Overwhelmed - Headed Home Part 6 August 09 2015, 3 Comments
So back to where I left off.
September 5 - Justin came down and we stayed overnight at the hospital for the first time together. After Bryer was "stable" they took him for chest X-rays and found he had double pneumonia. Meanwhile the blood cultures they had taken a few days before came in along with the results from the fluid in his belly. He had somehow contracted Adenovirus. So, in summary, he had Enterovirus, Adenovirus and now Pneumonia. This was of course on top of seizures and everything else that was Bryer. Baby was so sick.
They told us he may not make it through the night and it might be a good idea if we both stayed. The next 24 hours would be very telling and things could turn for the worse very quickly.
Justin and I were sitting on the couch next to Bryer's bed, covered in a blanket, when Dr. H came into the room at about 9pm. It was dark except for the blue, red, green and white hues softly illuminating from his monitors. It felt so safe to have Justin beside me. Dr. H pulled up the rocking chair. Rarely did doctors do that. He had come to talk to us about some decisions. They were going to test Bryer's lungs to see if the Adenovirus was there and the cause of his pneumonia. If they found it was, it'd be a very serious situation. The only way to possibly recover from that is to be given a certain anti-viral medication (the name escapes me). It would be the only hope to save his life. However, it's potency makes it very dangerous, the most extreme of the side effects being severe damage to Bryer's kidneys (which were actually healthy). So bad, in fact, he'd be left on dialysis for the rest of his life. Dr. H wanted to talk to us about all of this and make sure we thoroughly understood. Ultimately, he'd need a decision from us that evening as they can't give that medication without parental consent. This was all IF Adenovirus was found in his lungs.
We quietly listened with intent. When done, he sat waiting for a response. I imagine there were some deep breaths and sighs exchanged between Justin and I as we took a moment to collect our thoughts. Swirling in my head...the possible benefits vs. consequences...his current quality of life...the status of his seizures which were devastating him and yet to be controlled without much hope to gain any…. Dialysis for the rest of his life on top of everything else? I just couldn't imagine wrecking his body anymore than it was already by giving him another MAJOR issue. So we could set him up to be riddled with the next virus that blew his way? This was the 6th such admission to the PICU for the kind of viruses most healthy children fight off in 1-2 days. It would almost be like sending a broken boned, smashed face, eyes swollen shut, wobbly legged, blacking-out boxer back into the ring for another round of incessant pounding. As he sits in the corner you band-aid his eyes, squirt sips of water into his mouth and give him a pat-on-the-back. And oh wait son, let me go ahead and break your good arm before I send you back out there. No, I can imagine if that was your son in the ring, all you'd want to do is say "ENOUGH", wrap your arms around him and take him HOME.
I looked at Dr. H and quietly offered something to the effect, "We want more for Bryer than this (motioning around the picu). Our faith is strong and our hope is not in this world or this temporary and fleeting life. We just want more for him, you know? My immediate inclination would be to say no to the drug." If you know me, you'd know that one of the biggest anxiety producers in my life is making decisions. Dinner menu's stress me out. But I was sure of this...and when I think back on these moments, I am shocked that I spoke first and with assurance. The only explanation is God's leading.
Then I looked at Justin. "What do you think?"
Nodding, "I completely agree." He said quietly as his gaze lifted from the floor.
For as confident as I was in what had come out of my mouth, I promise you it was still not easy to say.
This segued our conversation to one of faith and our mutual love for The Lord. He shared with us that he too was a believer. He told us it had actually come down to a decision for him to either go to seminary or to go to medical school…
And though he had chosen medicine for his career, God had prepared his heart for divine appointments such as these.
If you had been a fly on the ceiling (with spiritual vision), you'd have looked down and seen four people. A broken-hearted set of parents and a doctor huddled in the darkness of just ONE room, on just ONE floor, of just ONE children's hospital, within just ONE state, within just ONE country placed on this planet...which hangs in the vastness of the Universe…next to the crib of just ONE sick baby. And yet, from the expanse of everything God is, you'd have seen one hand reached down and delicately placed on all three of our shoulders and the other scooped gently beneath Bryer. Listening to our hushed voices over the monitor beeps, IV pumps and ventilator's whistles and whooshes, you'd have been witness to an example of God's perfectly timed and beautifully choreographed arrangement. It blows my mind to think of God being so intimately involved. But He was.
Oh He is so mighty and mysterious and incomprehensible…
Yet, I can say I know Him well...
Because He makes Himself known when you open your heart and let Him be known.
He gave us wise counsel that night and shared poignant scripture. He encouraged and reaffirmed. He showed love and compassion to our baby. We shared our hearts and he listened.
Maybe you wonder who am I referring to...
Yes, Dr. H had been a part of our team already for days, but now it had been revealed that he was also a brother. A brother who was in the trenches holding the same eternal hope. He was equipped and willing to be the hands, feet and mouthpiece of Jesus at a time we were ripe with heartache and our spirits needed ministering.
So to answer the above question is both. God was working through Dr. H in a mighty and tender way.
It was one of those times God overwhelmed us. His intimate attention. His affection. His guidance to us….just ONE handful of His children.
To be continued..