Thursday, May 26, 2011

Giving Thanks in All Circumstances

Two weeks has passed since the last blog entry and there is a lot of good news to report.

At the time of the last entry Nicole was extremely tired and not eating.  She continued to spiral into the weekend and reached a bottom on Saturday, May 14th.  (May 14th just happens to be my birthday for those of you who wish to send me a belated birthday gift/wish J.)  She was pale, extremely tired, and unable / unwilling to eat or drink anything.  She had reached the point where she was gripped with fear with the thought of eating or drinking.  Specifically, she was afraid of the pain associated with swallowing.  This fear led to inaction and her inaction was making her extremely sick.  So how do you get a kid to eat or drink when they are gripped with fear after you have tried everything?  Well, Saturday afternoon I walked into her room to find her lying on the floor covered with a blanket.  She was very sick, it was obvious.  I lay down next to her and began to talk in my most soothing daddy voice.  (You dad’s know what I am talking about.)  I decided that the approach I would use, though not my first or favorite, would be to conquer her fear with fear.  I informed her, in that soothing daddy voice, that if she did not eat or drink that she was going to have to go back to the hospital.  This was not a lie.  She sat up.  I repeated myself once again in a little bit more serious voice only with the small addition that she would most likely have to get another “pokey”.  She stood up and began walking downstairs.  I gave her a glass of ice-water and asked her to drink every drop.  She did.   I made some chicken noodle soup, puréed it into broth, and spoon fed it to her all the way to the bottom of the bowl.  This continued all the way through the remainder of the weekend and on into Monday.  The fear approach, though not my desire, worked.  I felt like I was mentally manipulating Nicole.  However, sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures.  The important thing was the nutrition she was receiving.  Mid-week, and Nicole was nearly back to normal eating and drinking everything in sight.

Since the above, Nicole has improved drastically.  She is already eating better than I have ever seen her.  She talks more, her speech is drastically improved, and her hearing is definitely improved thanks to the better sinus drainage.  She just had a doctor’s appointment today and she does not even need hearing aids!  Praise God.  She still has some hearing loss, but not enough to justify the hearing aids at the present time.  Her nephrologist also stated that she is doing wonderful.  All of her blood work is fantastic and she is at full strength.  We can once again carry on with the tissue matching.  We will go in Wednesday of next week, perform blood work, and then if the results are still OK then we will perform tissue matching with the next two potential donors.  The next two to be tested are Tiffany Smith, Titia’s niece, and Krista Ruska, a potential donor from Florida that we have never met but has felt led to give of herself on behalf of Nicole.  (Thank you Tiffany and Krista!)  Pray that Nicole’s blood-work goes well so that this process can indeed continue.

So as of right now, it is all good news!

Nicole 05/26/2011.
No ear tags and scars on her ears / neck from the removal of her branchial cyst and ear pits.  Isn’t she cute!

Though the process of going through tissue matching, kidney transplants, and other smaller surgeries is absolutely no fun and a great test of faith, things could always be worse.  This past month I was introduced to a wonderful family of faith from Washington with a little boy, Endurance (what a great name), that required a rare and risky heart surgery.  This family uprooted their entire family to come to Columbus, Ohio to have the surgery performed.  There were not a lot of surgeons in the nation who were even willing to perform the necessary procedures because of the associated risk.  The baby Endurance initially survived the surgery but passed away shortly thereafter.  The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord.  Endurance ran his race, fought a great fight, and now has an enduring peace that will last an eternity.  I am not sure what this family is going to do now, but I do know that their faith rests 100% in the Lord.  It was a great privilege to meet them and it was also very inspiring to my faith.  As I said, our situation, though challenging, seems small compared to what this family has gone through.

I believe there are sometimes in our life that it is necessary to stop, reflect, and be thankful for our situation, regardless of what that situation is.  We may believe that it is bad, but remember, things could always be worse.  There are some peoples moccasins that I would not want to walk in for a mile.  Mine are just fine Lord.  Thank you Lord for giving our family the opportunity to bring glory to your name through Nicole’s kidney transplant!

1 Thessalonians 5:18

18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

For His Glory,


  1. Praise God that she is doing better! I thought about calling, but didn't want to bother you!

    (And yes, she is cute! But I think that, after the time I spent with her as a baby, I would think that no matter what...)

  2. My thoughts exactly on the Lord giving and taking away! Blessed be his name no matter what! My post about the little guy that died from a childhood cancer (and following his and many other lives affected by these diseases) always reminds me of the blessings we have. I may not agree with lifestyles of others but my heart aches for them in their loss. I'm so glad we are a part of your lives and we are blessed to call you friends and to know Nicole :)

  3. Thanks for sharing your family's journey. I am challenged to more faith every time i read your blog. We continue to lift you up in prayer. So glad to hear that Nicole is doing better.