heart in the clouds

Monday, April 28, 2008

Storms a'plenty

Apparently someone thought we haven't been through enough in the last several months. I tried to blog about this twice already and I just couldn't type it because it made me cry. It probably still will but it'll be good to get it "written" down. Writing always helps me sort my thoughts.

Last week, I was finally starting to feel better - no fever, getting some energy back, and so on. Well Wednesday, Zach's babysitter called around noon to tell me Zach had a low grade fever. I thought "oh great, he's getting another ear infection." She called again at 1:30 and said it was 102 and asked if she could give him tylenol. Obviously I said yes and then I called the doctor. They didn't have any open appointments so they told us to take him to the Twilight clinic at UK. We got there about 5 and his fever was back up, but higher - 102.8 this time. The intern checked him out and said he probably just had a cold. I insisted it was his ear; but she said she didn't see anything. So, we went home. I got his fever down to 101 and decided I could let him go to bed.

About 3 hours later, David and I were getting ready to head upstairs to bed and I heard Zach. I thought he was crying, but it sounded strange. I went in his room and saw him shaking, choking, eyes rolling back in his head. It was my worse nightmare; I've always worried about something happening to him in his sleep. I rushed over and grabbed him out of the crib. I was crying and talking to him and I couldn't get him to open his eyes; he just kept shaking, arching his back and gagging. I screamed for David and told him to call 911. Zach finally came back and then he was so confused and he just screamed and cried.

Thankfully the ambulance house is only a couple blocks away. They got there so fast. As I was walking down the stairs, I felt my legs go limp and I just had no strength in my body. I was holding Zach and trying to climb into the ambulance. The EMT took him from me so I could crawl in; it was very difficult. I have never felt that before. We finally got in and they strapped him down. He was so scared and then we had to take his blankie away and strip his clothes off. They took his temp and it was just over 104. The EMT tried to assure me that it was probably just a febrile seizure due to his temp and he probably had an infection of some kind. Zach finally calmed down and was listening to the sirens. I started asking him if he remembered seeing ambulances on the road and he said he did and then he said "doctor." Whenever we see an ambulance we always tell him it's taking someone to the doctor. David followed us in the car and said he kept up with the ambulance until about Southland Dr. then he got caught at a light. He still wasn't far behind.

We got to UK and the EMT had to carry Zach inside. He didn't understand and kept reaching for me. It was so hard not to just grab him. I finally got him back once we were inside and down the hall. They immediately gave him more Tylenol and weighed him. He'd lost half a pound this week; he's down to 28 lbs. even. He did so good even though we were all so scared. We were taken to the peds area of the ER where they gave him ibuprofen because his temp wasn't dropping fast enough. They attached one of those oxygen sensors to his big toe, which he hated, but endured.

The resident came in and looked in his ears and said he thought he had an ear infection. (Hmmm didn't I say that about 5 hours earlier hmmmmm). But, they wanted to dig some wax out and then let the attending say for sure. They did a strep culture and made him move his head all around. At first he wouldn't move his head, but the nurse said he had to so he could buy his way out of a spinal tap. I got very insistent to Zach that he do what she said and he did, whew. Once his fever was down, he was having a good old time in the hospital bed laughing and being himself. He kept saying he was sleepy, but he refused to sleep. Finally about 2 something, they discharged us with a prescription for omnicef that they insisted we fill on the way home (thank God for 24 hour pharms) and instructions to call the pediatrician in the morning. Zach stayed awake all the way home, eating cheerios and looking at the lights. I don't know why he hates sleep so much sometimes.

Thursday morning we called his ped. and got him in there before noon. He felt pretty certain it was a febrile seizure, but got us an appointment in neurology for Friday morning. The people in neuro were so nice to Zach and he passed his physical exam with flying colors. The neuro said he wants to just take a "wait and see" approach and not expose Zach to unecessary radiation through a CT scan and not irritate his scalp for an EEG. He said if he has another one anytime soon, we'll reevaluate. Good thing is that since he was older than two when he had the first seizure, his chances for having another before he's three or four is about 30 percent. We're just supposed to try and make sure his fever never gets above 101.5 to try and prevent it. They also wrote us a prescription for a gel that will stop a seizure that lasts too long should we need it.

I think we're finally getting back on schedule and starting to get caught up on missed sleep. Now, I'm a worry wart anyway, so this has really shaken me. I have a hard time leaving him in his room alone. I wake up with every cough or similar noise on the monitor. I thought I was going to have a heart attack the other night when the cat hacked a hairball at 5 a.m. I thought it was Zach. I've had to really work hard and just putting Zach in God's hands and trusting Him to take care of my little baby. It's the least I can do when I think about all the trust God has in me to raise this little boy. It blows my mind that He, the God of the universe would trust ME to take care of one of his children; that He would trust any of us to do that is wild and humbling at the same time.

I really feel like Satan has lodged a very pointed attack on our family's health in the last 7 or 8 months. It's unreal how many maladies we've endured: my gallbladder rebellion; David's stroke; gluten intolerance; weird blood tests, englarged spleen and now my baby's first febrile seizure. I mean, attack me and David all you want, but stay away from my son. That's what I've been feeling all weekend. I've been asking God to just bind Satan from our home and from our health and to just make him leave us alone. I know He can do it; I believe it and I will not underestimate His power to give us victory over all this mess and give Him all the glory for it.

One of my favorite passages in scripture is 2 Corinthians 4: 7-18:
7 Now we have this treasure in clay jars, so that this extraordinary power may be from God and not from us. 8 We are pressured in every way but not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair; 9 we are persecuted but not abandoned; we are struck down but not destroyed. 10 We always carry the death of Jesus in our body, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who live are always given over to death because of Jesus, so that Jesus' life may also be revealed in our mortal flesh. 12 So death works in us, but life in you. 13 And since we have the same spirit of faith in accordance with what is written, I believed, therefore I spoke, we also believe, and therefore speak, 14 knowing that the One who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus, and present us with you. 15 For all this is because of you, so that grace, extended through more and more people, may cause thanksgiving to overflow to God's glory.

16 Therefore we do not give up; even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. 17 For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. 18 So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen; for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

I know this is a long long post already, but the past few months make me take refuge in Christ through a song I hear often on the radio as well. It's Bring the Rain by MercyMe...so here's the lyrics just to vie for the super long post award in my blog.

I can count a million times
People asking me how I can praise You with all that I've gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly change who I forever am in You

Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times
So I pray

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain

I am yours regardless of the clouds that may loom above
because you are much greater than my pain
You who made a way for me suffering Your destiny
So tell me whats a little rain

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Catching Up, Celiac and Lots of Needles

I just realized I haven't blogged in forever...well okay, two weeks, but it feels like forever. I just haven't felt really well and I got behind. I've been a pretty healthy person most of my life so the last 7 weeks or so have been extremely miserable and annoying for me. It all started out with my heart racing when I laid down at night. I went to the dr. and they did an EKG and said it was fine. I've been known to produce a little too much adrenaline so they put me on a beta blocker and drew some blood. That's where the fun begins. My labs came back showing elevated liver enzymes, which prompted my dr. to draw MORE blood and schedule a liver ultrasound. In the meantime I was sick with bronchitis, walking pneumonia and some awful stomach symptoms that I won't detail here.

I felt okay after the Z-pack, but my cough never really went away and a week later I started spiking a fever again. So, off the to the urgent treatment center I went where the dr. told me that she wasn't concerned with my 100 degree temp and that it was probably all allergies. WRONG ANSWER. She told me to call back if my fever didn't go down or if I felt worse. Well a week later, I was still coughing, still feverish so I called. She called in a 10 day course of high-dose amoxycillin. That should've killed basically any bug in my body, right? Eight days into that, I still had fever at night and they did a monospot test on me, which came back negative.

Meanwhile, I had the ultrasound that showed my liver was fine, but my spleen was enlarged. At my followup with my real dr. she said she thought I could still have mono and they had not tested me for the right things at the UTC (imagine that). So you guessed it, more blood drawn. This time the results came back showing I had elevated lymphocytes in my blood, which my dr. thought pointed even more to a viral infection. The Epstein Barr virus test (for mono) came back negative, so we're stumped. She was ready to punt me to hematology, but when I told her I hadn't had fever in 4 or 5 days and that I was feeling a lot better, she decided to ...you guessed it, draw more blood. SO tomorrow I have to get another CBC with differential to determine if the lymphocytes have improved.

Oh and I have to mention that in the midst of all this I went gluten-free and it solved all my stomach issues that I've had since Zachary was born. My dr. has not yet fully addressed the gluten problem, but I'll likely get a celiac disease diagnosis before this is all over. So now my theory is that the celiac disease (gluten intolerance) has depressed my immune system so much that my body was just fed up and decided to protest by accepting each and every infection to cross my path. Eating gluten free is a challenge and at times very depressing, however, I'm dealing with it and it's been a month of strict adherence and I KNOW it's helped already.

Yes I'm still nervous about my big ol' spleen and my high lymphocytes, but I truly believe the prayers of God's people have carried me this far and He is not going to let me go now. Whatever is to come, I will face it with the Lord holding me the whole way. I pray that God answers the prayers so many of you and other friends and family have lifted up for my complete healing very soon. I know it's working! I even had the energy to cook supper last night and play outside with Zach. Lately all I've wanted to do is sit on the couch or sleep so this is a huge step.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Thank you Jesus for Cheseeeeee!

I must say that from about a day old, Zach has commanded the attention of the young females at our church. A few of the girls even came to see him and hold him in the hospital. I have always joked that there will come a time in his life when he's confused as to why all the girls don't want to kiss him. He's been so blessed to have all the attention and he really LOVES it. Now that's he talking more and learning all their names, we have a new "issue." It's not really a problem, but he repeats the girls names over and over again if we even come within a mile of the Kurch (his word for church). Last night as we passed the church, Zach started asking for Cheseeeeee (Chelsea), which is understandable because she usually sits with him if we are all at Wed. supper and she plays with him a lot. We've even taken Zach to see her where she works. Each time he said her name, it got louder and longer. He really wanted to see her! I kept telling him we'll see her tomorrow at church and he'd yell "NO, I wanna see her, hold her." It was pathetically cute and I told "Cheseeeeee" on her facebook wall that if I had $100 for every time he said her name last night, I'd be quite wealthy for a day's pay.

After we got home, the routine went as usual - cooking in his play kitchen, eating supper in the real kitchen, bath, books, bed. I was holding him before putting him down to bed and we were singing songs that he likes. He stopped and said pay...he wanted me to pray. So we held hands and bowed our heads and he waited for me to start the words. I always thank Jesus for simple things and people in his life like his family, friends, books, etc. Well I was in the middle of this and he looked up and said

Zach: "mommy? cheseee?"
Me: Oh do you want to thank Jesus for Chelsea?
Zach: Yesth
Me: okay, you can do that
Zach: Thank Jesuh fo cheseeeeee

It was so sweet, then he went down the list and thanked Jesus for MawMaw (my mom who he must call almost daily), Owie (his aunt Lori) Shebeee (Shelby), Emma, Hayee (Haylie) and Kim; Jenfuh, Nick, Nina (Linda babysitter), Papaw (babysitter's husband), mommy, daddy, Ayden, Alyssa, and on and on. I was amazed at how many people he could remember by name. He repeated a few, but mostly said all original names.

I think it's great that he's learning the concept of being thankful and learning that we can pray about the people we love and thank the Lord for them. Now some people would say a two year old could never understand the concept of God and Jesus and prayer, but I have to disagree somewhat. He understands in his two-year-old way and that's all he needs to understand right now.

The picture is of him and "Cheseeeee" last fall. She took it at Judgment House on her cell phone. Oh, he's the Zebra haha

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Can you pick yourself up? Or, do you need some help?

This actually happened more than a week ago, but I've been slammed at work so this is my first chance to start writing again.

Last night (April 6) we didn't go to church. I figured since David went to the Urgent Treatment Center for a sinus and ear infection on Saturday and I went for my recurring cough, we needed to rest. We took a nap yesterday afternoon and Zach decided his nap would not be the usual 3 hours, so David went to his room and cuddled with him in the recliner and they fell back asleep. So did I...until 4:30. Oh my gosh, don't ever let your child nap that long, it really makes the nighttime SUCK!

We all got up and made our way downstairs to the living room, err play room. We were all on the floor and Zach had all his Little People out, playing with his farm. We keep all the Little People things in a canvas "box" with handles. Zach dumped everything out on the floor and I thought he was going to begin to fill up the barn as usual. Well no, he told me he needed to "get in." So I let him get in the canvas box. He likes to sit inside it sometimes and let us drag him around, and so on. This time he stood up, grabbed the handles and started to pull and strain and say UP UP UP. David and I got a kick out of it and let him stay at it for awhile. He really thought he could pick himself up by lifting the box he was standing inside. Soon he tired of it and said "MOMMY , HELP, UP!" I told him to sit down as it is not safe to lift the box with him standing up. He refused, but finally realized I was not going to lift him up until he did what I said and became a little more submissive.

Even writing that made my AHA moment even more so. How many times do I try to do things myself, even when it's obvious I can't? How many times do I cry out to my heavenly Father to help me, but then refuse to do what He wants me to before He reaches down and picks me up? SO MANY times - countless times. You'd think I'd learn by now that His conditions are just for my wellbeing, but no, that old selfish girl that wants to keep saying "I DID IT!" continues to rear her ugly head. I'm still amazed at how much my child teaches me about my spiritual condition - if I let God use him to do so.