The first thing I would like to do is help some of you to clear the clutter from your mail box. If you prefer not to get these emails, please let me know and I will remove you from my email list. I won't be hurt!
For the past few weeks we have been telling you all the great strides that Little Miss Emily has been making. She was moved to an Intermediate Care facility yesterday. She practically has her own room now. It is set up so that the parents can spend as much time there as possible. It has a recliner and a long bench to sleep on, but best of all, it has a television with cable and a DVD player.
I had a Men's Breakfast at my church this morning and it was a tremendous success. There was a lot of food and a pretty good turn out. When I got home, Dawn and I decided to try to spend as much time with Emily as possible. We brought a few DVD's and were ready for our nice long visit. We arrived at about 2:00 and she was sleeping (like a baby). We decided to leave her alone and let her sleep without disturbing her. She finally woke up around 2:45 and started to cry. We concluded that she was hungry, seeing meal time was 3:00 and had the nurse give her the food, via the tube.
The meal didn't stop her from crying! As a matter of fact, because of her crying, the meal took an hour to go down. She literally cried for an hour and a half. We did all that we could to calm her, but it was to no avail. Most of the time, it wasn't only Emily that was crying. I don't like to see my girls hurting, but there was nothing I could do.
When we asked the nurse for some suggestions on how to calm her down, she told us it was "neuro." I didn't really know what she meant, but at the same time I did. She was saying that there was nothing that we could do because it was something that is wrong with her. This hurt like a bullet going through the heart. We were devastated! We knew all along that eventually we were going to find out what her limitations were, but we didn't think it was coming this early. The doctor came in to talk to us and let us know there are some drugs that could calm her down without knocking her out. It broke our hearts to do it, but we believe, and know that she is much more comfortable on the drug.
We stayed there long enough for her next meal and she started to fuss as she had the meal before. The nurse gave her the drug and she almost immediately calmed down. She finished her food in half the time as before and remained calm the entire time.
As we were talking to the doctor, we came to realize that although she has eaten a few meals through the bottle, she has not been improving in this area. It has gotten to the point that only the speech therapist is now allowed to try to feed her. This is a major set back. They will try for two weeks to train her to bottle feed, if after two weeks she is unsuccessful; she will get the "G-Tube." (Tube going directly into her stomach)
As I mentioned, this was a major blow, but one that we were expecting. We had a long talk over dinner about how we can still trust God through the storm. The answer was easy, HE has provided us with everything and HE will continue to provide us with everything! HE knew this was coming and HE has prepared the way before us.
During the Men's Breakfast, I was sharing with the men how God is an amazing God. HE has truly blessed Dawn and I in so many different ways. HE brought us through back surgery, incredible indebtedness, unemployment, and so many other trials; HE will get us through this.
Let me explain to you how faith works. We have trusted God thus far in this trial, but in the back of my mind I know that there are immense medical bills piling up. We have good insurance, but it covers only 80%. That leaves a huge chunk for us to cover. I brought this to my pastor and asked him to keep us in prayer. Last week, after service, the pastor took up a special offering for Dawn and I. This was not my request, but he did it on his own. It came to almost $2000! The other day a friend of ours felt that she was to give us some money. We didn't ask for it, she just volunteered to give it to us, no strings attached. The amount...$1000. Last night, Dawn was reading through our insurance policy and there is a cap on the amount we have to pay out of pocket. Can you guess how much?...
We have a God who provides; that's how we can have the faith to know that we will make it though this storm in our lives. I have given my life to serving God and HE has blessed me beyond measure. It is my wish that all who read this email come to know God in the same way, so that HE may bless you as HE has blessed me. Some people may see this trial as a curse. "God is punishing you by giving you a child who is not healthy." To them I say what child is not a blessing to their parents! I AM blessed beyond measure.
I mourn for what I will not have with my daughter, but I rejoice that I was blessed with a daughter to begin with!
Please continue to pray that Emily continues to get stronger so that she can come home soon. That is our biggest struggle, having to leave her every day. I also ask those of you who already have a personal relationship with Christ to pray for those who read this email and don't know HIM. Pray for hearts to be softened and eyes to be opened.
I will end this email just as I have opened it. Again, if you choose to be taken off this list, I will not be offended. Simply reply with "Remove Me" in the subject line and your request will be granted.
I thank you all for your prayers and love,