In a month like this one, I’ve been reminded on almost a daily basis how glorious it can be when a husband and wife have personalities that help balance each other out. There have been dozens of moments where we could’ve absolutely fallen apart, but somehow we’ve managed to hold it together…together.
One of the challenges of having your child in the care of the medical community is being able to trust that things are being done “the way they should be.” Especially when you’re not a trained medical professional, and don’t know your ICPs from your EVDs, you’re at the mercy of trusting that you’re being given the correct information and the right decisions and judgement calls are being made.
We’ve been so fortunate to feel like we’ve received fantastic care at just about every turn, but in the few places where we felt uncertain or uncomfortable or even frustrated, the Hero Hubs set a precedent early on that stuck with me through every twist and turn. He said something to the effect of:
“Blake is not going to get better care if we freak out or get angry or yell at people.”
Getting angry and yelling at people isn’t something we commonly do, but when you’re under stress and your kid is in critical condition, you might be tempted to break down crying over a dirty diaper or a nurse tripping over a stand attached to an EVD.
We quickly found ourselves in a place where we realized we were going to have to trust that somehow even the things that seemed wrong or delayed or rushed too quickly or unsatisfactory in some other way could still work out for good for Blake.
A couple of weeks ago, Blake pulled out his feeding tube (the nasal kind) with three adults in the room standing just a few feet from him. It happened so quickly the decision was made that he needed a restraint to prevent this happening again. The reinsertion process was very difficult for him AND the people doing it.
Later the hospital decided to discontinue the restraints, but as parents we thought, “Hmm… I think we need to keep using them…” or else we will have to figure out how to hold his hand for absolutely every second of every day.
Somewhere along the line, someone decided to assign a sitter to Blake twenty-four hours a day. The ‘sitter’ is an individual responsible for literally sitting near Blake, helping care for him and most importantly making sure that (since the restraints have been discontinued) he does not pull out any stitches or tubes with those clever hands of his.
This evening Blake went to sleep and while the sitter wasn’t watching stirred and pulled out his feeding tube again.
I wanted to lose it and freak out. I wanted to say “You had one job!!!” Or, “Why don’t you just head out and I’ll take it from here.” But in the back of my mind, I remembered that Blake wouldn’t benefit in ANY way whatsoever from me losing my cool. So I stepped out and took some deep breaths and trusted that it was going to be okay.
Do we need to speak up and ask questions if we are concerned that things are being done incorrectly? Absolutely. But won’t handling things with kindness endear us to the people caring for Blake and for our family so much more than rudeness or meanness or harshness or freaking out?
And how much of life does this principle apply to?
Proverbs 15:1 says, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Whether we feel like we’ve been unjustly treated at work, cut off in traffic or treated unfairly at any turn in our journey, we are so much less likely to improve our situation if we set out to be harsh or rude or even just dang unpleasant.
But as we’ve done our best to choose kindness and goodness and gentleness, we have received exactly that in abundance in return from the caregivers that have walked us through this rollercoaster of a month.
As I continue doing my best to learn in this hard place, I hope these thoughts encourage you that life just plain feels better when you decide to face it with a smile and kindness and a good helping of self-control.
Mother Teresa often said, “Take whatever He gives and give whatever He takes with a big smile.”
When we trust Him to work everything together for our good and His glory, we truly can live our days doing exactly that.
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Update on Our Sweet Blake
Thank you for your prayers, dear friends. I am so happy to say Blake is making wonderful progress and we feel closer and closer to that beautiful day when our boy will get to come home with us. He is beginning to speak more and more, and we have seen so many beautiful glimpses of his personality, still definitely in tact. He still has that pesky feeding tube and perhaps some weakness on his left side, but we are watching him get stronger every day. He has begun walking with assistance, is able to write his name and guess letters and still even remembers how to count in Spanish! We are praying for his 100% head to toe healing and continue to Raise Hallelujahs for all the Lord has done and all He still will do! Thank you for joining us.
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