Thursday, March 20, 2008

A Giant Among Us

Warning: kind of long!

A good word to describe this week would be difficult.

Difficult because Abby continues to run a low grade fever. Difficult because yesterday she had 13 grand-mal seizures (8 of which during the night). Most days this week she has either been inconsolably irritable, or wanting to sleep all the time. The signals she sends us when she is unhappy lately have been: pulling out clumps of hair, scratching her ear and face until they bleed, biting her thumbs, and the most frustrating of all, MOANING.

We've had people look at Abby when we say she has been fussy or upset and think we are joking. They are used to screaming babies with tears who are consoled by a pacifier or rocking. We've been told that we are lucky that she doesn't cry and throw tantrums like most children do.

To be quite candid... we would stand on our heads while chewing tin foil if we could change things and see Abby express her pain, discomfort, frustrations and fear in a "normal" tantrum, preschool style... with tears and all! At least then we would know that something is wrong and we could begin marking off a list of possible culprits.

Because of her deafblindness it would be completely legitimate and rational for her to be incredibly frustrated at life and show it through biting and pulling. Much of the time I think this is the case. So we do our best to keep her hands occupied elsewhere in hopes that she will explore and enjoy learning about her world.

Except when her body gives us clues that something else is going on, like a fever. It's difficult to describe what it feels like to not have any concrete ideas as to why this continues for her. Is it neurological? Is it related to the cyst in her brain left by the bleed? Is it because she has a virus (that keeps lasting)? Now we are starting to brain storm other possible causes related to recent behavior, such as reflux. Is it likely that she has microaspirations in her lungs from unresolved reflux? Could this cause a prolonged low grade fever?

There has been talk of a possible adrenal gland dysfunction secondary to her prolonged seizure activity in the past. Did they mess something up in her brain? From my limited understanding of this idea she would need more blood tests and daily treatments of steroids. (Don't ask me to explain this one yet)

I just don't know.

But a mommy can truly get worn out from worrying, and taking temperatures and watching seizures for weeks on end.

Praise the Lord for husbands who come home to take over for a while. Praise the Lord for dear friends who take the kids so I can regain my sanity, and clean at least one thing in the house.

And lastly Praise the Lord for Veggie Tales. In the past their cartoony voices have quickly gotten on my nerves, but this morning as I let Josiah watch one of their videos I heard a familiar story that brought a new perspective into view.

The story of David and Goliath. I'm sure most of you know this one, so I'll just high light the part that 'struck' me. In 1 Samuel chapter 17 the scene describes the Israelites living in fear of the Philistines and the threat of attack on their people. But one particular warrior created the most fear as he was literally a Giant. Then the Lord brought a young boy from the sheep fields to come forward and accept a great task that no one else was willing to do. In this scripture I was just astounded at the immediate obedience and fearlessness at which David moved forward. No doubting, no turning back.

vs. 45 David says to the Giant "you come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord almighty, the God of the armies of Isreal, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I'll strike you down and cut off your head." (more details)... vs 47 "All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give all of you into our hands."

With that the Giant Philistine came forward to attack David but the Word says that "David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him." And then, grabbing the meager tools that he was comfortable using on a daily basis to protect his sheep, David slung a stone and killed the enemy.

I wonder how much more glory God received through that trial by using someone seemingly insignificant, small or unable to accomplish his mighty mission, rather than using a soldier!

And David didn't cry and tell God he wasn't ready or wasn't brave enough or strong enough. It says he ran to meet his challenge, with only trust in his God and a few small tools. He knew the Lord would triumph. He had faith that God would provide and protect.

Lord please help me be more like your servant David.