Friday, May 18, 2012

Judah's pituitary stimulation test

We did this nearly 4 years ago. We woke our kids up out of their sleep, ushered Tucker and Bella to various sitters and told Judah that we had to go to the hospital for a big test. Different from when Judah was 3 yrs. old, this morning he knew a lot more what those words entailed.

I was anxious to say the least about how waking up to this news would sit with Judah. Fearful that he'd break out in fitful tears and pleas of dissension or inwardly struggle with bitterness toward us for not giving him more time to process, I waited to see his response. But, I also asked a lot of people to pray for us, too.

Those prayers were heard and answered today, exceeding our expectations.

We are grateful to so many of our friends and family who prayed for this test and who have walked this journey with us all these years. We do not take it for granted at all. We are so blessed. And, in this past year as I have begun to welcome Judah into the reality that others pray for him, he has expressed his own gratitude as well. He has said often to me, "Please tell people to keep praying for me" or "I like when people pray for me."

Along with your prayers, many of you have played in supporting roles by keeping our other two monkeys for us while we attend to Judah. I cannot say thank you enough. I pray for you each and every time, and I trust God is using all of this for everyone's good. He's always doing 1,000 things at once.

So, today's test for those who like to know details involved an IV catheter placed in Judah's arm. Something new this time as compared to last time was a device called the "accu-vein" (or maybe that's the manufacturer?). In our pictures below, you'll see one has a red light hovering over Judah's arm. This machine detects de-oxygenated blood, veins, and helps the nurse find the best vein for whatever procedure she is doing. We all thought that was pretty cool and had a fun time exploring the arms of everyone in the room.

There are no pictures of Judah having the catheter initially placed because that was "all hands on deck" time--one nurse trying to get the catheter placed in just the right spot, another nurse holding Judah's arm ever so still, my hubby holding Judah on his lap as I was talking Judah through his emotional response to the pain, reminding him to take deep breaths, encouraging him to keep still, and commending his courage.

Aside from the actual "stick", Judah did not cry for the rest of the test, nor did he cry at the news of having to have the test done. My boy grows braver and more mature each time.

Along with maturity comes the switch from rewarding him with donuts to giving him a $5 limit on Legos of his choice. Given today's rather lengthy test and intensity of it, we felt it was worth at least $15! ;)

So, he chose "Kai's Blade Cycle" and worked on that for almost the entire 3 hours. Once he completed putting that together, he was able to use the computer in the room to access internet and watch videos from, his latest obsession. On days like today, it's very helpful to have a kid obsessed with something such that it will hold his attention for 3 full hours...on an empty stomach I might add.

Judah mentioned a couple times throughout the test how hungry he was, and we even heard his stomach growl, but overall responded really well to not having anything to eat until 1 pm today! I didn't make it, however, and had to sneak out of the room to grab some breakfast and coffee mid-morning. I think I'd rather have a blood draw than have to fast. Seriously. And, my buddy did both this morning and did so in such an exemplary way.

It is a joy to see Judah grow in these contexts. As difficult as they can be and as weighty as the health issues are at times, I see God using it to grow my son in character and maturity and courage and probably other things that I will only see later down the road.

He engages with his care providers with confidence and maturity. I want to believe that for some of his nurses and doctors at least, Judah is some sunshine in their day. The care providers we interact with treat some very sick children who can be incredibly affected by their ill health in heart breaking ways. Judah doesn't have an easy lot by any means, but he has been relatively very fortunate, and I want to believe brings some joy and hope to the care providers with whom he interacts.

We had great nurses today, and let me tell you what an incredible blessing that is and difference it makes in how Judah, and I would guess any child, responds to these circumstances. I have immense respect and great affection for pediatric nurses and doctors especially. They are a special, special group of men and women. If you are one and reading this, thank you, thank you, thank you! I think you could have one of the most challenging, at times heart breaking jobs on the planet. I pray the rewards far outweigh the costs to you.

So, here are some photos from our day. You can click on the image to see all of them. I'm relieved we're done with it, and elated that it went so well. Now, we wait for the results and pray for a miracle.

Pituitary Stimulation Test, 2012


Anonymous said...

Precious, Brianna, precious...
Donna L

Anonymous said...

What an incredibly brave guy- Way to go Judah!