Tuesday, June 24, 2008

God's Mercy is Tangible

We are preparing to transfer John via ambulance to Omaha this morning. Last night we sat up and watched a little boy struggle. John's CO2 dropped to 9 yesterday evening (20-25 are normal values), this is very, very acidotic and acidosis can do very bad things to your body. An emergency EKG was ordered in the middle of the night because John's potassium was so high that he was in heart attack and heart damage range. Labs in the middle of the night showed numbers that fairly screamed renal failure - not a very comforting word. Through the night John made poop that we've only ever seen liver failure patients produce.

The night was long and dark and the storms out our windows only added to the gloom inside. At times like these I find that my mind cannot focus to think or even to pray. All human words fail me and my mind, body and soul clings to those Words of God that have been repeated so often that they are as much a part of me as is my flesh and bones.

The Kyrie quickly comes to mind, those simple cries "Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy" echo in my mind as I sit paralyzed, unable to do much more than watch my sleeping boy and listen to him breath. I know full well that God's mercy of healing takes many forms and can just as well come in the healing little body that fights off acidosis and renal failure and that God's perfect mercy is no less perfect and no less merciful when it comes int he ultimate healing of heaven where little boys no longer struggle against broken bodies. At these times the tears are surly for me because I cannot imagine life on this side of heaven without a smiling little silly boy to love and hold and watch grow up and yet I know that is a very real possibility and that should I be forced to cross that bridge that Christ in His Mercy will carry me through each painful step so that I can again share His Mercy and Love with those here who need it despite by sinful nature that would rather curl up in a ball of despair and live only for myself because I would miss my little boy so much.

The Kyrie gives way to the Creed, to the knowledge that God our Father created this little boy and Christ has redeemed him and me too. The Creed fades into the Lord's Prayer and while it takes me a while to quit choking on 'Thy will be done' because that means that John is indeed in God's hands and not in mine, but as I remember that God's will for John is perfect as is His will for Mark and I and slowly I am able to go on to 'daily bread' and remember that God provides for all our needs, including the need for healing - both earthly and eternally.

Finally I am able to 'thank Thee my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Thy dear Son that Thou has kept me this day from all harm and danger' for surely nothing of this world, not even a broken body's tendency for weakness and acidosis, can truly hurt us, for we live in Christ and He in us. I'm able to find sleep with the prayer that the 'evil foe may have no power over me' and rest in the knowledge that no matter how the battles look to be going the war has been won by Christ and His Mercy extends to every little acidotic cell.

Today I woke to a little boy who though tired from the ordeal of the night, had smiles, wanted his hearing aids, had opinions about what we should do and even played with breakfast. His labs, the tangible proof that the clinical evidence portrayed the truth of what was going on took forever to come in. Mark came to be with us as we waited, after all where else would such a wonderful daddy be on a day like today. John felt good enough to kick a little soccer ball up and down the hall with Dr. Moto and to run a play a little.

On this day God's perfect mercy came in tangible numeric proof. John's labs weren't just good, they were amazing. Not only was his acidosis rectified, but his liver and kidney numbers also look great. The relief was tangible, us, the docs, nurses, everyone who knows John had a new twinkle in their smile that despite all our efforts couldn't be achieved earlier.

We are still headed to Omaha because John has more than a weeks worth of anti-fungal and antibiotics to go and they really cause havoc with his gut. We are going because this is John's best chance to go home central line free. We are going because the experts in short gut are there. We don't yet know how long we will be there, for our own sanity Mark and I have to plan for a time period, then if it's shorter we celebrate and if longer we learn to adjust. This time we are setting our mental clocks for 4 to 6 weeks.

Before we leave we will have to say good-bye to some of the most amazing doctors, residents, med-students, nurses and hospital staff that we know. We are convinced beyond doubt that the love and dedication that these people have for John, for us, and for all they serve is yet more tangible proof of God's perfect Mercy.


AmusedMomma said...

Gina, how eloquently you put into words the silent ponderings of a parent who is concerned for their child's well-being. Knowing our children are in the capable hands of our Lord and Savior, our human nature still intervenes in our thoughts and prayers. Thank you for sharing this!

Ya'll are in my prayers!


Gina said...

Thank you for your prayers and encouragement, I sometimes wonder if I should share these moments too but often have a very hard time keeping them in.

Rob Jacklin said...


That was beautiful! I love reading your posts...not only to follow John's progress, but you also provide such a wonderful witness to the faith that we all hold so dear. You know just how to verbalize all of the emotions that occur in these situations! I know how difficult it is to get our hearts to embrace what we know in our heads. Sometimes we just need to continue to repeat those words of comfort until we can truly take hold of and believe them fully. I want you to know that we continue to pray for you all, and I think of you often. I'll remind you again that John would never be in better hands than those of yours, Mark's, and Christ's. It is wonderful to hear about his progress, and I truly believe God has amazing plans for your family. Let me know if you need anything. I was going to email you when I saw the post about Mark being in Concordia. My entire family lives there, so if you're ever there and need a place to stay, food, or anything else, let me know. They are really good at hospitality :)

Hugs and kisses to John!

Jen Jacklin (I know...I should make my own account so my husband's picture isn't always attached to my comments. I'll tell him to get to work on that for me :))

Cheryl said...

Gina, I am behind in my blog reading and so am just now catching up on the latest about John. This post was both heart-rending and beautiful. Thank you for sharing your world and your faith with us.

Gina said...

Thanks Jen. We are coming to St. Louis on the 22nd, we'd love to get a chance to visit in person. I'll email you my cell number so we can see if there is a time to meet. Thanks again.

Gina said...

Thanks Cheryl, it's nice to have you and everyone who reads to share it with :)