Photo by Sarah Stucky Photography

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Back at CHLA

Thanks again for praying for our sweetie. He's had a rough couple of days!

I guess I should start with June 27.  It was a Sunday, and we had just returned from Menifee watching "Uncle Mike" perform with AmericaSingers.  Matthew woke up and started walking, and tumbled into Kathryn's bed, hitting his upper lip on the corner.  (Evil, evil bed corners!) We went to the ER, got 3 stitches and he's been healing up pretty well since then.

On Friday, June 2, I noticed that Matthew didn't look like he was feeling very well.  He wasn't playing as much and was whiny.  I also noticed a change.. like he had diarrhea. (Since the surgery it already looks like that... it was now way more watery and worse).  His rash had finally cleared up, but now it flared up again.
We gave lots of fluids and tried to help him feel better, and he seemed okay, just a little sick.  Saturday it was about the same, maybe just a little worse.

Sunday we had quite the time.  We went to church and I stayed in the van for a minute to change Matthew's diaper again while Wes went to check the kids into their Sunday School classes.  He left me the keys, so I locked up and then let Matthew hold them.  I kept my hands under his to catch the keys if he would drop them and then continued into church.  We went to look for Wes in case he was already sitting down, but didn't see him, so Matthew and I went to get a drink of water.  I lost track of the keys by this time, and it wasn't until I found Wes a minute later that I realized that I didn't have them.  *sigh*  Well, we combed the church a few times and the trail from the van and then just sat to enjoy the rest of the service.  After church we got the kids,and retraced steps again and then asked for help.  A free lunch at the church, a couple hours later, and we had AAA come and make us a new key so we could at least get home.  And, to keep up and take responsibility.. yes, I gave the baby our one and only van key to play with..
Well, we got a call later that night, and a young kid from the church had picked them up and stuck them in his pocket.  His parents found them in the evening and called the church.  Amazing!  Praising God for that.. and now we have a spare key!

On the Sunday (which was the 4th) we celebrated with an early dinner at my parents house (that would have been lunch had we not been stuck at the church for so long), and we had a really nice time! The kids even helped make these and were so proud:

We were hoping to do the fireworks and fun later on, but we started to get very concerned for Matthew.  He looked a little worse... his eyes were sunken in a little bit and he looked pale.  He had lost his appetite and I tried to feed him but he didn't want to eat anything.  (That is absolutely not normal behavior for our boy!)
So, I called the surgeon and they said to bring him in to the ER to see what was going on.  They ran tests and said he looked okay.. Maybe he had a viral infection (or small flu) but everything else was fine as far as they could tell.  They gave fluids through an iv since he looked a bit dehydrated and sent us home.

Monday morning... Matthew woke up and was.... lethargic, and pale and had the same sunken eyes.  I thought he might be tired so I held him for a bit so he could rest and gave him something to drink.  He promptly threw up the 2 ounces he drank and looked so awful it was frightening.  I called the surgeon, left Wes home with the kids and arrived at the Emergency room.  The surgeon had given me his cell phone number which we called from the elevator to let them know we were there and we got in immediately.  They took one look at him and about 10 people rushed into the room and started poking him, trying desperately to get in an IV to get some fluids in him.  After about 15 tries the surgeon finally put a central line into his leg/groin area.... and Matthew's leg turned purple.  They elevated his leg and after some fluid got into him, everything slowly started to get better.  His skin returned to normal color, he started to fight and complain about what was going on, his leg returned to normal shape and color.  I can honestly say that I have never been more frightened than in those moments... claiming the name of Jesus over and over again as I begged for mercy and healing, and guidance over the doctors and nurses as they got the line in.  And the Lord heard my request.

They admitted Matthew to the hospital.  His improvement after fluids was so dramatic that he went to a regular room rather than the ICU, thankfully.  They are treating him for enterocolitis, which basically is an infection of the intestine.  Apparently it is very common and very easy for kids to get this kind of infection after the surgery Matthew just had.  They have ran a bunch of tests, he is on antibiotics and IV fluids, but is getting better.  We've done this bit before :)  They are just moving slow to let him drink clear fluids tonight, probably progressing to food tomorrow if he does well with no issues.  Not sure when we are going home, but hopefully it will be soon as it's Joshua's birthday on Thursday!

I write so I can share our journey, but I also write from the heart.  This has been such a struggle, but God is greater than all of are struggles and indeed all of the fears that we may have.  I used to be so afraid...wondering and worrying about Matthew and his health and how it's going to affect his life...

Now I write this with no fear.  Yes I still wonder those millions of things, but I find absolute comfort in the Lord.  He says over and over in the Bible.  "Do not fear, do not be afraid, don't worry, Cast all of your cares upon me for I care for you".  YES! God can have our worries and fears.  Matthew is His child first and He is more than able to carry him through every health issue we deal with now. More than able to heal and take care of him.   And when we ask, The Lord answers! I could fill so many pages with lists of answered prayers.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Please keep on praying.. for healing over Matthew, for comfort as he's in the hospital again, and for a complete restoration of health.  Thank you.. I keep saying it, but it really means so very much to hear and know that so many are fighting with us in prayer for our sweet baby.

I leave you with a song, adapted/written by my brother-in-law Paul Frantsen.  I have found such comfort in singing this lately and thinking deeply about the words.  I hope that it blesses you too!  Words and an audio clip can be found here (sung by Paul and his wife... my beautiful sister Julie):

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