Monday, June 21, 2010
June 21st is a holiday in our home. I've talked about it before, but some of you (of all 10 of you who read) may not realize the significance behind this holiday. So, let me explain.
About 4-5 years ago, Bryan was diagnosed with an inactive colon. Simply put, he had no muscle tone in his colon, so simple things like going to the bathroom were not simple for him. Little did we know how horrible that problem could be. He endured (embarrassing) treatments for about a year and a half or two years, but none were successful. We were at the point of having to go into the hospital over night for treatments every few months... NOT a fun thing for a young boy!
After much prayer and a couple of professional opinions, we decided to allow Bryan to undergo a fairly new treatment option in which a tube would be implanted into his upper colon, by way of his appendix. Through this tube, we would be able to "flush" out his colon and keep it clean, with the idea that when clean, the colon could heal itself and regain its muscle functioning. It seemed our only hope at that point, and we trusted his doctor (our hero!)
In July of 2006, just before the start of his 6th grade year, Bryan had his surgery. Right off, things were going well. Then in September, he developed an abscess that ruptured. We were back at the hospital for emergency surgery. I can't tell you how afraid we were. I am a nurse; I know the dangers of a ruptured abscess, and Bryan was a very sick boy! I sat by his side in the hospital, praying over him and asking God to heal him. It was at his bedside then that God began to work in my heart to give Him complete control in my life, and stop worshipping my child instead of Him.
Bryan recuperated from that surgery, but in December of 2006, he was back in the hospital for surgery #3 due to another infection that had developed. I think it was February that brought surgery #4, after Bryan accidentally pulled out the tube (yes, that was GROSS), and Surgery #5 came in April from yet ANOTHER infection. We finally said to our doctor that we could not continue to go through this ordeal anymore.
The year had taken its toll on our family. We were tired from constant doctor's visits and hospital stays. But our (mine and Jeff's) tiredness did not even hold a candle to Bryan's. He was depressed, a completely different person. He no longer smiled. He had a fever for 11 solid months before it was all over and done with. He hurt constantly. He was becoming bitter, believing that God was not hearing his prayers to heal him. If I'm honest, I wondered myself if God had heard our prayers.
On June 21, 2007,, Bryan underwent surgery for the 6th and final time to have his cecostomy tube removed (along with his Appendix which had a hole in it from the tube being anchored there). The doctor warned us that he had likely not gotten to use the tube enough for it to be effective. He also warned us that Bryan had endured so much infection that he would likely have to remove part of his colon during the surgery. We were scared, wondering what we would do next if this had not worked. But really, we just wanted our son back.
Bryan went into surgery that morning, and a couple of hours later, Dr. Iocono came out with a huge smile on his face. He said that Bryan's colon "looked like any healthy 11 year old boy's should". It had looked like "the colon of an 85 year old man" when this started. Not only that, but NONE of the colon had to be removed. He was perfectly fine!
He has NEVER had a problem with his colon again.
We know that the hand of God was at work in the operating room that day. I know fully that God could have chosen to heal Bryan before any of these surgeries began. He could have healed him after the ruptured abscess. But He chose to give us a miracle by allowing us to walk together through that year, through all 6 surgeries and the HORRIFIC treatments that were in between. He gave us a miracle in that we knew He was surely with us, comforting us and giving us Hope and Peace and Grace. And by His grace, He chose to heal Bryan completely in the end.
The truth is, He could have chosen NOT to heal Bryan. And He would still be God. And He would still be good and worthy of our praise.
I thank God every day for the miracle of Bryan's health and life. I thank Him for the testimony of God's healing and faithfulness that Bryan has to carry with him forever. I thank Him that Bryan's hope is restored again. He smiles again.
I thank Him for the invaluable lessons He taught me during that journey. I thank Him for Who He is, not just what He has done.
Healing Day is our way of saying "we recognize what you did and what you continue to do, God. We won't forget".
So, how about you? What holidays are you celebrating? How are you commemorating God's faithfulness to you?