Friday, February 5, 2010

Chasing out fear, choosing faith...

The MRI was encouraging.
{Insert HUGE sigh of relief...}
No visible sign of damage to the brain.
That does not insure that the functionality of all his faculties is intact,
but at least it is not a negative.
At least it is not more BAD news.
Today has been our scariest yet.
And also our most sacred.
What a juxtaposition of emotion...
I went to bed at about 4:30 Friday morning.
Baby B was resting quietly.
I kissed him goodnight and said a prayer with him at his bedside.
He opened his eyes and our hearts connected.
Spirit to spirit.
For just a brief moment
Good Night, my sweet boy, I said.
I went to my sleep cell a few hallways away.
Thank you, Savannah, for the electric blanket.
I was warm and slept soundly until about 8:15.
I woke and packed up my bag, pulling it back down the hallway,
greeting the familiar faces along the trek.
Another day here at the PICU.
As I walked into B's room and met the new Day Nurse, Rowdy,
I was immediately alarmed.
In the bed where I'd left my little boy to heal and rest
lay a glassy-eyed guy with a blank, empty stare.
My stomach dropped...
"So how are we this morning?", I asked cautiously.
Rowdy filled me in on the morning's Neuro Exam.
He'd come on shift to meet Bronson for the first time and had been advised of his exciting progress.
But he'd found him a little sluggish.
Wide awake, but not really alert.
Staring blankly without focusing. Looking right through everyone.
Unresponsive to stimuli.
What had changed in those 3 hours and 45 minutes?
The Nurse Practitioner was called.
Then the Attending Physician.
Then the Neuro-Trauma Specialist.
We went over and over his chart, again and again.
We asked about all his medications.
What had changed? What had increased? What was new since yesterday?
We hypothesized about the possible changes and his sudden decline.
No one had any answers.
Had we imagined the encouraging progress? Embellished it? Misunderstood it?
No, I had seen my boy.
We had seen our boy. We were sure of it.
Others were sure of it.
We even had him on video from the day before.
Dr. Bennett explained that a neuro-trauma injury can evolve and often plateau.
Was this our plateau?
Was this the boy we would be left with?
We felt defeated.
Like someone had just let the air out of our balloon.
We may have to wait for an MRI until Monday.
How could we wait until Monday?
No, they could squeeze us in.
We waited the long, drugerous hours until 3:00 pm.
Our Stake President stopped in to see how we were doing.
He found us worried. Well, terrified. Faltering in our faith. Sick.
Matt gathered himself and they offered Bronson a Priesthood Blessing.
Matt... Oh, my Matt...
He turned his little body and mind back over to the God who had helped us to create him.
Asking for the faith to discover Heavenly Father's will and the strength to follow it.
To align ours with His.
President Francom counseled and advised. Hugged and encouraged.
What a blessed servant of the Lord.
He left us and I plead for your prayers.
They took Bronson down for the MRI.
Matt and I held each other in that empty little hospital room and fell apart in each others' arms. Sobbing and clinging to one another, praying.
Pleading for our son with every ounce of strength we could muster.
Sealing our hearts together.
Like never before.
I can not share the words we spoke with one another.
They are the most precious we have ever shared together.
But as I spoke, I realized that faith can not grow where fear is allowed to dwell.
There is not room in my heart for both.
Fear is the paralyzing agent of the adversary.
A first line of his defense.
And so I made a choice.
I must choose faith. Choose to believe. Despite the odds.
Despite the grim news. Despite the reality before us.
No matter how vulnerable and unguarded I let myself become, I will not, I can not fear.
I swallowed hard. Past the unbearable burn in my throat.
And chose to let go of the fear. Chasing it out with my faith.
Doctors do not know everything. They can only make their best guesses.
And even they admit to seeing miracles every day.
I know Heavenly Father lives.
I know He loves Bronson and has a plan for his life.
If it is God's will for him to remain with us, he will.
Simple as that.
And with the whole world praying, what have I to fear?
The Lord is bound to answer the prayers of the righteous when they are asked in faith.
And this is the righteous desire of our hearts...
We plea that He will spare our son. Heal his body. Protect his mind.
So that he may live out the rest of this mortal life as a testimony of God's miraculous power.
I can not consider the other option.
There is no other option.
But I am stronger than I thought I was.
I can do hard things.
Our family can do hard things.
We will accept the will of our loving Father in Heaven because it has never lead us astray.
Why would it now?
We will trust. We will be believing.
We will continue loving and being loved.
And we will press on faithfully, because we are faithful.
This I know...
Bronson's spirit is untouched. It lies within a broken body I do not know how to fix.
But he is ours. Forever. Come what may.
I am blessed to be his Mommy. Matt to be his Daddy.
The name Bronson means "Strong one".
The name Micheal means "One who is like God".
It is no coincidence that we chose these names for him.
What a powerful force he is...
Our strong, sweet, wonderful, beautiful boy.
By small and simple things, great things are brought to pass.
And great things have already come to pass.
People who do not pray, are praying.
People who do not believe, are finding hope.
People are reevaluating their faith and priorities.
I am reevaluating my faith and my priorities.
And THAT is the miracle.
He is uniting people across the globe.
Teaching the power of prayer. Individually. And how collectively, it multiplies exponentially.
Allowing us an opportunity to practice our faith. And allow it to grow.
I do not know why our family was chosen to pass through this challenge.
But I do know that God is mindful of each and every one of us.
All of the time.
He reaches out with tender arms of mercy.
In tiny specific ways.
Extending his grace until we are filled. Until we are enough.
Our Angel Nurse, Sally, helped us to hold him tonight.
To cradle our arms around him, stroke his tender cheeks and watch him sleep.
We sang to him that he is a Child of God.
A bit of Heaven was in our little room
as I felt his warm, limp body pressed against my own.
Count your blessings if you can do that without tubes and wires and machines between you.
For anyone keeping score we are two tubes down today.
Bye bye to the peripheral IV line in his ankle.
Good riddance to the arterial line in his bloody little wrist.
We will not miss them.
But we reluctantly welcomed two more necessary peripheral IV lines.
One in his left ankle. The other in his right hand.
We still do not know what is causing the seemingly unexplainable decrease
in his neurological functions today, as opposed to yesterday and the day before...
I have a hunch, but I'm not a doctor.
I'm just the Mommy.
Thank heaven I get to be the Mommy!

More prayers needed...

I know we are not the only family dealing with heartache...
I pray you will not tire of our ceaseless requests for your faith and your prayers.
We are humbled to our very cores...
To the very fiber of our souls.
If there is anyone watching and waiting with us, this afternoon,
we plead, one more time, for your prayers.
Things are not going so well here today...
I have never been so afraid...
Even Matt, my rock, is wobbling a bit
for the first time.
His solid faith being chased out by the fear of the reality
we are dealing with hour to hour, and minute to minute.
The once confident doctors are worried...
We can see it in their kind eyes,
written in the creases of their weathered, experienced faces.
They do this every day.
I could never...
There seems to be no logical reason for his sudden decline.
They've sent him for an MRI.
He'll be gone an endless, torturous hour.
The results back a few after that.
We'll have a better idea this evening.
But for now, if you are able and willing,
please petition to heaven for our family.
Please ask our loving Father,
creator of Heaven and earth, and all things in them
to heal our broken boy.
I watched the beautiful snow fall this morning
and thought how many endless things he has created.
The majesty of the mountains I can see out my windows here.
The vastness of the oceans across the globe.
The tiny, delicate blossoms that will bloom again in Spring.
Certainly He can do all things.
Certainly He can mend this child's mind.
Please pray for Bronson.
Please don't be afraid.
Pray with faith and confidence
for God is bound to answer the prayers of the righteous.
We pray that Bronson will live, as a testimony of Heavenly Father's infinite, boundless power.
We pray He will say yes.
Please let Him say yes...
So I gave my self permission to be human.


Took a shower...
Shaved my legs...
Matt kindly told me at lunch three days ago that I still had vomit in my eyelashes.
(Leftover from the sputtering during CPR.)
I finally washed the last of it out.
I feel almost like a person again.
Although, not the same one.
Never the same one.

Alone tonight...

Our sweet 3 came to visit their littlest buddy
and {insert happy sigh...} it was nice to squeeze them.
Matt went home tonight.
Needed to be a Daddy.
Bless him.
He is so confident that all will be well.
He is so sure.
So faithful.
I am in awe of his strength.
I, on the other hand, am a trainwreck.

All over the place.
The nights are harder than the days.
That is when I find myself falling apart.
People keep saying I am doing so well. I am so strong. I am amazing.
Hog wash to all of you.
As evidence, let me share this little diddy for your reading enjoyment...
So the other night
(We'll call it Night 3 because the days and nights all blend together here
and well, to be honest, I'm not even sure exactly what day it is right now.)
I was up late. I was tired.
Scratch that... I was exhausted.
And emotionally drained.
(In hind sight, I realize that NOW.
But at the TIME, I had fooled myself into thinking I was handling things quite well.)
However, I was driven... focused.
It was the night I decided to start posting to our blog.
To spread the word.
To preserve a record.
To process through everything that was happening.
To keep my mind off things.
And well, let's be honest, if you know me, you know I always need a project.
So I cozied up in a corner recliner in B's Room with my Laptop.
And as I hacked my guts out onto the screen, I sobbed.
The poor Night Nurse (always in the Room in the PICU) kept asking if I was okay.
I was fine.
Couldn't he see I was fine?
So I ran into some hiccups.
There was an issue when I added the the photos to my post and it messed up the formatting.
Then the autosave failed.
I could not get the text to copy and paste to a new post.
I had to drag and drop it one section at a time.
I was near-finished in the wee hours but nodded off at my Laptop.
Cody, the Night Nurse came to tell me it was 7 am.
Time for parents and visitors to leave the room for an hour during shift change and assessments.
I hate that hour. It is misery to leave his bedside.
I went and got a yogurt from where I'd stashed them in the Nutrition Center fridge.
Then choked down a banana.
I went potty and brushed my teeth.
I washed my face in the sink.
It was only 7:15.
I still had 45 minutes until I could return to Bronson's room.
I snuck in and snagged a blanket.
It is always cold here. I've been an ice cube since we arrived.
I wrapped myself up in a little cocoon and sunk down on the floor
to wait until I could be readmitted to the room.
But I was just so tired! So so so tired!
The next theing I knew, Ian, the Daytime Nurse was crouching above me.
Sleeping on the cold tile floor in the hallway outside Bronson's room.
Telling me I had to wake up.
Telling me to go to bed.
Telling me to look at him and asking could I hear him
as I lay silently, unresponsively staring at the floor.
I looked up into his eyes and the floodgate broke.
"Don't make me leave him! Please don't make me leave him!
That's why we're in this mess in the first place! I just can't ever leave him!"
I sobbed.
Bless his heart.
He literally scooped me up beneath the armpits,
from the puddle of a person I was on the floor,
wrapped me a little tighter in my blanket,
walked with,
well okay, practically carried me
down the hall to the parent sleeping cells,
found Matt
and tucked me into bed.
Yeah... like I said.
Thinking back now I shake my head at how pathetic it all must have seemed.
But now, with Matt gone, I feel so alone.
And as I watch that tiny boy sleeping,
I feel that familar tightness firing up in my throat
and have to swallow down the tears.
And then I remember that I am not alone at all.
There are hundreds of you awake with me, praying.
An army petitioning our loving Father.
Enough to get my little train back on the track and chugging up the hill...
For now.
Many thanks~
A hug to each of you.