Normal……not even sure if there is such a thing. We all lead such different lives that normal for you is much different than my normal. I struggle with the events of the past four weeks and wish I could say things are getting back to our normal. But the farther into this we get, the more things seem to change. If I ever had security in health or a job, I certainly don’t now. I never imagined I would be sitting here on day six of my son’s third hospitalization in three weeks wondering when we’ll ever get home again. I certainly didn’t think my husband would be hobbling around post op with a foot that still gives him a lot of pain and is extremely swollen three weeks after his own surgery. And never in my wildest dreams did I think he would have to sit at home working on his resume to start over with the job search while I sit an hour away with our son trying to get his digestive system to wake up. February has not been a good month for us. But as I say that, I have to contradict myself and tell you that in spite of difficult circumstances that simply don’t make sense or feel anything close to my normal, we have been so richly blessed. So February may have brought two surgeries, three hospitalizations, medical bills, stress, missing family and the loss of a job. I can’t change any of the circumstances we are facing. We did nothing to cause any of it, and we certainly can’t do much to fix any of it either. But what I can change for myself is my attitude in how I deal with it all. It would be very easy to give myself permission to feel sorry for myself, to wallow in the poor me attitude, to doubt the faithfulness of God in our lives. I’m pretty sure both Travis and I have faced enough hardships in the past four plus years to do that. Yet I just can’t do it. Now don’t get me wrong. I absolutely have days when all I can do is cry, be mad, feel anxious. But the circumstances of my life don’t define me. Yes, life is hard, but the choice is mine how I choose to respond to the bumps along my path. And I choose every day, sometimes because I force myself to, to live a life of joy. To realize I may be stuck in the hospital for most of the month, and I may be uncertain about the future, but like I said, I am richly blessed. Blessed by the generosity of others, blessed by numerous cards, emails and meals by people I don’t even know! Blessed by a church body we have barely had time to meet, blessed by the peace of God that absolutely transcends all of my understanding and rationale for the events of this past month. I have the privilege of being able to say, and more than that really believe it in my heart, that my heavenly Father will do what he says he will do, he will go where he leads us to go, he will provide for our needs as he tells us he will, he will never leave us or forsake us as his word promises. This journey isn’t about all the hardships, it’s not about feeling scared and anxious for whether or not we will be able to pay our medical and household bills in a month, it’s not about filling my mind with worry and doubt, it’s certainly not about feeling sorry for myself. The plain, simple truth is that each day, with every breath we breathe, with every step we take, with every word we speak, we are to trust that the same God who created the universe and placed every star in the sky and every piece of sand in the ocean, is the same God who promises to meet our every need. It’s all about simple faith, unwavering trust, giving God the glory no matter what events take place every day.
Ryan is doing a little better each day. Baby step progress is still progress! He is getting his main nutrition from the TPN in his IV and from this morning has more than doubled the amount of Pedialyte he is getting through the feeding tube. In fact the nurse just changed his solution to half Pedialyte and half formula. If his stomach continues to tolerate that, tomorrow we will change him to all formula through the feeding pump. Then eventually we will cut down on the TPN as we are able to increase the nutrition he is getting through his digestive tract. We are still waiting for blood work to come back that will tell us why Ryan continues to struggle throughout the day with itching and hives that has been going on for over a week now. I was able to leave the hospital for three hours today while my sweet friend, Candy, came and loved on Ryan. It was nice to be out in the real world again! I enjoyed every minute of my freedom. Tomorrow Travis is coming back up and I will go home so I can see the older kids. He hasn’t been here since Monday so we are going to switch for a bit. I’ll come back up Friday while the kids are in school so I can actually see Travis since we’ve barely had any time together this month that is worth anything. And hopefully this weekend we can bring our little guy home.
Thank you for your continued love and support. Again, I can’t express how much it helps make this journey feel a little less lonely. You are all such blessings in our lives!