I know many of you were expecting to hear about my prayer revelation. God’s will, however, moves in mysterious ways. So, for this installment, I’m breaking the sequence even though it hasn’t been started…
As a family, we’ve just experienced a very nerve-wracking and trying time. Makayla (our 13-year-old) came home from her father’s house last Sunday and became violently ill. She started throwing up…we’re talking projectile vomiting here…real Exorcist type stuff. Four hours later, at 2:30 in the morning, she had thrown up 20 times! We kept feeding her fluids, but she couldn’t keep them down. Finally, with her complexion looking like Casper the Friendly Ghost, we called EMS (remember: wife in the boot and a 20-month-old to look after…no way we can jump in the car to take her to the hospital). Lena followed the ambulance while I stayed home with Emma. The team has now been divided.
Neither of us got any sleep the rest of the morning, and both of us started praying. We prayed that Makayla would be okay and for peace for her and the family. Lena called me and gave me updates, while I stayed up the rest of the morning playing video games to keep my mind occupied (I grew up an Atari freak…wait…I think I just dated myself :)). They got Roni (Makayla) set up on IVs of fluid to re-hydrate her and took x-rays of her stomach. The doc found what he thought was possibly a blockage in her small intestine…though she wasn’t “backed up”. Needless to say, they admitted her to run some more tests.
Her Pediatrician, Dr. Jamie Davis, happened to be on call and came in later Monday morning. Dr. Davis consulted with Dr. Romulo Navarro, a General Surgeon about what was going on with her. They wanted to test her gall bladder, so they ordered a Hydra-scan. It’s a test where they inject two types of fluid into the body and map its flow. It ultimately shows what the injection fracture of the gall bladder is. Roni’s was at 18%…not good considering it’s supposed to be around 35%! It began to look as though she were going to need gall bladder surgery. Dr. Davis wanted to consult another source, however. If there was a surgery to be done, she wanted Roni to go to a specialist in Savannah. She called Dr. Chris Rittmeyer at Savannah Memorial Hospital. He’s a friend of hers specializing in pediatric gastroenterology. He said that a 13-year-old’s gall bladder doesn’t normally go bad all by itself, so he wanted to run some tests on her first. Oh yeah…the prayer part… We immediately began calling our friends and church family (and made a few posts on Facebook) to say some prayers for us. We were facing surgery and uncertainty, and all of us were more than a little scared. They prayed for healing and peace and faith and a host of other mercies for us. When all was said and done, there were about 50 people interceding to God on her behalf!
By now it’s Tuesday evening (day 2.5). Roni was feeling weak, but at least she wasn’t in a great deal of pain anymore. They weren’t able to get her transferred to Savannah, but the good news was that she was able to keep down solid foods. They scheduled an appointment for Thursday for her, and we got to go home that night.
Wednesday was fairly uneventful, but the worry remained. I went to work while Lena and Makayla stayed home to prepare for our trip. I updated everyone that asked on Roni’s status and made arrangements to take Thursday off. The prayers kept coming. They helped great deal, but it’s very nerve-wracking when one of your children is sick and going through a tough time. You want to take the pain away and put it on yourself…it’s a very helpless feeling. Not to mention there was another issue that was causing a great deal of angst…Emma couldn’t go with us. We’ve never been away from her overnight and were dreading this first time. Thank you, God, for our wonderful babysitter!
Thursday arrived all too soon. We got everything ready and loaded up the car to take Emms to the sitter. Lena and I were wrecks! As we got out of the car at Mat Mat’s (the sitter), I stopped us and said we needed to pray. We joined hands and prayed for our family. We prayed for Samantha and Caitlin who weren’t with us. We prayed for Emma…for her to be at peace while we were away. We prayed for safety on our trip, and we prayed for Makayla to have peace and strength through her ordeal. Emma didn’t even bat an eye as I walked out the door…thank goodness for the Disney Channel!
We were finally on our way. In the back seat, I could hear my wife sniffling. I,too, began to tear up. The team was even more fractured, and it felt as though we were spiritually and emotionally under attack. I called a few friends to let them know we were leaving, including our Pastor and his wife and daughter, Youth Pastor and a prayer warrior, Shiella. They all prayed for us, each call on speaker phone. Our family was divided again, and our spirits were very low. With each prayer, however, we began to feel our load get a little lighter. Shiella’s was last, and what she prayed struck me as very unusual. She prayed for us to have fun on the trip. She prayed it would draw us closer together and strengthen our faith. The rest of the trip to Savannah, we praised and thanked God for His mercy and grace. By the time we got there, we had a resoluteness about us that God was with us. And if God is for us, who can stand against us? 😀
Our first stop was the doctor’s office. Dr. Rittmeyer was awesome. He took the time to listen to Makayla’s problems. He also joked around with her to make her feel more at ease. His bedside manner was top notch. Doc wasn’t the only one, however, that was in good spirits. I really felt at ease with everything that was going on. I joked around with Lena and Roni. Before long, we were all laughing…watching people walk by on the sidewalk three stories below, playing with a child’s toy that was in her exam room and just enjoying each other’s company.
Once Roni was checked in through Rittmeyer’s office, we made our way to the radiology department. Thankfully, we were able to find a wheelchair for Lena. She would have been a mess if she had to walk across the entire campus on her crutches. We soon found out that the people in radiology were no less fantastic that those in the Doctors office. I could see why they came so highly recommended. Makayla was taken to the back, and Lena and I went to the cafeteria (since the process was going to take about an hour and a half) to grab a bite to eat. Before we left, though, we gave the technician our phone number…just in case. It’s a good thing we did. Lena and I were finishing our meals (very good food, too :)) when her phone rang. It was the technician. He told her that it was going to take a little longer than anticipated on the test…due to the fact that they couldn’t find her gall bladder. When she asked what that meant, he said that typically meant one of two things: a) there was a blockage preventing the liquid to flow to the bladder, or b) the gall bladder ceased to function altogether. Either way, he was going to give Roni some Demerol to relax her in an effort to find it. Lena became pretty distraught as we immediately left to head back to radiology. I told her with confidence, “She’s fine. I’m sure it’s okay”…I was feeling very confident that God had control of the situation…I could almost “sense” His presence. When we got to radiology, the technician met us in the waiting room…they found her gal bladder and didn’t have to give her any other medication. We went back and visited with her for awhile, trying to boost her spirits. We laughed and joked around until it was time to finish the test. Four hours after they took her back to do a procedure that was only supposed to take an hour and a half, God blessed us even more…her ejection fracture was up to 32% and she wasn’t going to have to have the surgery!
We still weren’t finished, however. After radiology, we had to go back to Dr. Rittmeyer. By now, it was 5:00 pm. He was pleased with the Hydra-scan results, but he still wanted to do another test in the morning. Since there was definitely an issue in her stomach somewhere, he wanted to do an upper endoscopy. We were prepared to spend the night, but they weren’t going to admit Roni into the hospital. We weren’t prepared to pay for a room. Once again, God provided. Some very dear friends of ours had loaned us what we thought was $100.00 to make the trip (I would have gotten my paycheck that day were I in Douglas and not in Savannah). I hadn’t mentioned anything to Lena, but when I picked the money up Thursday morning, there was $200.00 in the envelope. Our room was covered!
Friday morning and the ordeal was almost over. Makayla was really nervous about being put to sleep, but the staff at Rittmeyer’s went out of their way to make her as comfortable as possible. I brought my bible in with us as we went in, and it came in handy. Just reading scripture about healing and God’s blessings made us feel more at ease. And the staff allowed us to go in the room with Roni as she was put to sleep. They wanted us to be the last thing she saw when she fell out and the first thing she saw when she awoke. Thirty minutes later, she was awake, the tests were done, and the doctor was telling us that it was stomach ulcers. It was treatable with that heavenly purple pill…Nexium…and another type of medication. Praise God!
The moral of this rather lengthy story is this…prayer works! We were obedient to God’s word and gave it up to Him to handle. We were faithful in our belief that Makayla would be healed according to His will. And our Christian friends and family held onto those same principles. This entry is even further confirmation that Day 1 of this journey right on the money. Cya soon, and God bless you!