Thursday, May 26, 2011

Until there is no more breath

All day I was reading Matthew 15:21-28 about the faith of the Canaanite woman.  Here is a mother like me.  She loves her daughter.  She takes seriously her job of helping, protecting and mothering this child.  It doesn't say how old the daughter is and it doesn't matter.  That is what a mom does until there is no more breath in her.

Her daughter is ill (demon possessed).  My daughter is ill (possessed by some thing no one is sure what to do about.  The options are limited.  Doctors knowledge is limited.  So just like the canaanite woman, I am going to the Great Physician.  Please join me.

She cries, it says, for mercy - "have mercy on me".  I cry for the same, have mercy on me as I fall on my face before You Lord.  Have mercy, have mercy!  It is my duty to relentlessly petition God for Brooke.  I feel exhausted yet until there is no more breath in me, I will cry out "have mercy".

This story of the canaanite woman gives me hope.  Jesus' mission was to bring the good news to the Jews.  Yet He took the time to go to a Gentile city to meet this Gentile woman.  It shows His love, His compassion.  She is an intercessor - like me.  Her daughters' needs become her needs - like me.  She is dedicated, filled with perseverance.  I pray for that dedication, for her perseverance.  Run the race to the end.  Do not give up - persevere, persevere.

She is humble (something I am working on).  She knows her place, she accepts her low status before the King of Kings but she continues to ask, to cry out to beg "have mercy, heal my child".

I am weeping as I write this.  I want a healing for Brooke and I want it now!  Is it to much to ask?  Will it be granted?  Have mercy and heal my child.  Have mercy and take her pain away.  Have mercy and give her hope. Restore her body, bring forth a miracle and do it now, Lord Jesus!

You are my God, my Savior. You are the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Prince of Peace the Great I Am.  We worship You!  We cling to You for You are God!  There is no one like You!

Here is the update on Brooke:  Tomorrow (thursday) evening at 8:00 p.m. Dr. Adachi will do a traecheotomy on Brooke.  She explained it will be complexed.  She is anticipating much swelling in the area and it will take a long while for her to be able to swallow or talk.  Remember everyone, she said Brooke is a complex case.  They will also have to put in a feeding tube through her nose.

Brooke is emotionally devastated.  I could see the depression and fear!  She wrote this morning "why didn't you let me die".  This is not Brooke.

My heart is aching right now.  I try to hold back the tears.  Tex and I try to be very positive.  This is going to be a long journey.  There will be much changes.  There will be much physical pain involved for Brooke.  She will once again have to adjust her hopes and dreams.

I will pray until there is no more breath in me.  I will be here for her until there is no more breath in me.  I will not stop petitioning and asking God for mercy until there is no more breath in me.  I will be her mother until there is no more breath in me.

I love You Lord. You are my strength, my rock, my fortress & deliverer.  I take refuge in you.  I call upon You who is worthy to be praised.

Pray my fellow friends.  Pray for a healing. Pray that God would intervene in a miraculous way. Pray for His peace over Brooke and that He would speak clearly to her.  Pray until there is no more breath in you.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

As for God His way is perfect....

Who can fathom the ways of God?  As this journey progresses we find ourselves weak and strong (does that make sense?), overwhelmed but not giving up.

Brooke is now in Queens Hospital.  She was admitted on Wednesday, May 18th.  Our cardiologist at Pali Momi asked us to take her to see Dr. Fiack, a pulmonologist here at Queens.  Here we were just getting used to Pali Momi and all the new and wonderful physicians there and now we're in a new hospital getting used to all the rules, times, staff and logistics.  I've been telling everyone Queens should give out portable GPS' to everyone to find their way around this hospital.  It's like a huge maze.  The staff is wonderful though.  They can tell when we look like we're lost and are ready to help. They tell us they even still get lost.

So we settled in to Queens (the 6th hospital on Oahu we've become familiar with on our journey with Brooke).  Tests were getting done; one doctor after another, respiratory techs, etc.  all coming and going from her room.  Busy, busy, busy and then saturday morning at 8:30 everything changed.  For some unknown reason she had a seizure, heart stopped, etc.

If you've ever watched the Discovery Health Channel and seen what happens when someone's heart stops, it's all really like that.  I was asked if I wanted to leave the room but I wanted to stay and pray.  I can honestly say it made me wonder if we do too much.  There were moments I wanted to scream "STOP"- "ENOUGH" but my lips were moving "have mercy, thy will be done".  It was brutal, it was rough.  Is this Your perfect plan Lord?

After the ventilator was put in, Brooke was thrust into her new reality.  It's not pleasant.  There are new words in our vocabulary, ventilatory, tracheotomy, CO2, MRI, blood gases - the list goes on

We are now 5 days into God's plan.  As Psalm 18 reverberates through my mind "As for God His Way is Perfect" I must admit I do ask, "how much more?"  This is very painful to watch, it is extremely painful to discuss what may or may not happen.  You feel helpless, you cry and just when you think you have no more tears, more tears come.  And you look around and you see life goes on - graduations and weddings happening, meetings, parties, summer school and summer vacations and I wonder - what will 2011 be like for us.

And altho meaning well, someone will say "it's a new path for you" - well guess what I don't like it and I wouldn't choose it!!

So I leave you with this ..... "As for God His way is perfect" and I've come to this conclusion about this scripture.  His perfect way means to persevere, taking one step at a time holding on to His hand.  His way is perfect means, when it comes crushing down around me and my heart is breaking, I keep my eyes on Him.  His way is perfect means I fill myself up with His Word and His promises.  And although I thought I would never say this, I find it hard to concentrate on His Word these days, but I know I must read it, hold it and look at it.

With tears filling my eyes and sobs coming from my lips, I take one step at a time remembering He loves Brooke more than I do and He does have the best plan for her, even if it's not what I would have chosen.

I remind myself He is my shield, His arms strengthen me, His right hand sustains me and this is what He wants us to go through right now.

Love to you all

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Grateful for the little things

Some times we can get so caught up in life.  We hurry here, scurry there, fret over our children, bug our husbands, lament if we miss out on something, freak when we put on some pounds;  and we are  forever looking for that "great" deal.  Do you ever think on all the things we should be so grateful about?  Go ahead sit down and make a list.  

Since our devastating diagnosis about Brooke's heart and lungs, I have begun to make a list about things I wouldn't necessarily be grateful for.  Take a look...

I am grateful for baby monitors. My youngest is 23 and to tell you the truth I've never owned a baby monitor. But since Brooke can't yell very loud or get out of bed by herself any more,  having a baby monitor brings me peace of mind.  This little gadget enables me to be able to hear her every move.  It enables me to hear her laughter when she's watching something funny on television, or be able to respond in a flash if she needs help.  It also enables me to hear some thing I never thought I'd be grateful for...SNORING!!!

Yes, I'm grateful for snoring.  I never thought I'd say this!  In fact just a few weeks ago, I would "gently", did I say gently?, nudge my husband and ask him to turn over ! And then try forever to get back to sleep. Never did I think I'd say I'm grateful for snoring - but God showed me just how special snoring is.  When I hear Brooke snoring I know she is still alive and here with me on earth.  She is still mine for this "snoring" moment.  Yes, yes, yes, I love snoring!! 

I am grateful for Hagen Daz Vanilla Swiss Almond and Rum Raisin ice cream.  No, I'm not grateful for the calories but I am grateful for the comfort I get from this delicious tasting treat.  I never thought it would, but it actually brings a smile to my face.  A little spoonful here , a little spoonful there and I can feel my body relaxing, enjoying the moment.  I'm grateful for the fleeting comfort it brings me.

I am grateful for dirty laundry.  Now you're thinking "she's lost it" but no I truly love doing laundry these days.  If you've heard me say this before, bear with me.  Laundry is a mindless task.  I don't have to think too hard to do it; and there's a beginning and an end.  I love taking the clothes from the dryer and one by one folding them on my large counter.  I smooth out all the wrinkles - perhaps subconciously trying to smooth out all the bumps we are going through right now.  And then I fold each item.  I take Brooke's clothes and fold them ever so carefully which gives me time to think back on all the memories we've made together.  I am grateful for laundry time.

Those are just a few of the silly things I am grateful about.  Then there's the "eternally grateful" ones.
My eternally grateful ones are those who are praying for us, to Kathy and Susan who stayed with Brooke on thursday so I could go to my last Bible Study Fellowship Class, there's Leslie who gave up going to church on sunday to sit with Brooke so Tex and I could worship together, there's Sue who got me to get out and walk with her, there's Susie and Diane who each made us a meal, there's my sister who comes when a call is made, the Simpson's who brought baby Joshua for Brooke to hold, Jan who sat and chatted with Brooke, Dr. Dave who patiently answers our list goes on and on.  Those who cry with us.  I am eternally grateful for my husband who steps up and helps whenever he is needed.
My Pastor who preaches the Word and of course my Lord and Savior who brings all those grateful things and people into our lives just when we need them.

Update on Brooke.  She went to bed on Friday evening at 9:00 p.m. and didn't fully awake until 5:00 p.m. on saturday!  Was I in a panic?  Yes - I sat in her room for quite a while wondering what was going on, praying and crying.  Watching her breathing, touching her and hoping this would quickly pass.  She stayed up from 5:00 till 8:00 and then back to sleep again.  Couldn't get her awake enough to go to church with us.  Got her out of bed at noon and she sat up until 2:00 then back to bed until 5:00 for dinner in bed.  It is better today (Sunday) she is more awake but still retaining fluid and off and on running a low grade fever.  Her pulmonologist wants us to take her to the Mayo Clinic for a consult before we proceed with putting a port in her for IV medicine which once put it would have to remain for the rest of her life. Hmmmm.  Not sure when we can leave and if she will be able physically to make the trip.  Will keep you all posted.

Right now I am grateful another day is passing by and I am looking upward to Christ for my strength.