The days since we’ve been back from the hospital have been fantastic. Honeymoon-like, if that’s the right phrase. I mean, we’ve been having tons of family time, showing double amounts of grace and patience from all four of us, and loving the fact that our schedule has been light and breezy.
Grateful. Max has had no issues, not a single one. Nothing physical, mental, developmental, social, or emotional seems different than before, praise God. That is a miracle!!! I thought I was going to cry when he put together a new Lego set that my mom gave him the other day. He built it in no time and his fine motor skills are just as they were before. He was happily humming a song, too.
We had a follow-up appointment with the pediatrician on Friday. She did a basic neurology exam, checking for any problems with his reflexes, tracking, or balance, and said she wouldn’t have guessed he was in the ICU the week before. She gave the ok for him to go swimming that afternoon and attend another VBS that starts tomorrow. He is really excited since he didn’t get to finish the week of VBS at the other church.
We are amazed at his recovery and I know, without a doubt, that things could’ve happened very differently. I still don’t fully understand everything from a medical standpoint, but that first 48 hours was so critical, I learned. We praise God that he didn’t have any swelling in his brain or other complications. And of course, it was incredible that he woke up TALKING IN SENTENCES. I am so proud of him! The Lord answered specific prayers and even though my trust in God is not based on how “good” life is, my faith is huge right now.
I just want to keep talking about what happened. I’m processing things and going through some kind of grief, I think. For me, it’s so important that I don’t stuff it down and try to move on too quickly. Right now it is ALL I’m thinking about. The events in the hospital and some of the fears that I felt while there are “stuck” in my mind. I want the thankfulness to trump the fears but I think it will be a process of letting go. I promised a few close friends that I would go to them when I needed to talk, and I will. Writing it down here helps but it doesn’t replace how a friend (or maybe a counselor) in real life can help, I know that.
But I still need to keep writing. There are some things I don’t want to forget, like:
Four days before Max got sick, on the night before VBS started, I took the kids to a kick-off event at my old church. I saw some old friends from my youth group days, including a young man named Daniel. Daniel is my youth pastor, Mark’s, son. It had been several years since I’ve last seen him. He’s now married and has a cute 9 month old baby. We caught up on what’s he’s been doing all these years: Med School…Air Force…starting a fellowship soon at Bethesda. The fellowship? In Pediatrics Infectious Diseases.
Well, that is a God thing. Because Max was attending VBS there, Mark heard right away about him going to the hospital and he had my cell phone number in their records. He called sometime shortly after we arrived at Children’s and he asked if there was anything he could do for us. I said yes. My conversation with Daniel had suddenly come back to me. I asked Mark if he could ask him to call.
Daniel called just a few minutes later and, let me tell you, God used him in a huge way. He had previously done two rotations in the PICU at Children’s and gave me hope that Max could fight whatever virus this was and be okay. He was so knowledgeable, so articulate, and he painted a picture for me of a best case scenario and a worst-case scenario (maybe not the worst, but you know what I mean) and told me how they would be monitoring him and why they were ordering certain tests.
He put me more at ease than anyone else, especially as the day turned to evening and Max’s condition was changing and I couldn’t tell if it was getting worse or getting better. Those were incredibly dark and scary moments to endure.
…but into the darkness He shines.