Monday, May 05, 2008

Blown Veins, High Fevers and My Gentle Shepherd

Today, Judah had some testing done to see if he has a growth hormone deficiency. It involved receiving an initial IV through which he received medication and was to have blood drawn about 6 times over the course of 2.5 hrs.

When it came time for the IV to be placed, I decided it was best to be straigthforward about what was going to be done and why. I figure for a little boy who has and will continue to be a "frequent flyer" at doctor's offices and hospitals, it is no use trying to fool him. So, in language a near 4 year old can appreciate, I let him know what veins were, that they carry blood and that the nurse needed to get some of his blood in order to see what it looked like. I think this helped him not be so squeemish and fearful about seeing red stuff come out of his arm.

The nurse applied numbing cream to 2 spots where she thought she could get a good stick. She tried the hand; Judah screamed like nobody's business. No matter how much I've watched my little man go through, I still want to cry my eyes out, grab him and run right out of the room whenever we have to go through the "next thing." I prayed and God supplied grace to cheer him on. The nurse was able to get the IV in, but his vein quickly blew, and she had to go up to his arm. She let us know at that point that the Sturge Weber kids, for unknown reasons, tend to have weaker veins. My faithless heart immediately thought, "Great! This is going to be a long, horrible day," instead of saying, "Oh, Thank you, God, for giving us this opportunity to pray and see you come through on our behalf." ;)

We did pray, though, and the second stick, Judah amazingly did not cry! Can you believe that?! He watched the nurse stick him and said, "It doesn't hurt." We were all elated! When he saw his blood, he made some kind of comment about Jesus spilling blood and dying on the cross for our sins. Our nurse chimed right in with, "But He didn't stay dead, did He? He's up in Heaven and we'll get to see him again, right?"

Oh, Lord, why are you so kind to us?

Judah's veins blew two more times before it was all over. He cried on the last stick because the numbing cream wasn't on so well in that spot. But, he was so brave and resilient through it all. He sat on Lawrence's lap for more than 3 hours watching movies, having the life literally sucked out of him, having had nothing to eat and only sips of water until 1:00 this afternoon. Once again, my little guy won my respect like few others by his display of grace while undergoing such trying circumstances.

And, as is becoming our tradition, he proudly let all the nurses know that he would be getting Dunkin Donuts after he finished with his test. Not only that, but a very cool "Certificate of Bravery" now hangs on our fridge from his nurse, Catie (and a few other great prizes they had stashed in their prize closet)...**Mount Washington Pediatric Hospital has the BEST prize closet I've ever seen! :)

We arrived home close to 3 pm and not long after that, Bella woke up from her nap. When we checked Bella last night before we went to bed, she had a high fever, over 103. This is the 4th occurence of her starting a high fever in the middle of the night. We've talked with our pediatrician about it in the past and there's never been any alarm because she acts normal when she has them. She eats fine, plays happily, and apart from her body feeling very hot, she shows no other signs of distress. So, we've given her Tylenol and Motrin around the clock until her fever finally breaks. Sometimes, it's a day; sometimes 3 or 4 days. Today, after her nap, she woke with a 104.4 temp., the highest it's ever gone, and unlike in the past, it was affecting her breathing, her mood and energy.

So, not 2 hours after we had arrived home from the hospital, I was taking Bella to our pediatrician. The ped. thought it might be a bladder infection, and the only way to test for that on a baby is to have a catheter get a urine sample. I frowned with displeasure, but knew we had to do it. The ped. tried several times and wasn't able to draw a sample. So, we now must arrange for a kidney ultrasound.

The circumstances of our day would test anyone, I'm sure. But, all throughout the day, I sensed God's gentle Spirit shepherding me through it. When Judah's veins blew, I did eventually hear that still voice remind me that it was indeed an opportunity to pray and watch God come through. There were many times throughout the day that God directed my focus toward things I could choose to be grateful for such as my husband's presence and help today (that is often not the case), or the fact that our nurses were so patient and persevering with Judah, that Judah was so unbelievably brave and persevering himself, that we had videos to enjoy while we waited, etc. Then, when it became apparent that I was going to have to take Bella to the ped., again I sensed God's Spirit right there with me, shepherding my heart that is so prone to self pity and despair. Instead, He reminded me that THIS was the way HE chose for me to bring glory to Him today, and that HE'D provide grace for me to do it with a grateful heart rather than a fearful or despairing heart.

Again, when the catheter didn't draw a urine sample, God reminded me that His wisdom is profound and much greater than my own. He gave me grace to quietly, in my spirit, agree with the truth that for some reason I didn't see in that moment or may never see, it was better for that catheter not to work than for it to work.

I know folks were praying for us. There was evidence of God's grace all throughout our day. Thank you! Please continue to pray for our family. I can tend to fear tomorrow...not just the circumstances tomorrow may bring, but also that my heart will fail me, that the grace I saw today to choose to believe God's truth and walk in His Spirit will elude me tomorrow. But, there again, I know that, "though my heart and flesh may fail; God is the strength of my heart." I know that, "nothing can separate me from the love of God," not even my wandering heart, prone to faithlessness and despair. I know that even "if my hold should fail, HIS wondrous love will never let me go."


Anonymous said...

What an encouraging blog post! Your response shows such reliance on the Lord. Your description of Judah's ordeal brought tears to my eyes! I HATE getting my blood taken, so I can only imagine how hard it is for a little guy to get stuck so many times! And Bella too! She'll be in my prayers. I hope you can get the test soon, so if that's the problem, her fevers will stop occurring.

krista said...

Wow! All glory to God!
Thanks for such an encouraging post and we'll keep praying.

Anonymous said...

I know, I am with Danielle! Your post was so encouraging! Thank you for sharing. I ended up praying for you later in the day but it seems like others were definitely praying for you as well. I'm so happy to hear about Judah and I also had tears in my eyes -- esp. at the part where he talked about Jesus' blood on the Cross. How precious. I knew that I loved Judah before...but now... :-) I'm praying for Bella.


Beth (Young)

Anonymous said...

Aww, Judah's comment gave me chills! How inspiring to know that even though he's going through something so not fun, he's still bringing glory to God. I really can see him being an evangelist, considering at a tender age he's already professing truth!

FishMama said...

Wow! You are getting a workout in this motherhood thing. Your mom muscles will be huge! Thanks for sharing.