19 March 2013

What's Up, Doc?

It seems like we have spent the majority of the past two weeks 
in doctor's offices and/ or hospitals.
While my dislike of both continues to increase 
(ironic, I know, because at one point I wanted to become a doctor),
I am grateful that we have access to this kind of healthcare,
a luxury envied by many people across the world.

We started off with a visit to the radiology clinic at Cook's
to get an ultrasound of Max's thyroid.
Yes, I know what you're thinking:
"How in the world are you supposed to get a 21-month old 
to lay still for 30 minutes with a gloopy wand on his neck?"
Well, folks - somehow it happened and without many tears!
I am still in shock.

Tuesday we went for a follow-up with the endocrinologist,
who gave us the results from the ultrasound: Max's thyroid is developing normally.
Turns out Max has "unexplained hypothyroidism,"
which basically means that he is normal and healthy
but his bloodwork shows an abnormality for some unknown reason.
It is definitely good news to know that our little man
does not have thyroid disease or something more serious,
but all the tests we've had to do sure put this mama through the ringer!
We will keep him on the medication
because of the possible effects on brain development,
but most likely will wean him off by age 3.

On Thursday we had a check-up with the cardiologist
to monitor Max's subaortic membrane.
Because the membrane has grown significantly since our last visit,
the doctor told us that surgery will be necessary
within the next year - not exactly the timeline I was prepared for.
I know I see a daily reminder in his Daddy
that this surgery results in a normal and healthy life,
but I am still not super-excited about seeing my baby in a hospital bed.
We will go back in August to re-evaluate.

Then this weekend I traveled down to Houston
to visit my sister after her big surgery to remove a cancerous mass,
for which she's been undergoing chemo for the last nine months.
(You can read more about her cancer journey here.)
It was a major surgery - involving the removal of six ribs
and taking out a small part of her lung (where the cancer was attached)
to fully get the melon-sized mass out.
Just hearing about it gave me the heebie-jeebies,
but Rachel was cool as a cucumber through the whole thing.
Seeing her in the first few days of recovery after surgery
was not something I was prepared for - all those wires and tubes hooked up to her.
But I know that she is in very capable hands
and am truly amazed how much stronger she is each day.

All of this has really got me thinking about these temporary bodies we inhabit
and how much we I take their proper functioning for granted.
It is definitely stressful when something doesn't work the way we think it should,
and especially frustrating when we encounter the limits of modern medicine
to explain exactly what's happening.

But I have also been reminded that when I come to the end of that rope,
where there is no good explanation and mysteries abound,
there is a Great Physician
who knit us together in our mother's womb,
who created our bodies and all their intricacies,
and who knows just how many hairs are on our heads.
He is the One whose knowledge knows no limits, whose power knows no end.

"Look now; I myself am he!
    There is no other god but me!
I am the one who kills and gives life;
    I am the one who wounds and heals;
    no one can be rescued from my powerful hand!"

Deuteronomy 32:39 NLT

As much as I would like answers, to know fully the how and the why,
that is probably not the best thing for me and my worry-wort self.
But one thing I do know: there is a God who has those answers
and am learning to trust that He has it all figured out.


Ashley said...

Girl! I had no idea all of this was going! I am praying for your sister, for Max, for you, for all involved. Our lives and our bodies are so very temporary in this fallen world, but it does not make the temporary less painful! Love you guys!

Ashley said...

Man! You have been put through the ringer! Thankful for the good report on Max's thyroid & praying for his sweet heart, as well as your sister! Glad you gave an update, thinking about you! Hope you & baby #2 are both doing & feeling good!

Brittnie said...

Thank you for this reminder!!! So true. We are praying for Max and your sis.

bethany said...

Wow. What a really, really long few weeks. Glad to hear that Max's thyroid is normal, and we'll be thinking of you and praying for his upcoming surgery. Hope your sister is continuing to improve from her surgery, too. Please let her know that we're thinking of and praying for her as well.