't).  We are not perfect.  We have not always listened to God and at times been in rebellion.  Yet in our experience we have learned that the master of lies will do whatever possible to discourage you from a path God has put you on.  The fighting has been painful this time (in many ways we haven't shared), not just everything breaking (though many things have).

We have seen time and time again the trials increase when you take a road less traveled. Many friends are in the midst of battle right now.  It's blown us away the war going on around us...the trials fellow brothers and sisters are fighting just to cling to God and His Path.

It's rough stuff...the war.  Yet, for us, a little boy waits at the end of this road.

Our three year old Timothy Bryan...unseen because he was born a little different.  Our family celebrates different and cannot wait to hold...hug...and love every ounce of this little blessing.


Through this we will battle, laugh, and truthfully cry.

We appreciate prayer and ask for prayer.

We know we have been carried through by our loving God with prayers from our awesome Christian family up until this point.

We are battle worn.  We are weary.  Yet, we know who wins in the end.

GOD

Prayer requests:
*That the "processing" we are doing, comes to a conclusion (in our hearts)... understanding and hope.
*That all illness, allergy, and injury comes to an end for now.  For protection for our family during this adoption journey (including our "Little" across the oceans) and for God's glory during this process.
*For our paperwork to be processed quickly and flawlessly.
*Finally, for God's provision, as we are still far from what is needed to bring our son home...though we KNOW (have experienced) that God provides when you follow Him.

Adoption Update
We have our immigration fingerprint appointment this coming week.  Hopefully (prayerfully) we will not wait long for approval.  We are gathering paperwork to send to the country as soon as immigration approval comes in.  This is when the next set of fees are due.  After that we get to wait for several stages that lead up to be able to travel to the country.

Family Update
We are all slowly putting together everything for Sarah's wedding in a little over two months. Though she's getting married at her fiance's Church, there's still a lot to do.  This is a group effort. We feel we have done so little at this point.  With Sarah recovering, we are just trying to keep it all calm and non stressful.

We are still having some virus and allergy issues...getting better though (smile).

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Stepping Away

I'm stepping  away from the blog for a bit.  I need to focus on God and rest in Him.  There is so much "busy" that I need to take a brief sabbatical.  I know I disappear occasionally, but this time it's planned (chuckle).

I will check email, so if you are in need of prayer or need to get a hold of me, please email me at everlasting_momentum (at) verizon (dot) net.

 Yup, I wrote that out weird since spammers like me (smile).

~~~~~~
Adoption Update:
Our paperwork has now been sent to immigration (as of today).  We are now gathering dossier paperwork (paperwork that goes to the country).  We appreciate all prayer.

Mini Family Update:
*We are three months from our oldest daughters wedding.  The flower girl dresses came in today!!!
*Next week Jael goes in to get fitted for a new suspension system for her prosthetics that will help her be more independent!

~~~~~~

I posted this a year ago today.  It made me think.
http://everlastingmomentum.blogspot.com/2014/07/terminal-for-christ.html


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